Whittier launches new experiential curriculum

Whittier Law School has launched a new curriculum called “Experience the Law,” which teaches practical skills starting on the first day of law school. Whittier is integrating a pilot version of the program in the 2013-14 school year. If the pilot program is successful, the law school plans to fully implement the program in fall 2014. More than half of the required units for the program will focus on experiential learning.

“Our top priority is to graduate students who are fully prepared with the knowledge, skills and professionalism needed to successfully practice law,” said Penelope Bryan, dean of the Orange County, Calif.-school.  “Our ‘Experience the Law’ curriculum gives our students three full years of experience that will differentiate them in the profession.”

The State Bar of California has proposed new bar admission requirements that require a practical skills component to every school’s curriculum, which is expected to be adopted by law schools in the state by 2017, although approval is tentative. Whittier Law School’s program exceeds the minimum requirements set by the State Bar’s potential program.