Field trips as short-term experiential learning activities in legal education

Higgins, N., Dewhurst, E. and Watkins, L. (2012) Field trips as short-term experiential learning activities in legal education. Law Teacher, 46 (2). pp. 165-178. ISSN 03069400 (ISSN)


Field trips offer students the opportunity to learn in a real-world setting and bridge the gap between theory and practice. To date, there has been a dearth of both theoretical and empirical research into the use and effectiveness of field trips as a pedagogic tool in legal education. This article seeks to fill this gap, first by analysing the current research on the use of field trips in higher education across different disciplines and the reported advantages and disadvantages of such usage, and secondly by providing empirical evidence on the benefits of such activities from a field trip, Living the Law: A Tour of Legal Dublin, undertaken with students in Dublin City University, Ireland. The tour involved visits to important legal establishments in the city of Dublin, including the Supreme Court, the training institutions of barristers and solicitors in Ireland and a premier legal firm. The article analyses feedback from the students who took this trip on the benefits of such a learning experience. © 2012 The Association of Law Teachers.

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