Experiential Learning Ensemble

The University of Minnesota Law School offers members of the community the exciting opportunity to join our Experiential Learning Ensemble (ELE). Members of the ELE play a critical role in the experiential education program at the Law School by playing the roles of clients, witnesses, lawyers, and others in lawyering skills simulations. The involvement of ELE members in simulations greatly enhances their realism, which helps position students for success as practitioners. 

ELE members do not need to have any experience or training as actors (although we certainly welcome applicants who do!) The ELE will consider applications from anyone in the community who has the time and interest in our program. We train and coach our ELE members to accurately and consistently recreate the personal and legal history, personality, and emotional state of an actual client, witness, or party to a legal dispute or claim.

ELE Roles and Responsibilities

ELE members are laypersons who are trained to play parts in role plays and other exercises intended to simulate the actual practice of law. ELE participants also are trained to complete evaluations of learner performance and provide feedback to learners. The Experiential Education Program at the Law School works to match people’s skills, backgrounds, and interests with appropriate roles. Participants receive training for all assigned projects.

The following are some of the courses that currently include simulations supported by the ELE: 

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (Fall and Spring Semester) - opportunities to participate as a party in an arbitration or mediation. 
  • Contract Drafting (Fall Semester) - opportunity to portray a client who is being interviewed by a student attorney.
  • Law in Practice (Spring Semester) - multiple opportunities to participate as a client or witness in lawyering skills simulations.
  • Mediation (Fall and Spring Semester) - opportunity to participate as a party in a mediation.
  • Trial Practice (Fall and Spring Semester) - opportunity to participate as a witness or party in a simulated jury trial.


We strive to create a pool of participants in the ELE that reflects the diversity of our community. We encourage applications from individuals of all ages, races/ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds.

Successful ELE participants are:

  • Committed to the education of future lawyers
  • Reliable and punctual
  • Excellent communicators with strong interpersonal skills
  • Able and willing to work cooperatively with program staff, learners, faculty, and administrators
  • Flexible with scheduling and assignments (note: most simulations take place during traditional business hours)

Time Commitment

ELE roles are assigned throughout the academic year. You will sign up for simulations based on your availability

Compensation and Benefits

ELE members are paid hourly for their work (which includes a reasonable amount of preparation time); campus parking expenses are also covered by the University. ELE participants are categorized as independent contractors at the University of Minnesota. This means that ELE participants are not eligible to receive benefits from the university such as health insurance, vacation, and sick time. The availability of work opportunities for ELE members is dependent on the needs and requirements of the Law School experiential courses that they support. We are unable to guarantee ELE members a fixed schedule or minimum number of hours. 

Apply Now

All you need to do to apply is submit this short survey. Once we receive your application, we'll be in touch to set up an interview.