The experiential education of the Amsterdam Law Practice (ALP) ensures a good connection to the future working field. The education programme offers a contemporary way of learning in which reflection on one's own experiences and the development of a professional identity are central. Students learn by doing and work together with other students to solve social problems.
The Amsterdam Law Practice won a Dutch Higher Education Award in 2022, the award for innovative higher education.
Underlying educational vision
Although simulations, clinics and moot courts are now an integral part of the educational program of law faculties, these forms are taught at the Amsterdam Law Practice on the basis of a specific educational vision. The development of the student's professional identity is central to this vision. Crucially, in addition to applying knowledge and learning by doing, students reflect, based on insights from professional ethics, on what it means to perform a particular legal role for society, for future employers, and for the student himself. In this way, education contributes to training responsible lawyers of the future.
Examples of courses
Our experiential education can now be found in more than 30 courses, distributed across the various programs. In principle, every Master's student can take an ALP course: within the program itself (only accessible to students from the relevant Master's programme) or at the faculty level (accessible to students from all Master's programmes). ALP courses can be divided into the following categories:
Clinics: an example of a course that is accessible to students from all Master's programmes is the course Amsterdam Law Clinics. Here students work on behalf of clients, such as NGOs, on real cases of public interest. Students participate in court cases, give advice and provide legal expertise and support. Clinical legal education is also offered within the programmes themselves.
Law labs: together with experts from social institutions or companies, students work on innovative solutions to legal (social) problems. A good example is the course Justice Entrepreneurship where students learn to invent and develop an innovative solution for an existing legal problem.
Simulations: students take on the role of lawyers in hypothetical scenarios, for example as advisors to a company or government. They learn to argue and debate legally. They also write court documents and give oral opinions. Examples of courses with simulations are Practising International Law and Tax Treaty Negotiation.
Mootcourts: students develop their written and oral skills in a simulated court case, taking on the role of lawyer, prosecutor or judge. Pleading and debating are the focus here.
Internships: unlike a clinic, the supervision of the internships takes place at the internship site. Students are supported from the programme through lectures on professional responsibility and professional ethics. The internship is approached as reflective practice during these lectures.
Legal advice centres: working for a legal advice centre is very valuable. The legal aid clinics work as a legal advice centre and assist individual clients on a pro bono basis. No case is too small. Students are committed to external parties and work on real cases that make a difference to the people bringing them forward.
During my Master's, thanks to ALP, I got involved in a legal advice centre and worked at a law firm. I am very happy that I've developed my professional legal identity and discovered the direction I want to go in.Master's student Ilse Fokkema
The development of the Amsterdam Law Practice began in 2018 with a pilot. Since then, the curriculum has expanded to the point where a permanent team is involved in its organization and further development. In addition to the subject lecturers who teach the courses in the various masters, a number of people are involved in the Amsterdam Law Practice at the faculty level.
How do you register?
The study programme of a specific Master's programme mentions which ALP courses are offered. In the Course Catalogue you will find more information about the registration for the relevant courses.
If you have any questions, please contact Rosa Lokin-Möhrlein, Coordinator Amsterdam Law Practice, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Amsterdam Center for the Legal Profession and Access to Justice (ACLPA) provides a supportive and scholarly foundation in the field of professional ethics and reflection within experiential education. For example, staff members of the center provide substantive (guest) lectures.