Reflecting on reflection: a dialogue across the hemispheres on teaching and assessing reflective practice in clinical legal education

Rachel Spencer, Susan L. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Why is it so important for law students to learn to be reflective? What do we mean by “reflective practice” in the context of legal education? How do we actually teach reflective practice in experiential offerings such as clinics and externships? Finally, how do we assess law students’ reflective work? These questions continue to challenge those of us who strive to teach reflective practice as a core set of skills, including many who view ourselves as clinical legal educators. In this article, two seasoned clinical law teachers who have directed experiential courses and programme in different countries engage in a friendly dialogue about these and other fundamental questions about teaching law students to become reflective practitioners. Together, they offer their collective wisdom regarding the “why”, the “what”, and the “how” of teaching reflective practice in clinical and experiential legal education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-474
Number of pages17
JournalThe Law Teacher
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019


  • clinical legal education
  • experiential learning
  • Reflection
  • reflective writing
  • relational lawyering

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