The Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law was convened by Northeastern University School of Law in 2011 when a small group of legal educators met to discuss how best to improve legal education in response to significant disruptions in the profession and changes in our society. The Alliance has grown to include legal educators and practitioners affiliated with 113 law schools and legal service organizations who have joined together to develop a new approach to legal education and promote transformative approaches and programs for curriculum reform. The Alliance’s ultimate goal is to ensure that law graduates are ready to practice with a full complement of skills and ethical and social values necessary to serve clients and the public interest, now and in the future.

The Alliance seeks to:

  • Develop a shared vision of “experiential education” and offer best practices that can be utilized and adopted by law schools across the country. 
  • Create a framework for integrating experience-based educational components into the larger law school curriculum, while leaving flexibility for individual institutions to adopt their own approaches and chart their own unique courses. 
  • Share perspectives and experiences in order to integrate our faculty and leadership and generate support for our overall initiative. 
  • Recognize the profound changes taking place in the legal profession and analyze the relationship between academia and the profession. This includes determining avenues for synergies between the two and encouraging interaction and integration. 
  • Establish a new paradigm for legal education benefitting students and educators, and ultimately changing the legal profession itself.

The Alliance sponsored the inaugural national symposium on experiential education in law — “Experience the Future” — held at Northeastern on October 26-28, 2012, with more than 250 participants. The symposium focused on innovation in the profession and the legal academy in an effort to begin a structured dialogue between the two that might lead to consensus among stakeholders about legal education. The results of the symposium were published in the October 2013 edition of the Northeastern University Law Journal.

The Alliance’s second national symposium was held at, and co-hosted with, Elon University School of Law from June 13-15, 2014.  Supported by Northeastern University School of Law, 150 attendees gathered in Greensboro, North Carolina to engage with representatives from a range of other disciplines, including architecture, business and medicine to examine trends, methodologies and innovations in the field of experiential learning.

The Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law is planning its Third National Symposium on Experiential Education and the Law.  Those of you who attended the last conference at Elon Law School in June 2014 heard how other disciplines approach experiential learning and discussed the findings of the Alliance working groups.  The next symposium will take a close look at how to identify and effectively assess experiential learning outcomes, as a step towards our long-term goal of improving experiential learning for this generation of law students. 

The Third National Symposium will take place in 2016, probably in the summer and at a place to be determined.  The Steering Committee is soliciting papers that identify and evaluate experiential learning assessment tools or rubrics that you have created or co-created and have used or are considering.  But our goal isn’t just to receive papers; instead, we want to create an ongoing process of working with interested colleagues in both the development of these assessment tools or rubrics and then, subsequently, the evaluation of the data these tools or rubrics generate.  Assessment is itself ideally an iterative process, and we would like to approach the work of assessment in an iterative way! If you are interested in participating in the conference, we ask that you send us drafts of the tools or rubrics you are considering by no later than October 15, 2015; we in turn will offer feedback and suggestions within a month after that. Then we’ll ask you to provide a well-considered, brief paper discussing the findings you’ve made in using these assessment devices. We expect first drafts of those papers will be due by March 1, 2016, and again we will provide feedback and suggestions within a month after that. Selected submissions will form the basis of core presentations at the conference, and final drafts will be due approximately June 1, 2016. We will also be looking into the possibilities of publishing some or all of the papers following the conference.

The first step: please submit your drafts of your assessment tools or rubrics no later than October 15, 2015 to the Alliance Steering Committee by emailing them to Stephen Ellmann at New York Law School (stephen.ellmann@nyls.edu).


Alliance members are affiliated with the following organizations:

Albany Law School
American Association of Law Libraries
American University, Washington College of Law
Appalachian School of Law
Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Berkeley Law - University of California
Bingham McCutchen
Boston College Law School
Boston University School of Law
California Western School of Law
Case Western Reserve School of Law
Chapman University School of Law
Charlotte School of Law
Chicago-Kent College of Law
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Committee for Public Counsel Services
Cooley LLP
Cornell University
CUNY School of Law
DLA Piper
Drexel University Earle Mack School of Law
Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
Duke Law
Elon University Martha & Spencer Love School of Business
Elon University School of Law
Emory Law School
ERM Legal Solutions
Florida Coastal School of Law
Florida International College of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Georgia State University College of Law
Golden Gate University School of Law
Hamline University School of Law
Harvard Law School
Hofstra University, Maurice A. Dean School of Law
Indiana Tech Law School
Indiana University Bloomington - Maurer School of Law
K&L Gates
Law Office of Audrey Heidt
Liberty University School of Law 
Louisiana State University Law Center
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
New York Law School
New York University School of Law
Northeastern University School of Law
Northern Kentucky University of Law
Notre Dame Law School
Nova Southeastern Univesity Shephard Broad Law Center
NuLawLab
Pace Law School
Phoenix School of Law
Quinnipiac University School of Law
Reed Smith
Regent University School of Law
Robert Half Legal
Roger Williams University School of Law
Rutgers School of Law - Camden
Saint Louis University School of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law
Seattle University School of Law
Seton Hall University School of Law
Southern Illinois University School of Law
Southern Methodist School of Law
Southern University Law Center
St. Mary's University School of Law
Stetson University College of Law
Suffolk University Law School
SUNY Buffalo Law School
Syracuse University College of Law
Temple University Beasley School of Law
Texas A&M University School of Law
Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Touro Law Center
Tulane University Law School
UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
University of Arizona College of Law
University of Arkansas School of Law
University of Baltimore School of Law
University of California, Hastings College of Law 
University of California, Irvine School of Law
University of Colorado Law School
University of Connecticut School of Law
University of Denver, Sturm College of Law
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
University of La Verne College of Law
University of Maine School of Law
University of Massachusetts School of Law
University of Minnesota Law School
University of Nebraska College of Law
University of New Hampshire School of Law
University of North Carolina School of Law
University of Pennsylvania Law School
University of Richmond School of Law
University of St. Thomas School of Law
University of the Pacific-McGeorge School of Law
University of Tulsa College of Law
University of Washington School of Law
University of Western Ontario
University of Wisconsin Law School
University of Wyoming College of Law
Vermont Law School
Villanova University School of Law
Washington & Lee University School of Law
Washington Consortium for the Law Externships and Exchange
Washington University in St. Louis Law School 
Wayne State University Law School
Western New England School of Law
Whittier Law School
William and Mary Law School
York University Osgoode Law School 

For more information about the Alliance, or to become a member, please contact Stephen Evans at (617) 373-3307 or s.evans@neu.edu