Abstract

The scholarly literature on externships is growing and deepening, addressing concerns of importance to field placement programs and to clinicians in general. This Introduction places the issues raised by the subsequent four articles on externships into the context of current national debates about the externship method. These issues, which both extend and diverge from current thinking about externship pedagogy, include: 1) the impact of a harsh economic climate; 2) the educational potential of placements in corporate counsel offices; 3) the argument for compensating students in for-credit placements; and 4) the value of course design for teaching power dynamics in supervisory relationships. Taken together, the issues explored in these four articles point toward a new world of externships, filled with both opportunity and risk for clinical education. This new world poses key questions, not just for externships, but for clinical legal education and legal education generally.