University of Denver

Carnegie Recommendations

The Carnegie Model of legal education supports courses and curricula that integrate three sets of values or ‘apprenticeships’: knowledge, practice, and professionalism. Widely embraced as a best practice model for legal education innovation, and one that better serves to prepare lawyers for the evolving demands of the profession, ETL is leveraging the Carnegie Model as a foundation to build and improve new approaches to teaching.

For more resources on the Carnegie Recommendations, see the the information below:

Carnegie Apprenticeships

“Research about human learning has recently brought back into prominence a term long connected to the preparation of professionals: apprenticeship. The most momentous change in professional training over the past century has been the movement of professional education into the academy. This has entailed a shift away from apprenticeship, with its intimate pedagogy of modeling and coaching, toward reliance on the methods of academic instruction, with its emphasis on classroom teaching and learning.”

--Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law, page 25

  • The First Apprenticeship: Knowledge
    • “The first apprenticeship, which we call intellectual or cognitive, focuses the student on the knowledge and way of thinking of the profession. Of the three, it is most at home in the university context because it embodies that institution’s great investment in quality of analytical reasoning, argument, and research. In professional schools, the intellectual training is focused on the academic knowledge base of the domain, including the habits of mind that the faculty judge most important to the profession. “

      --Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law, page 28

  • The Second Apprenticeship: Practice
    • “The students’ second apprenticeship is to the forms of expert practice shared by competent practitioners. Students encounter this practice-based kind of learning through quite different pedagogies from the way they learn the theory. They are often taught by faculty members other than those from whom they learned about the first, conceptual apprenticeship. In this second apprenticeship, students learn by taking part in simulated practice situations, as in case studies, or in actual clinical experience with real clients.”

      --Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law, page 28

  • The Third Apprenticeship: Professionalism
    • “The third apprenticeship, which we call the apprenticeship of identify and purpose, introduces students to the purposes and attitudes that are guided by the values for which the professional community is responsible. Its lessons are also ideally taught through dramatic pedagogies of simulation and participation. But because it opens the student to the critical public dimension of the professional life, it also shares aspects of liberal education in attempting to provide a wide, ethically sensitive perspective on the technical knowledge and skill that the practice of law requires. The essential goal, however, is to teach the skills an inclinations, along with the ethical standards, social roles, and responsibilities that mark the professional. “

      --Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law, page 28

Offer an Integrated Curriculum

To build on their strengths and address their shortcomings, law schools should offer an integrated, three-part curriculum: (1) the teaching of legal doctrine and analysis, which provides the basis for professional growth; (2) introduction to the several facets of practice included under the rubric of lawyering, leading to acting with responsibility for clients; and (3) exploration and assumption of the identity, values and dispositions consonant with the fundamental purposes of the legal profession. Integrating the three parts of legal education would better prepare students for the varied demands of professional legal work.

In order to produce such integrative results in students’ learning, however, the faculty who teach in the several areas of the legal curriculum must first communicate with and learn from each other.

Join Legal Analysis with Practical Experience and Professionalism from the Start

The existing common core of legal education needs to be expanded to provide students substantial experience with practice as well as opportunities to wrestle with the issues of professionalism. Further, and building on the work already underway in several law schools, the teaching of legal analysis, while remaining central, should not stand alone as it does in so many schools. The teaching of legal doctrine needs to be fully integrated into the curriculum. It should extend beyond case-dialogue courses to become part of learning to “think like a lawyer” in practice settings.

Nor should doctrinal instruction be the exclusive content of the beginner’s curriculum. Rather, learning legal doctrine should be seen as prior to practice chief ly in the sense that it provides the essential background assumptions and habits of thought that students need as they find their way into the functions and identity of legal professionals.

Make Better Use of Second and Third Years

The results of the project "After the JD" report that graduates mostly see their experiences with law-related summer employment after the first and second years of law school as having the greatest influence on their selection of career paths.  Law schools could give new emphasis to the third year by designing it as a kind of “capstone” opportunity for students to develop specialized knowledge, engage in advanced clinical training, and work with faculty and peers in serious, comprehensive reflection on their educational experience and their strategies for career and future professional growth.

Support Faculty to Work Across the Curriculum

Both doctrinal and practical courses are likely to be most effective if faculty who teach them have some significant experience with the other, complementary area. Since all law faculty have experienced the case dialogue classroom from their own education, doctrinal faculty will probably make the more significant pedagogical discoveries as they observe or participate in the teaching of lawyering courses and clinics, and we predict that they will take these discoveries back into doctrinal teaching. Faculty development programs that consciously aim to increase the faculty’s mutual understanding of each other’s work are likely to improve students’ efforts to make integrated sense of their developing legal competence. However it is organized, it is the sustained dialogue among faculty with different strengths and interests united around common educational purpose that is likely to matter most.

Weave Knowledge and Skills Together

Although the ways of teaching appropriate to develop professional identity and purpose range from classroom didactics to reflective practice in clinical situations, the key challenge in supporting students’ ethical-social development is to keep each of these emphases in active communication with each other. The demands of an integrative approach require both attention to how fully ethical-social issues pervade the doctrinal and lawyering curricula and the provision of educational experiences directly concerned with the values and situation of the law and the legal profession. As the example of medical education suggests, these concerns “come alive” most effectively when the ideas are introduced in relation to students’ experience of taking on the responsibilities incumbent upon the profession’s various roles. And, in teaching for legal analysis and lawyering skills, the most powerful effects on student learning are likely to be felt when faculty with different strengths work in a complementary relationship.

Recognize a Common Purpose

Amid the useful varieties of mission and emphasis among American law schools, the formation of competent and committed professionals deserves and needs to be the common, unifying purpose. A focus on the formation of professionals would give renewed prominence to the ideals and commitments that have historically defined the legal profession in America.

Work Together

Legal education is complex, with its different emphases of legal analysis, training for practice and development of professional identity. The integration we advocate will depend upon rather than override the development of students’ expertise within each of the different emphases. But integration can flourish only if law schools can consciously organize their emphases through ongoing mutual discussion and learning.

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