McAfee & Taft gift elevates TU College of Law experiential learning program
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The Oklahoma-based law firm of McAfee & Taft is helping The University of Tulsa College of Law build a comprehensive experiential learning program, recognizing that field study and externships offer law students essential professional development and training opportunities. McAfee & Taft has committed $45,000 to help fund a new position in the College of Law, the Assistant Dean and Director of Experiential Learning. With this position, the College of Law accelerates its shift toward a hands-on teaching model that emulates medical education.
The College of Law intends to offer every student a supervised, live-client experience prior to graduation, either through the Boesche Legal Clinic or an externship. While the legal clinic operates like a law firm at the College of Law, the externship program provides students with field experiences, offering them the opportunity to earn academic credit for limited practice under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney or judge. Most of these clinic and externship opportunities directly benefit underserved populations.
McAfee & Taft’s support for the Director of Experiential Learning position is an innovative collaboration between the private bar and the College of Law. Dean Janet Levit states, “The College of Law is deeply grateful to McAfee & Taft for this pioneering gift. McAfee clearly appreciates that the bar and profession will be stronger if law schools grow their capacity to weave practical, public service-oriented training into their curriculum. With this gift, McAfee and the TU College of Law challenge other law firms to provide support to this vital position.”
Christy Caves has served as the Assistant Dean and Director of Experiential Learning since January 1, 2013. Dean Caves, a 2005 graduate of the TU College of Law, was formerly Associate Director of Professional Development. Dean Caves’ primary task is to grow externship opportunities in a way that honors TU law students, ABA guidelines, and community needs, including pro bono initiatives.
About McAfee & Taft
With more than 175 attorneys and offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, McAfee & Taft is the state’s largest law firm and one of the nation’s 250 largest full-service firms as ranked by the National Law Journal. Since its founding in 1952, the firm has grown to become a recognized leader in the legal industry for providing clients with creative and innovative strategies for meeting their business and legal needs.