Title of Presentation: Integrating Social Work Theory and Practice into the Law Clinic Curriculum

Names of all Presenters: Carrie Ann Hagan, Stephanie Boys, Susan McGraugh

Short Abstract: Law school gets us “thinking like lawyers.” Oftentimes, we forget, or rather shelve, many of our interpersonal or other skills in order to achieve the legal tasks at hand. Re-incorporating these skills with our new legal skill set can be challenging – where do we start? Enter the world of interdisciplinary education. By combining two sets of training, theories and experiences, students can not only become more comfortable with their own realm, but they can also learn transitional skills that enhance their performance both in their field and out.

This presentation will demonstrate the many ways in which legal education can be enriched by the integration of social work theory into our pedagogy. We will provide an introduction to three social work theories, systems theory, conflict theory and empowerment theory, and demonstrate how these theories can improve our lawyering skill set.

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