Catching Fire: A Case Study Illustration of the Need for an Interdisciplinary Clinical Case Partnership and Resulting Student Successes
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There is an increasing pressure calling for legal education’s evolution into building more practical competencies to better prepare law students for practice upon graduation. Collaborative learning between law students and social work students in a clinical setting enriches their respective educations well beyond their respective traditional curricula. By working together, the students learn other methods on how to handle different clients and their unique situations and how to work with someone of a different disciplinary expertise with the same client. This article begins with a law student’s mishandling of an initial client interaction, discusses the advantages of an interdisciplinary education with social work students and then reimagines the initial encounter after the law student has been taught by an interdisciplinary partnership between law and social work schools. Law students gain a better and broader perspective when working alongside social work students to tackle problems that they not only face in a clinical setting, but also will encounter both in practice and in life.