So I’m currently listening to a panel at a symposium being hosted at my law school this weekend. It’s the second gathering of the Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law and I’m covering it for our school’s Law & Leadership Journal.
The current presenters are discussing their perspectives on experiential ed from other disciplines, from medicine to engineering to architecture.
One idea that’s come up from the architecture professor is that of studio time, and how in architecture school there is a blending of classes that teach theory and practice with the experience of being in a creative laboratory (a studio). I love this idea because it’s how I approach my study of law. See photo below, as it’s of my apt, which is essentially a studio space, where I can think and write, but also move around and play with multi-media materials for inspiration.
What’s interesting to me about this is an emphasis on the importance of creative problem-solving, a skill our presenter encourages before her students’ structural education comes in. She believes that without the cultivation of creativity, the structural stuff, the more linear information (in law the doctrinal aspects) have no context for being applied in a meaningful, innovative way.
Another interesting area of overlap here has to do with the concept of design, and the almost sculptural way we could be perceiving our possibilities for practicing law — constructing new frameworks and building organizational capacities that support these structures, and that can be contained by these structures at the same time. It’s about re-working what we’ve got by, in a sense, scaling to the outer-limits of our imaginations.
One more idea I love about this is the way such a model for studying law lends itself to collaboration, in that when we open ourselves up creatively we tend to find outlets for sharing information & perspective with others that might otherwise feel like info we need to keep for ourselves, or our clients. Taking a more artistic approach to the study and practice of law seems to suggest we can find ways of communicating through these siloed ways of thinking and being in what people are realizing more and more, is an interconnected world.
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