June 28, 2005
Save the date: Clinical Writers’ Workshop April 29, 2006
The Clinical Law Review's Board of Editors plans to hold a day-long "clinical writers' workshop" on Saturday, April 29, 2006. At this workshop clinical teachers will have the opportunity to “workshop” their works-in-progress (whether those are books or articles or essays on clinical pedagogy, substantive law issues or other topics, or other types of writing). The workshop immediately precedes the AALS Clinical Conference of Spring 2006, which will be held in New York City at NYU Law School (which is one of the three sponsors of the Review, along with CLEA and AALS).
At the workshop, all attendees will be in small groups organized by the
subject matter in which they are writing (clinical pedagogy, specific areas
of the law, and so forth). During the course of the day, each group will
"workshop" the draft of each member of the group. The groups will be
determined before the conference and all participants will be asked to
circulate their draft to all members of their group approximately a month
before the workshop so that everyone has an opportunity to read the drafts
of their fellow group members before the workshop begins.
There will not be an admission or registration fee for the
conference. Meals will be provided during the workshop but participants
will have to arrange and pay for their own travel and lodgings.
The Board will provide more details in the announcement in the Fall. In the interim, if you have any comments or suggestions, please send them to
Randy Hertz at email@example.com.
What Clinic Alumni Can Do
Vanita Gupta (NYU Law Clinic '01) has a track record that would make the most accomplished social justice advocate gasp in awe. As a Soros Justice Fellow, Ms Gupta led the charge to overturn the wrongful convictions of 38 people in Tulia Texas. Now, Ms. Gupta is Assistant Counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
At NYU, Ms. Gupta received the Anne Petluck Poses Prize for her death penalty and juvenile rights-based clinical work. (Among her mentors, Ms. Gupta includes Professor Randy Hertz). Within months of her law school graduation, Ms. Gupta organized an astonishing legal team that successfully fought the Tulia convictions. Ms. Gupta has received numerous awards, including the 2004 Rebock. She is also the subject of several newspaper articles and a new movie, in she is portrayed by Hallie Berry.
Have a great story about a recent clinic graduate? E-mail it to us for a feature in our new "What Clinic Alumni Can Do" feature.
June 27, 2005
Vermont Law School Clinic sues to clean up local water supplies
The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School has filed suit on behalf of a local citizens group alleging that Omya Inc. is threatening local water supplies by dumping chemically treated waste into abandoned quarries. The law suit, filed in U.S. District Court, seeks injunctive relieve and an investigation into the wast to determine a safe method of disposal. An Associated Press article appearing in the Time Argus quoted Patrick Parenteau of the Clinic as saying “We want Omya to comply with state and federal law, which means stop dumping waste into the quarries.” The AP article notes that the Clinic had warned Omya in November that it would file the lawsuit if Omya failed to take corrective action.
June 26, 2005
Clinic to Seek Certiorari in U.S. Supreme Court
The Tulane Law Clinic is preparing a petition to the United States Supreme Court after the Louisiana Supreme Court recently held that a state statute, allowing the prosecution to introduce a “criminalist report” at trial in lieu of live testimony, was unconstitutional. In State v. Cunningham, the Court held that the statute was not a violation of the defendants Sixth Amendment right to confront and cross-examine the witnesses against him because the statute required the state to give the defendant notice of its intent to use the “criminalist report”.
At Mr. Cunningham’s trial for possession of marijuana, Clinical Instructor Katherine Mattes objected when the prosecutions attempted to introduce a “criminalist report” to prove an element of the offense – that the green leafy substance was in fact marijuana. The appellate court agreed with Mattes that the statute was unconstitutional and overturned the conviction. However, State Supreme Court Justice John Weimer, writing for the majority, explained that “the defendant did not avail himself of the opportunity to subpoena the person preparing the report.” The opinion went on to explain that once put on notice, the burden on the defendant to affirmatively seek the subpoenaing of the laberatory techinicians is a “featherweight” burden. The two justices who dissented both noted that even a “featherweight” burden encroaches upon the constitutionally protected right of the defendant.
Time- Picayune reporter Gwen Filosa reported in a recent article that Clinic Director, Professor Pamela Metzger will seek review with the United State Supreme Court. Metzger is also the author of Cheating the Constitution, 59 Vand. L. Rev. -- (Oct. 2005), an article that addresses and critiques the nationwide trend of allowing prosecutors to prove their cases with hearsay forensic reports, instead of live testimony.
Prominent Clinic Administrator Moves on to New York Court System
Albany Law School reports that Elaine Shelhamer will be leaving her position as Albany Law School's Administrative Director this week for an exciting new opportunity. Elaine was instrumental in facilitating national discussions concerning clinic/"law office" management.
Dean Thomas Guernsey's announcement of Elaine's departure is posted below:
Elaine Shelhamer, Administrative Director of Albany Law School's Clinical Legal Studies Program, has accepted a position with the NYS Unified Court System as Chief Clerk of the Essex County Surrogates Court. In her letter of resignation, she notes that she will greatly miss her colleagues at the clinic and in the ALS community and is grateful for the wonderful mentors and friendships she found during her 13 years here.
ALS, and in particular the clinical program, has benefitted enormously from Elaine's organizational, interpersonal, managerial and paralegal skills as well as her loyal friendship. We will miss her and wish her well!
June 25, 2005
Harvard Law School seeks a Business Law Senior Fellow to work in its small business clinical program at the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center.
The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau has a part time (.57 FTE with benefits) Clinical Instructor opening.
The University of New Mexico School of Law is seeking to hire a qualified tax expert to assist in teaching in the Clinical Law Program as part of a Low Income Taxpayer grant.
Harvard Law School seeks a Business Law Senior Fellow to work in its small business clinical program at the Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center. The Fellowship is a significant component of the Center’s mission to function as a laboratory for innovation in community based legal services and in clinical legal education. The Fellow will work with the Senior Clinical Instructor in the Center’s Community Enterprise Project to accomplish the following goals: to expand opportunities for small businesses in previously disinvested areas with a focus on opportunities for women and minority owned and managed enterprises; to offer rich educational experiences for second and third year Harvard Law students; to develop and refine teaching and practice approaches; to improve data collection and outcome measures in community economic development practice; and to offer the Fellow experience in clinical teaching and supervision law students.
The Fellow will be encouraged to research and write on clinical education or legal policy issues related to the role of small businesses and not for profits. The Fellow should have a background in business law and an interest in clinical legal education. Prior experience in community law practice and general practice in corporate, general business or non-profit law are required. The initial appointment is for one year with the possibility of renewal for up to two additional years. Candidates with a strong career interest in clinical education and/or in effective delivery of legal services to the small businesses and not for profit entities that enhance and strengthen low and moderate income communities are encouraged to apply.
Minimum Requirements: JD Degree, and a minimum of 2 years of relevant legal experience. Admission to Massachusetts Bar required or must be eligible for admission under court rule. Strong oral and written communication and organizational skills; strong motivation, initiative, demonstrated ability to work creatively within broad program goals. Strong motivation to learn and achieve superior teaching and practice skills. Please send resume and cover letter by July 8, 2005 to: Cheryl Burg Rusk, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center is committed to equal opportunity and affirmative action in the workplace.
The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau has a part time (.57 FTE with benefits) Clinical Instructor opening. Clinical Instructor opening. Please apply on-line http://atwork.harvard.edu using requisition # 23426. This is a one-year appointment; eligibility for subsequent terms is based on performance and/or program needs. Start date flexible.
The Bureau is a curriculum-based poverty law clinic with a long-standing tradition of student leadership and governance, making it a unique and exciting institution in clinical legal education. Instructors act as attorney of record, they assess and structure the practice of students on all aspects and procedures, accompany students to all court or administrative hearings, and provide regular feedback on practice performance.
- J.D., admission to the MA Bar, and 5 years of practice with substantial trial experience
- Significant experience in poverty law. Domestic relations required;
unemployment benefits; social security disability and other public benefits
- Experience in clinical legal education and or supervision of students
- Bi-cultural and/or bi-lingual candidates are encouraged to apply.
The Bureau is committed to equal opportunity and affirmative action.
The University of New Mexico School of Law is seeking to hire a qualified tax expert to assist in teaching in the Clinical Law Program as part of a Low Income Taxpayer grant. This will be a non-tenure track visiting faculty position for the Fall semester of 2005-06 with the possibility of an extension through the Fall of 2006, depending on funding. The successful candidate will work with the clinic faculty in supervising students in contested tax cases with the IRS. In addition, the applicant will conduct training sessions for students and lawyers interested in taking pro bono low income tax cases in exchange for the training.
Minimum qualifications are a J.D. degree or equivalent legal degree, a license to practice in tax court, and federal income tax training. Preferred qualifications are an LL.M. in tax; experience in state and federal tax disputes; experience and/or training in teaching, especially clinical teaching; and interest and potential in producing scholarship.
To apply, send a signed letter of interest that addresses your qualifications, a curriculum vitae, and names, addresses and phone numbers of three references to:
UNM School of Law
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
For best consideration, please submit application by July 22, 2005. Recruitment will continue until opening is filled. The University of New Mexico is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and educator.
June 23, 2005
CLEA Corner: Good News
CLEA President Alex Scherr reports on some important changes made by the Council on Legal Education and Admission to the Bar in the ABA Standards relating to security of position and participation in governance for clinicians:
Three CLEA members attended the decisive meeting of the Council in Santa Fe on June 18: myself as President; Susan Kay as Vice-President; and Margaret Martin
Barry as one of CLEA’s long-time advocates before the Council. The Council’s actions represent an important change in the language of some key interpretations. While these changes leave work to be done, we feel that they represent a solid and positive step forward for clinicians.
Specifically, the Council had before it two proposals to change interpretations to Standard 405(c), which requires that clinicians receive a form of security of position that is “reasonably similar to tenure”, and participation in governance that is “reasonably similar to those provided to other full-time faculty.”
The proposal for SECURITY OF POSITION, as sent to the Council, consisted of an Interpretation of the Standard that provided that a five-year contract, with no presumption of renewal at the end of the contract, would satisfy ABA Standard 405(c). This proposal, although an improvement over the Accreditation Committee's practice of viewing the Standard as satisfied by a three-year contract with no presumption of renewal, was very problematic because of the lack of any reference to a presumption of renewability.
Instead of this language, the Council adopted the following
"For the purposes of this Interpretation, 'long-term contract' means at least a five-year contract that is presumptively renewable, or other arrangement sufficient to protect academic freedom."
Here's how the Council came to this result. A small but significant number of Council members picked up on CLEA's arguments about the need for protection of clinicians' academic freedom and argued that the proposed Interpretation did not go far enough in that it did not protect academic freedom by providing for a presumption of renewability. Other Council members acknowledged the need for protection of clinicians' academic freedom but felt that Deans have to be
afforded flexibility in structuring clinical contracts so long as freedom from political interference is assured. Still other Council members expressed reservations about mandating a five-year term given the comments the Council received that state law in some states prohibits a law school from offering contracts that are longer than one year.
In the end, there appeared to be a majority of Council members willing to build in a provision for a presumption of renewability and retain a five-year term as the norm. At the same time, this majority also recognized that state-law limits
on the length of a contract or other factors might warrant some other type of contractual arrangement if such an alternative arrangement could be shown to be adequate to protect clinicians' academic freedom. At that point, a couple of Council members urged that the Council refrain from adopting the proposed language about presumption of renewability and protection of academic freedom and instead extend the process (by either sending the measure back to the Standards Review Committee for reconsideration or else sending the proposed language out for comment to the entire academic community for review by the Council at a much later time) but these proposals were defeated. The Council then unanimously adopted the language quoted above.
Under the language as adopted, a five year presumptively renewable contract meets the Standards. The Council confirmed during debate that a shorter-term, presumptively renewable contract would also satisfy the Standards, under the “other arrangements” clause. Other contractual arrangements might also satisfy the “other arrangements” language, but only if the law school could justify how those alternate contracts protected the clinician’s academic freedom. Finally, many Council members noted that the new interpretation provided grounds to address concerns about a school’s failure to protect a clinician’s academic freedom through the ABA accreditation process.
The Council’s debate thus shifted the basis of the discussion firmly towards concern for academic freedom. In particular, a group of Deans had written in opposition to the Committee’s proposed changes, indicating that the earlier proposals would ‘micro-manage’ law schools, and would in particular constitute
an unwarranted intrusion on a school’s ability to structure its own employment contracts. This group of opposing Deans had argued that clinicians’ concerns amounted to nothing more than special pleading for job security. The Council turned away from this formulation of the problem. Instead, the Council accepted that the view that protection of clinicians from political interference is a key justification for assuring them security of position.
In short, the clarifying language adopted by the Council reflects a substantial change in the landscape of ABA regulation of clinical security of position, and a solid victory for clinicians. For the first time, “presumptive renewability” or an alternative specifically consistent with protecting academic freedom constitutes the only way to provide clinicians with “security of position reasonably similar to tenure.” Moreover, the language sets a solid bar for length of term: it explicitly designates a five year, presumptively renewable contract as in compliance with the standard. A school must justify any “other arrangements” both against this length and stability of contract, but by reference to protection for a clinician’s academic freedom.
To be sure, work still remains, even under this new language. A five-year, presumptively renewable contract clearly satisfies the Standard; but questions will arise about what “other arrangements” will satisfy that same standard. During Council debate, questions also arose about the strength and content of the presumption of renewal. The Council chose not to resolve these specific questions, leaving their resolution to the accreditation process and to future inspections.
In our view, this language shifts to law schools the burden of justifying their arrangements for security of position forclinicians, and in doing so they must reference protection of academic freedom. CLEA’s ABA Relations Committee and Board will now turn to planning how to address the issues raised by the new interpretation.
The proposal for GOVERNANCE RIGHTS, as sent to the Council, entailed an Interpretation that required law schools to give clinicians “participation in faculty meetings, committees and other aspects of law school governance . . . in a manner reasonably similar to other full-time faculty members.” This language replaced language that required only the “opportunity to participate.” The proposed Interpretation also contains no specific language with respect to voting rights. The tenor of the Council discussions was that clinicians should participate in voting to the same extent as other faculty members. However, the council chose not to mandate “voting”, out of a concern that it would be impossible to regulate all of the different ways in which schools arrange for voting for its faculty. The Council adopted this proposal without substantial debate.
CLEA had already taken a position in support of the Committee’s approach, and the Council’s adoption of the language without debate represents a separate, solid advance. Here again, work still remains, to assure that clinicians obtain full participation in the life of their schools.
Both of these new interpretations now go to the House of Delegates at the ABA Meeting in Chicago in early August. The House can either approve them, or send them back to the Council for reconsideration. Given this, CLEA’s work is not done. CLEA’s ABA Relations Committee will meet within the next 10 days to consider the new language carefully, and to assess what approach CLEA should take towards the August meeting. I invite you to let us know your views about the new language, in particular to any member of the CLEA’s Committee, the membership of which is listed below.
I can’t end without expressing thanks to all those who played a role in moving these changes, and to highlight how CLEA’s work contributed to this result:
– In January, the CLEA Board acted quickly to make advocacy on these issues its top priority for the year.
– Pursuing this charge, CLEA’s ABA Relations Committee formulated a position for CLEA that provided a firm and flexible basis for pursuing this result, throughout the spring and up to the evening of the Santa Fe meeting. Members of that Committee included Jay Pottenger, Margaret Martin Barry, Peter Joy, Gary Palm, Susan Kay, Antoinette Lopez, Michael Pinard,Paula Williams and myself.
– Various members of this Committee also attended all of the public hearings, speaking both publicly and privately to advance CLEA’s concerns, including Jay, Margaret, Peter, Susan, Gary, Antoinette and myself.
– CLEA’s efforts to rebut the rush of decanal opposition, led by Jay Pottenger, and pursued by many clinicians at some risk within their schools, proved of great value. During the Council meeting, Council members could successfully point to
the differences in opinion among deans about the proposed changes as grounds to consider a reworking of the Committee’s proposals.
– Over 300 CLEA members signed a petition in support of CLEA’s position in Chicago and shortly afterwords. The list of CLEA signatures appeared verbatim in the materials distributed to each Council member: over 10 pages of signatures from clinicians and clinical supporters across the country, the most numerous expression of individual opinion before the Council.
- The Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) acted quickly and decisively to help us, writing and hand-delivering a letter of support for CLEA in Chicago, stating its strong support for CLEA’s position.
Finally, the work of the Council’s Standards Review Committee deserves acknowledgment. CLEA sought more than the Committee was prepared to recommend. But the Committee proved able to resist the rush of opposition from deans earlier in the year, and to offer both proposals and commentary that laid the groundwork for the Council’s handling of the issues in Santa Fe. In this context, the work of Martin Burke as Chair, Bob Dinerstein as Vice-Chair and Richard Neumann as a committee member is particularly notable. The discussion of the proposed revisions was thoughtfully and clearly presented by Martin Burke in Sante Fe.
Court TV Consults Clinic Prof in Assault by Vomit Case
Court TV recently turned to John Francis, director of the Law Clinic at Washburn University for an answer to an unusual problem: does vomiting on your teacher constitute a battery? Court TV reports that a Kansas high school student has been charged with battery for throwing up on his Spanish teacher. Francis observed that the prosecutors will have a hard time proving intent in a case involving vomit. Court TV has more on this “up coming” story.
June 21, 2005
Investor Clinics Helping the Small Time Investor
Law students at investor clinics are helping the small time investor in claims against brokerage firms. A recent article by reporter Janet Kidd Stewart reports on eleven investor clinics throughout the country are representing investors whose claims are not large enough to interest law firms, yet may represent the life savings of some small investors.
Last year the newest program, the Investor Protection Center at Northwestern University, won a $120,000 grant from the education arm of the National Association of Securities Dealers to represent small investors and develop a model for more clinics nationwide.
"These types of cases offer our students the same complex issues [as other securities law cases], just not with as many zeros," said J. Samuel Tenenbaum, an assistant law professor at Northwestern and director of the Chicago center. Under the direction of Tenenbaum and other Northwestern faculty--including former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman David Ruder--law students at the start-up clinic have combed through about 30 potential cases this year and are investigating four of them, Tenenbaum said.
Older centers around the U.S. report that each handle 100 to 150 investor inquiries annually and pursue up to 20 cases to arbitration or settlement. Students have responded enthusiastically to the investor protection cases. Explains Daniel Sweeney, an '05 graduate of Duquesne Law School's securities clinic, "[w]ith these cases there is a sense of urgency to do the best you can," Sweeney said. "There's added pressure because for a lot of these people the losses represent all they have and they're depending on you."
Innocence Project Looking To Fill Three New Positions
The Innocence Project at Cardozo Law School is accepting applications for three new positions in its policy department: a Policy_Advocate, a Policy Analyst, and a Research_Analyst. The Innocence Project The Innocence Project is a non-profit legal clinic and criminal justice reform organization affiliated with the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva. Located in New York City, the Innocence Project represents clients and pursues reform initiatives throughout the United States. The Innocence Project was founded in late 1992 by Barry C. Scheck and Peter J. Neufeld, who continue today as the Project's Co-Directors.
June 20, 2005
A Boy, a Cat, and the Power of Stories
Thinking about the power of narrative and client counseling, problem solving, case planning, or ethics? Texas Wesleyan University School of Law is co-sponsoring a conference on The Power of Stories: Intersections of Law, Culture, and Literature, that will be held in Gloucester, England, July 24-26, 2005. The conference celebrates the 400th anniversary of the story of Dick Whittington and His Cat.
Among the scheduled topics:
"Did Richard Whittington Even Own a Cat?: The Ethics of Telling Stories to Unwitting Clients”—Steven Johansen, Lewis and Clark Law School
“The Dick Whittington Story: Theories of Poor Relief, Social Ambition, and Possibilities for Class Transformation”—Helen Hershkoff, New York Univ. School of Law
“Stop Stepping on My Story!: Using Character-and Conflict-Framing to Prevent Cross-Cultural Missteps and Misunderstandings”—Brian Foley, Florida Coastal School of Law
“Summoning Calliope as the New Muse of Legal Storytelling: Writing about Our Clients as Heroes”—Ruth Anne Robbins, Univ. of Rutgers School of Law-Camden
Among the social events are historic walks and a joust (presumably between re-enactors, not law professors).You can get more information about the conference at the Glouster conference website.
Tulane Law Clinic Victorious in Landfill Litigation
The Tulane Law School Environmental Law Clinic successfully challenged an industrial waste landfill contract in St. Helena Parish, Louisiana. Tulane filed the lawsuit in 2003 on behalf of George Washington, an indigent resident of the parish. The Louisiana Environmental Action Network joined Tulane in the suit.
The contested 50-year landfill contract was endorsed by a parish Police Jury. Later, when citizens objected to the contract, the Police Jury sought to cancel the contract. Mr. Washington, and other concerned citizens, sued after the waste disposal company refused to terminate the landfill contract. The story is reported in yesterday's Baton Rouge Advocate.
Innocence Project Helps Rally Support for Dechaine Exoneration
Dennis Dechaine's supporters say he has been wrongfully convicted. And, Dechaine's supporters are an unusually large and diverse group. In addition to the support of the Innocence Project, Dechaine enjoys the backing of Trial & Error, a group devoted to seeing Dechaine get a new trial. Controversy over the Dechaine case has ranged from statewide legislative debates to hometown disputes. Even as the Maine legislature considered a resolution that the Maine Attorney General consent to a new trial, local Bath, Maine residents argued over whether Trial & Error should be allowed to participate in the annual Fourth of July parade.
South African Clinic Combats Anti-Immigrant Policing Campaigns
The University of the Witwatersrand Law Clinic is in the South African news this morning. According to today's online edition of the Star, Wits Law Clinic and the Wits Forced Migration Studies Programme are actively fighting the unlawful detention of immigrants in South Africa. Immigrants who are detained are often subject to violence and extortion by police and immigration officials.
The Wits Law Clinic has been in operation for almost twenty years. It is renowned for its work, particularly in areas of public interest law and claims against the State as a result of police brutality. You can read the Star article or select the learn more about the Wits Law Clinic.
As described on the Clinic's website:
"It started as a small advice office with the assistance of students who participated on a voluntary basis. In 1989 the course Practical Legal Studies became a compulsory course for all final year law students. With increased student numbers, the Clinic was able to provide legal advice and assistance to more people than before. During 1993 the Attorney’s Act was amended to enable candidate attorneys to serve their articles of clerkship at a properly constituted and accredited law clinic. Many candidate attorneys have since entered the Attorneys profession having been trained at the Clinic. During 1994 the Wits Law Clinic entered into a partnership agreement with the Legal Aid Board in terms of which the Clinic is operated in conjunction with Legal Aid Board. Today, the Wits Law Clinic is one of the biggest law clinics of its kind in South Africa, and is renowned for its work, particularly in areas of public interest law and claims against the State as a result of police brutality.
"The Clinic has a twofold purpose: Firstly, the Clinic acts as a teaching institution, where final year law students are taught the practise of law. Secondly, the Clinic renders legal services to the poor and marginalised communities of greater Johannesburg.
"The Clinic is currently staffed by eight practising attorneys, eight to thirteen candidate attorneys, an office manager, a bookkeeper, three secretaries, two filing clerks and a receptionist."
June 18, 2005
CLEA Seeks Input on Changes to Bylaws
The CLEA Board is seeking input about a proposed change to the CLEA bylaws.
At the Chicago conference in May, the CLEA Board considered a series of proposed changes to the CLEA bylaws. The Board adopted three of these changes, rejected a fourth, and deferred final vote on a fifth proposal. (Each proposal is described below.) The unresolved proposal relates to a member's eligibility to become CLEA's President. The Board deferred voting in order to solicit members' feedback about the proposed change.
CLEA is actively soliciting member feedback about the unresolved proposal; CLEA would also welcome feedback on any of the other changes.
CLEA President Alex Scherr describes the bylaws proposals as follows:
ELIGIBILITY TO BECOME CLEA PRESIDENT (Deferred)
The Bylaws currently provide that CLEA’s President, Treasurer and Secretary can be elected without first having served on the CLEA Board. The Bylaws only require that candidates for these positions be CLEA members. The Board considered but ultimately decided not to change that approach for Treasurer or Secretary; both positions carry three year terms, and both involve duties that were technical enough that looking outside the Board made sense.
However, the Board debated whether to require that candidates for President come from the Board. (As a reminder, the Bylaws provide for a three year cycle for President: election as Vice-President, followed automatically by President and Immediate Past President positions.) The Board discussed differing views about restricting eligibility for the presidency to serving Board members.
On the one hand, in recent years, the scope and complexity of CLEA activities has increased significantly. Given this, one could argue that it takes a year of Board service, followed by a year as Vice-President, to get a good handle on all of the different directions and alliances that CLEA faces in the course of a given year.
On the other hand, CLEA has also had a long tradition of openness and small-‘d’ democratic values, and has encouraged input from its members. Given this, one could argue that requiring a year of board service would make the president less responsive to the concerns of members, and would restrict the ability of members to change the direction of the organization.
Want to share your thoughts with CLEA? E-mail Alex Scherr.
ELECTRONIC ELECTIONS (Approved)
The Bylaws formerly provided for elections of Board members and officers by paper ballot, and strongly implied (without so stating) that electronic elections were not allowed. In recent years, the scale and expense of paper balloting has become a major expense item, albeit one subsidized by contributions from various law schools. At the same time, the Board recognizes risks in electronic balloting, both for confidentiality and for reaching the membership. The Board felt that the time had come to develop specific proposals for electronic balloting, perhaps as early as this year. We voted to amend the bylaws to permit the Board to approve electronic balloting; the Secretary will develop proposals for an electronic balloting system, which must be approved by the Board before implementation.
EX OFFICIO STATUS FOR OFFICERS (Approved)
The Bylaws formerly indicated that the officers of CLEA (vice-President, President, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer) would each serve on the Board in an "ex officio" capacity. This created some confusion in counting Board members, and in determining voting status. In Chicago, the Board voted to strike the "ex officio" designation, and to permit each officer to serve as full members of the Board during their term as officer.
ELECTRONIC VOTING BY CLEA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (Approved)
CLEA’s bylaws already permit electronic voting by the full Board. The Bylaws also provide for an Executive Committee of the Board that consists of the organization’s officers (vice-President, President, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer). The Executive Committee is authorized to act only when "action is needed prior to the next scheduled meeting of the Board," and notice of its actions must be given to the full Board within 20 days. The Board voted to permit the Executive Committee to vote by e-mail.
TWO YEAR TERMS FOR PRESIDENT (Rejected)
For some time, the idea of extending the term of the President to two years has been mentioned as a way of assuring some continuity of expertise in CLEA leadership. On consideration, however, the Board elected NOT to change the bylaws, which currently provide for election as vice-president, then president, then immediate past president.
June 16, 2005
Poverty Law Center Offers Resources to Law Clinics
The Sargent Shriver National Poverty Law Center wants to be sure that all law clinics have full access to the valuable resources available through the Center. The Shriver Center is a national resource that champions law and policy promoting equal opportunity and support for low-income individuals, families, and communities so that they can escape poverty permanently. Its tools include advocacy, policy development, and communications.
The Center's recent report on barriers to public benefits, Accessing the Safety Net: Administrative Barriers to Public Benefits in Metropolitan Chicago exemplifies its collaborative approach to research and action, that seeks to create an information channel among advocates, grass-roots groups, researchers, policymakers and lawmakers.
Want to know more? The Shriver Center publishes the Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law & Policy, manages an extensive poverty law library of case documents and includes a national technology project.
To guarantee easy access to the Shriver Center's resources, the Clinical Law Blog will include the Shriver Center website on our list of Public Interest links.
Thanks to the Shriver Center for reaching out to Clinical Law Blog.
University of Cape Town Legal Aid Clinic Seeks Clinical Supervisor
The University of Cape Town Law School is seeking a clinical supervisor for its Legal Aid Clinic. UCT Legal Aid Clinic was started by law students, including the present Dean, in 1973. It was the first clinic of its kind and operated as a legal advice office at SHAWCO Centres in the peninsula. In 2004, there were five attorneys, one candidate attorney, an administrator and 14 students. Students work in the Legal Aid Clinic as part of their academic course work.
The fundamental goal of the UCT Legal Aid Clinic is to provide practical legal education and legal services to people who cannot afford lawyers. The outreach aspect of the clinic is at the core of the its work, with satellite clinics operating in Athlone, Kensington. The clinic also provides back-up legal services for community-based advice offices. Finally, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees funds two Refugee Counsellors, Ms Fatima Khan and Ms Nyaradzo Machingambi, who run the clinic's Refugee Rights Project. This Project helps refugees and asylum-seekers in making claims for asylum and in the search for durable solutions such as repatriation, resettlement and local integration.
Law Clinic Aids in Decision Overturning Death Penalty
Boalt Hall's Death Penalty Clinic played a leading role in Monday's Supreme Court decision overturning the conviction and death sentence of Thomas Miller-El for a 1985 murder. As amicus, writing on behalf of judges and former prosecutors, the clinic argued that the prosecution in Miller-El's trial had systematically discriminated against prospective jurors who were African-American.
Says Prof. Elisabeth Semel, (pictured below (left) with student Sarah Ray (middle) and Prof. Charles Wiesselberg (right)),the case will have "a system wide impact" in more sharply defining the Supreme Court's thinking about the issue of potential racial discrimination in jury selection. The clinic's high impact amicus brief was developed by the students, professors, and the Washington D.C. law firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. Get the full story on the clinic's website.
June 15, 2005
Kyrgyzstan Diary: The Shootout
This is the third installment of the Kyrgyzstan Diary. In it, Jeff Renz describes being caught in the recent political violence.
Talai and I were in the store discussing terms and prices with the owner when we heard shouting in the direction from where we had come. We looked out the window and saw people marching down Kurmonjon Datke in our direction. Women were in front, many carrying sticks, shouting. Some of the more astute customers in the store bailed out of the building and ran up the street, all assholes and elbows, as we used to say in the Army.
Then I saw the pistols and the march became an interesting combination of First and Second Amendment rights.
Guns are designed for a purpose and it is not to carry protest signs. Very quickly people began shooting. We learned later that 200 of Erkembaev's supporters had been gathered at his building for the previous two days. We couldn't tell who had started shooting or why. But there we were, like the farm family at Hougamont, with front row seats to an intensifying gun battle. News reports would later call it a riot.
Front row seats were undesirable at this point so, with Talai's help, we started getting people on the floor, away from the windows, and into a back room. Our efforts were aided by the two rounds that came through the front windows of the store. With everyone down, we made a flurry of phone calls, to Greg, to Peace Corps volunteers, to Talai's relatives, to anybody on my mobile phone's directory, to tell them to either stay put or go home, but by all means stay away from the corner of Kurmonjon Datke and Arvanskaye. I also called Jim Carney, who is the Montana Army National Guard's man in Bishkek. Carney, in turn, alerted the Embassy's security people.
I had been a Ranger qualified infantry officer for four years, so I wasn't worried about stray rounds. We were above street level and the walls of the building, inside and outside, were four inch thick cement and mudbrick. Anything that came in would go high. As long as we sat down and stayed away from the windows, everyone would be okay. One of the guys started shutting the window to the back room, as if this might give us some protection. I told him to leave it open, since flying glass was the greater threat.
My primary concern was that this shootout would be followed by looting and that we would be in a very bad place if someone was looking for a new hard drive. We had men and women as well as an infant with us. None of them had a clue about what to do. Talai and I tried to keep their spirits up.
After about 15 minutes, 100 shots, and a loud crescendo, the firing stopped. The militsia had arrived. We were now part of a crime scene. So we had to remain in the building.
We looked outside and saw the two warring factions, guns no longer visible, to the north and south of our building and separated by police. Investigators were on Kurmonjon Datke videotaping spent cartridges, ricochet marks, bullet holes, and the Molotov cocktail that someone had left on the sidewalk in front of the computer store. I hadn't seen any casualties and now I could not see any evidence of casualties. We later heard rumors of dead and wounded.
After it was over and I had rendezvoused with Greg, we encountered one of our law faculty colleagues.
"Was it politics or drugs?" Greg asked. Our colleague grinned and meshed the fingers of his two hands together as if to pray.
"They are inseparable," he said.
Welcome to Osh.
Dr. Michael Naugton of the University of Bristol Law School is the director of a new Innocence Project. The clinic is modeled after Innocence Project clinics in the United States and, according to the University, this is the first such project in the United Kingdom. Bristol law students will work on 'live client' cases of alleged wrongful convictions in collaboration with local criminal defence lawyers.
Naughton is a widely-published scholar on criminal justice issues and frequently writes about wrongful convictions. You can learn more about the project by reading an article in the June 14, 2005 Guardian.
Clinic Prof Active in Gitmo Litigation
A June 13, 2005, Detroit News article states that University of Michigan Law School Associate Dean for Clinical Programs Bridget McCormack is participating with two other Ann Arbor attorneys in filing legal challenges on behalf of three Guantanamo Bay detainees. According to the article, their lawsuit is one of about 50 such suits for detainees.
June 14, 2005
Great Summer Reading ... Written by a Clinic Prof
Slow summer? Looking for a good read to spark some teaching zeal? Look no further. Prof. Stacy Caplow's story, Dead to Write, is the perfect antidote for a looming case of summertime slump. Dead to Write won first prize in the fiction category of the Clinical Legal Education Association's creative writing contest. Click to download and read the story: caplow_deadtowrite.pdf.
News on Clinic Profs in Kyrgyzstan
"We're fine. It was not a riot, it was a firefight. My Osh State colleague and I were caught in the middle of it. I'll send you a first hand account tonight for the blog. Sorry I can't send a picture of the location, it's still a crime scene."
What can I say? We clinicians are tough. Stay tuned for Jeff's first hand account of the "firefight" in Osh.
June 13, 2005
Clinic Prof Is a Life Saver as She Runs Death Penalty College
In late May, the University of Michigan Law School hosted its sixth Clarence Darrow Death Penalty Defense College, which is designed to help defense attorneys hone their skills through hands-on workshops that focus on the attorneys' current death penalty cases.
Associate Professor Andrea Lyon is the college's founder and director. Lyon directs the DePaul Center for Justice in Capital Cases and supervises that DePaul Law School’s Death Penalty Legal Clinic. Lyon explains that the college is "not about innocence. It’s about saving people’s lives." And the program has been successful in that goal. Since 2000 when the college was started, attorneys have brought more than 120 capital cases to the college. Lyon knows of only one case among the 120 that did not result in a plea bargain or life instead of a death sentence. That one exception was a case in which the defendant dismissed his attorney and asked to be executed.
Kyrgyzstan Diary: Trouble in Kara Suu
There are new rumblings of trouble in Kyrgyzstan and last night a group of approximately 100 armed men attacked a hotel in Osh. But Jeff Renz and Greg Munro remain precisely where the trouble is: in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, working to save Kyrgyzstan's fledging law clinic:
We were at the local jail when the troubles broke out in Uzbekistan. We were scheduled for a meeting with the militsia chief. A jailbreak in Andijan, we were told. Shootings. Problems at the border. Sorry, maybe another day.
Osh is 60 km. from Andijan and only a few miles from the Uzbek border. The problems were nearby.
A few days later, we were in class. You could hear the jet engines of helicopters in the distance. Our interpreter looked distressed. She was distressed. That is Kara Suu, she said.
Kara Suu means black water or black river. There are two Kara Suu's, one on the Uzbek side and one on the Kyrgyz side of the border. They are both east of Osh. (At left, a picture of military action in Kara Suu, from NOVOSTI, the Russian News & Information Agency) Refugees had fled from Uzbekistan to the Kyrgyz Kara Suu. The Uzbek Kara Suu had "seceded" to protest the government's massacre in Andijan. They had rebuilt a bridge over the stream that separated them from Kyrgyzstan. We could not tell the helicopters' destination—Kara Suu, KG, or Kara Suu, UZ. We only knew that the Kyrgyz didn't have that many helicopters.
If you kill civilians and arrest others, including human rights activists, the people will quiet down for a time. But the underlying problem remains. Uzbekistan is not run for its citizens. So tension continues and grows. Last week we pulled our Peace Corps volunteers from Uzbekistan, giving them 24 hours notice. Greg's aunt, who he had planned to visit, was one of them. He has cancelled his plans.
We do not know when Uzbekistan will erupt again. We only know that it will.
What the heck they were all terrorists and Islamic terrorists,
terrorists of the sort you never want to meet and now you never will.
They were terrorists who worshiped God, but not as I told them, so they are terrorists, all of them, even those who crossed the river.
Yes, they were terrorists who obeyed God, but not me,
those who sat in the square, especially those who sat in the square to defy me.
So I shot the terrorists, even the little ones, the future terrorists, shot with my machine guns on my BRDMs and my helicopters.
What does the world care, what do they want to know? Only that they are terrorists.
So I tell the world, they were all terrorists, and Islamic terrorists, of the sort you never want to meet and now you never will, and the world understands.
What of the Americans? I know the Americans. I know them better than they know themselves.
The eager Americans, the hapless Americans, the naive Americans. They ask, who is he? I need only answer, I am you, and they dance with me.
I know the Americans who forgave mass murderers to fight communism, who forgive mass murderers who fight Islamic extremism, who will forgive all who fight terrorism, and especially forgive those who fight Islamic terrorism,
Terrorism of the sort you never want to know and now you never will.
The Americans have a saying, borrow a thousand and the bank owns you, borrow a million and you own the bank.
I own the Americans and their millions. In their airbase built to fight terrorism, in their soldiers brought to fight terrorism.
I, who have survived intrigues that would have brought down the princes of Khokand.
What of that little town? Who did they think they were? They left me. They left the nation but to what purpose if not terrorism? For what reason? To join the Kirgiz, drunk on kumis? To be free?
They left to be terrorists, they left to harbor terrorists, to breed terrorists. They left because they are terrorists and Islamic terrorists, terrorists of the sort you never want to visit and now you never will.
Who cares? The Americans have leveled towns for less. They have destroyed cities for less, searching for terrorists, searching for arms.
I have only reclaimed a town, I have reclaimed it from the terrorists,I have destroyed the terrorists, and brought black death down upon Kara Suu, a place of the sort you never knew, and now you never will.
Want more information? You can learn more about Kyrgyzstan in general, see a U.S. Department of State Report on Trafficking in Persons in Kyrgyzstan, or find out more about the role law clinics are playing in the legal reform movement in Kyrgyzstan.
The Kyrgyzstan Diary is a special feature provided by Univerity of Montanta Law Professors Jeff Renz (left) and Greg Munro (right). Please use the e-mail your questions or comments to me and I'll pass them on to Jeff, Greg, and their colleagues in Osh, and post their responses.
Fordham Hosts Domestic Violence Policy Meeting
Tomorrow, Fordham University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child Advocacy will host a forum, “Mandated Reporting of Neglect, In Light of the Nicholson Decision.” The Nicholson case was a class action lawsuit that challenged the child welfare practices of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Children’s and women’s advocates claimed that the City's welfare practices punished domestic violence victims and their children rather than protecting them. ACS recently settled the suit by agreeing not to remove children from battered mothers and not to charge that victims of domestic violence are neglectful parents.
The Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child Advocacy is a joint project of the Graduate School of Social Services, Fordham Law School, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Psychology. The center’s mission is to promote collaboration between law, social work and psychology, in the areas of child abuse and neglect and domestic violence. At the Fordham Law School Clinic, students from all three schools work on interdisciplinary teams supervised by law, social work and psychology faculty with cases involving child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence, special education and children's disability. A full-time social work professor is housed at the clinic.
The forum will take place on Tuesday, June 14, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. in the McNally Amphitheatre, 140 West 62nd Street, New York, New York.
Panelists will include: Charles Carson, Esq., general counsel at the New York State Office of Children and Family Services; David Lansner, Esq., a partner at Lansner and Kubistchek; Lyn Doris of Women in Need, Inc.; Kenneth Lau of Children FIRST; and George Lewert from the New York Presbyterian Medical Center. Mary Jane Cotter, J.D., M.S.W., will moderate the panel discussion.
For more information about the forum, contact Dorothy Johnson-Laird at (212) 636-6342 or email@example.com.
Clinic Prof. Wins ACLU Award
University of Miami law professor Bernard P. Perlmutter is the 2005 recipient of Miami ACLU’s C. Clyde Atkins Civil Liberties Award. Perlmutter, who is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Legal Education and Director of the Children and Youth Law Clinic, received the award for his extensive work regarding legal protection for juveniles.
In making the award, the ACLU issued the following statement: "As a litigator and professor, Bernard Perlmutter has been an unsung hero providing front-line protection of the civil liberties of children. Bernie represented the child M.W. before the Florida Supreme Court in the landmark case of M.W. v. Davis & DCF, which resulted in the Court's adoption of Florida Rule of Juvenile Procedure 8.350, which establishes due process protections for foster children committed to state psychiatric facilities. Bernie has litigated numerous federal and state class action lawsuits seeking to reform Florida's foster care system, and submitted amicus curiae briefs in a number of cases of national significance. Whether arguing a case on behalf of an individual child, training law students, or fighting for institutional reform, Bernie Perlmutter has been a powerful advocate for children's rights. The Miami ACLU is indeed proud to honor Bernard Perlmutter with the 2005 C. Clyde Atkins Civil Liberties Award."
You can see Perlmutter's bio here.
Census of Law Professor Bloggers
This morning's PrawfsBlawg has an interesting census of the current law professor blogging population. They report that 103 law professors currently blog; we have 24 law professors who blog as part of our Law Professor Blogs Network.
PrawfsBlawg notes that of the 103 law professor bloggers, 80.6% (83) are male and 19.4% (20) are female. The comparable numbers for the 24 members of the Law Professor Blogs Network: 62.5% (15) male and 37.5% (9) female.
Here are the law schools with the most law professor bloggers:
Law Schools with Most Law Prof Bloggers
Number of Bloggers
June 12, 2005
News on Hofstra Housing Clinic's Rent-Increase Lawsuit
According to Newsday, Hofstra's Housing Rights Law Clinic just won a partial victory in a suit filed on behalf of tenants in rent-controlled apartments. The suit alleged that rent increases that were imposed in June, 2003, should be invalidated because the Board failed to provide a specific rationale justifying those increases.
The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court has awarded the tenant group a partial victory against the Nassau County Rent Guidelines Board, ordering the Board to give a rationale for rent increases imposed in 2003-04. However, the court did not overturn the increases. To learn more, you can read the the Newsday story or check out Hofstra's clinics.
Clinic Professor Wins Excellence-in-Teaching Award
Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor Harry Gruener received the Student Bar Association (SBA) Excellence-in-Teaching Award at the May 28 Pitt law commencement ceremony. Gruener served as an adjunct professor at Pitt, teaching the Family Law course in 1998, and now serves as the associate director of the Family Law curriculum, designing and teaching additional courses within that area. Gruener achieved full-time faculty status this year, which made him eligible for the Excellence-in-Teaching award. Upon receiving the award, Gruener told the graduates and their families, “No greater honor can come to a teacher than the respect of his or her students.”
June 11, 2005
What Business Schools Can Learn from Law Clinics
Should business schools develop a clinical curriculum? Maybe so. In the May issue of the Harvard Business Review Professors Warren G. Bennis and James O'Toole argue that the typical business school curriculum needs major reform. Their article, How Business Schools Lost Their Way, (on Westlaw at 2005 WLNR 8022923) argues that "many leading B schools have quietly adopted an inappropriate - and ultimately self-defeating - model of academic excellence." As a result, "the focus of graduate business education has become ... less and less relevant to practitioners." In short, "business schools are institutionalizing their own irrelevance."
Their prescription for reform? More novels, fewer equations, and hands-on training in business skills. The authors suggest that "running businesses, offering internships [and] encouraging action research" will help "business school faculties . . .rediscover the practice of business."
No surprise then that their ideas have generated some controversy in the business school world. A June 5, 2005 article in the Boston Globe recounts some of the responses to the suggestions made by Professors Bennis and O'Toole.
CrimProf Blog Spotlights Michael Simons
Check out the Crimprof Blog's spotlight on Michael Simons, of St. John's University School of Law. Prof. Simons directs St. John's Prosecution Clinic. You can use the Comments link below to ask Prof. Simons questions about his program.
June 10, 2005
Stanford Clinic Successfully Settles Student Suit
The Stanford Youth and Education Law Clinic has just settled a closely watched civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of wrongfully expelled minority students. The lawsuit, Smith v. Berkeley Unified School District, was a federal class action filed by African American and Latino students after they were wrongfully expelled from Berkeley High School. The students alleged that they were denied their constitutional right to a formal hearing before being excluded from school for various disciplinary reasons.
As part of the settlement in the case, the Berkeley School District has committed to respect the constitutional rights of students, and to reduce the disproportionate impact of its policies on students of color. Once the district court approves the consent decree, the affected students will be reinstated to school and will receive tutoring and other services to compensate for the time they were wrongfully excluded.
The law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop and San Francisco-based Legal Services for Children joined Prof. Bill Koski and Stanford Law School's Youth and Education Law Clinic in championing the rights of the Berkeley students.
Conference on Learning Outside the Classroom
The Institute for Law School Teaching is holding its annual summer conference July 14 through July 16, at Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington. The conference title is "Learning Outside the Classroom" and will focus on the learning students do when they are not in class, and how law professors can facilitate that learning.
For detailed information on the conference you may go to the Institute's website at www.law.gonzaga.edu/ilst, and look at the current issue of The Law Teacher, or at the page entitled "Next Institute Conference." You may also contact Elizabeth Bowen, the Institute's Coordinator.
Students Win Columbia Law School Clinical Awards
The Jane Marks Murphy Prize, awarded annually to the students who display exceptional interest and proficiency in advocacy in clinical offerings, and who give promise of a professional career, applying the highest standards of the lawyer's craft to service of the public interest:
Yani Indrajana ‘05
Jonathan B. Miller ‘05
Margaret D. Williams ‘05
Outstanding Student Award, presented by the Clinical Legal Education Association to a student nominated by the faculty of Columbia Law School for excellence in clinical fieldwork based on the high quality of representation provided clients and for outstanding participation in an accompanying clinical seminar as determined by exemplary thoughtfulness and self reflectiveness in exploring pertinent legal and lawyering issues:
Matthew E. Hoffman ‘05
Juliette V. Riviere ‘06
Anna E. Wagner ‘06
Congratulations to all.
Clinical Teaching Fellowship
Stanford Law School's Immigrants' Rights Clinic seeks applicants for a two-year clinical teaching fellowship. The fellowship provides applicants with the opportunity to learn to teach law in a clinical setting while working on individual cases representing non-citizens in a variety of proceedings. After a training period, the Fellow will supervise law students enrolled in the Immigrants' Rights Clinic.
Interested applicants must have 2 to 5 years experience practicing law, and must have represented non-citizens in immigration court for at least 1 to 2 years. Individuals with language capacity in an Asian language (Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, etc.) or Spanish are particularly encouraged to apply.
The Immigrants' Rights Clinic was established in 2004 by Associate Professor of Law Jayashri Srikantiah. Students in the clinic represent individual non-citizens and conduct legal advocacy, and receive an intense educational experience under the close supervision of their clinical supervisor. The Clinic represents individual clients in a variety of matters, including naturalization proceedings, immigration court hearings on behalf of non-citizens with criminal convictions, and applications to secure status for non-citizen survivors of domestic violence. The Clinic also conducts legal advocacy on behalf of immigrants' rights organizations in a variety of areas, including advocating for immigrants in detention, assisting local organizations with grassroots organizing, developing and distributing know-your-rights materials, and enabling immigrants' rights groups to access legal services.
Subject to the fellow's availability, the fellowship term will begin in September, 2005. Applicants must have demonstrated commitment to public interest lawyering and immigrants' rights advocacy. Applicants must also possess strong academic credentials. The salary is competitive with other public interest fellowships, commensurate with experience.
Complete applications are due by July 8, 2005 to Professor Jayashri Srikantiah, Stanford Law School, Crown Quadrangle, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, California, 94305-8610 or can be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications should include:
· A short statement (one page) describing: (1) prior experience in providing legal services to non-citizens; (2) other public interest experience; (3) aspirations for future public interest and/or clinical legal education work; and (4) information relevant to the applicant's potential for clinical supervision and teaching;
· Writing sample (10 – 15 pages);
· List of at least three references; and
· Law school transcript.
More information about the Immigrants Rights' Clinic can be found at www.law.stanford.edu/clinics/irc. Stanford Law School is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, gender, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other prohibited category. Stanford strongly encourages women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and all qualified persons to apply for this position.
June 9, 2005
SLU Law Clinic Considers Suit
From a recent news release: John Ammann, Director of the St. Louis University Law Clinic indicates that a shift in Missouri's adoption subsidies policy may lead to litigation. According to the report, "Ammann said the issue partly centers on the contracts parents sign when they adopt a child from foster care. The state plans to renegotiate those contracts annually. Ammann questions whether that's legal. But more fundamentally, Ammann said the cuts could violate federal restrictions on the adoption of children from foster care." Keep an eye on Clinical Law Blog to see whether SLU Law Clinic and adoptive parents take action.
Reminder: Northeast Regional Clinical Workshop
The Northeast Regional Clinical Workshop, Coming Into Community, will be held on June 16 - 18 in Bristol and Providence, Rhode Island. The workshop is being hosted by the Roger Williams University Law Clinics.
Recommendations for Tenure and Promotion for Idaho Clinical Faculty
This news from the University of Idaho's monthly alumni newsletter: "Upon unanimous recommendation of the law faculty and dean, Associate Professor Monica Schurtman has been approved for tenure by the Provost and President of the University. Upon similarly unanimous recommendation of the law faculty and dean, and endorsement by the university-wide promotion review committee, Associate Professor and Clinic Director Maureen Laflin has been approved by the Provost and President of the University for promotion to the rank of (full) Professor of Law. Both personnel actions will become effective in the 2005-06 academic year."
Conference on Victims' Rights
The Lewis & Clark Law School Crime Victim Litigation Clinic and the affiliated National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) will host the 4th Annual Crime Victim Law & Litigation Conference on June 17-18, 2005, in Portland, Oregon. The Conference will offer three different curriculum emphases: Foundational Victim Law; Sexual Assault; and Advanced Victim Law.The Conference will also be the occasion of an awards ceremony honoring Lewis & Clark Professor Doug Beloof. Beloof, who directs the Crime Victim Litigation Clinic, will receive the Professional Innovation in Victim Service Award.
As part of the Silver Anniversary of the The National Crime Victim Law Institute, federal funders have announced grants to three new victim rights clinics. According to the NCVLI, these new clinics add up to a national total of nine victim rights clinics. The new grantees include the Victim's Rights Clinic at the University of Idaho Legal Aid Clinic and the New Jersey Crime Victims' Law Center (a joint project with the Seton Hall School of Law Center for Social Justice).
A quick look at the conference agenda demonstrates how law clinics are shaping the future of victims' rights law. want to comment about the role of law clinics in developing this new area of law? Post your thoughts below.
June 8, 2005
Coal Mining Fight Makes Strange Bedfellows: Environmental Clinic and Civil War Group Threaten to Sue
On behalf of the Austin Civil War Roundtable and other citizen groups, the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic has served a formal Notice of Intent to sue the Dolet Hills Lignet Mine for a violation of the Clean Water Act. The Dolet mining permit authorizes mining across several thousand acres of the Civil War battlefield in Mansfield, Louisiana.
The Mansfield Battlefield was the site of an important 1864 fight between Union and Confederate troops. The Plaintiffs argue that the site contains important historical artifacts and unmarked human burial sites. Learn more about the controversy by reading the notice and press release on the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic website.
Supreme Court Win for Stanford Clinic
The Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic logged another victory, this time on behalf of disabled persons. Directed by Prof. Pamela Karlan, and Goldstein & Howe partners Thomas Goldstein and Amy Howe, the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic assigns teams of law students to draft petitions for certiorari and amicus briefs; prepare advocates in clinic-related cases for oral argument; and provide advice to other attorneys appearing before the Court.
The clinic's recent victory in Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line is the program's third merits victory this term. Watch for other Supreme Court opinions and arguments in which the Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic played a role. In particular, keep an eye on Gonzales v. Crosby, a habeas corpus case argued in April 2005, and Tum v. Barbour Foods, a Fair Labor Standards Act case that will be argued in the October term.
What You Need to Know About the ABA Standards Fight
CLEA President Alex Scherr has prepared this primer on the fight over proposed changes to Chapter Four of the A.B.A. Standards for Approval of Law Schools.
The A.B.A.'s Council on Legal Education and Admissions to the (the "Council") is now considering revisions to the standards that govern the certification of law schools. Last fall, the Council referred two proposals to a sub-committee (the "Standards Review Committee") relating to clinician participation in governance and clinician security of position. The proposals did not change the underlying standard, which requires both security and governance rights that are "reasonably similar" to those enjoyed by full-time, tenure-track faculty.
The proposals would change the formal interpretations of this standard, in two ways:
- one change would state that schools that provide five year renewable contracts to clinicians would have satisfied the standard requiring a form of security "reasonably similar to tenure." This formalizes and extends a previously unstated rule that three year renewable contracts satisfy the requirement. NOTE: under this proposal, the five year contracts would be renewable, but not presumptively renewable. This distinguishes them both from tenure and from contracts that are renewable except for good cause.
- the other change would require schools to accord clinical faculty full participation in governance, allowing them to vote at faculty meetings to the same extent as other full-time faculty. Instead of the former language requiring "an opportunity to participate", the proposal requires "participation". The proposal also specified that "participation" must extend to "faculty meetings, committees, and other aspects of . . . law school governance". NOTE: as initially published by the Council, this change left an implication that schools might not be required to permit clinicians to vote on personnel matters.
For more information or to get involved, e-mail Alex Scherr or other members of CLEA's A.B.A. Relations Committee. They are Margaret Barry, Jon Dubin, Peter Joy, Susan Kay, Gary Palm, Michael Pinard, Jay Pottenger, and Paula Williams.
June 7, 2005
St. John's LL.M. Student Argues Amicus to En Banc U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
Bill Bensinger, a student in the St. John’s University School of Law LL.M. in Bankruptcy program, recently argued an amicus brief before an en banc panel of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. What makes the brief and the oral argument unique? They were produced as part of Bensinger's law school course work in the St. John's LL.M. in Bankruptcy program. Bensinger's amicus brief was ultimately filed on behalf of nine bankruptcy law professors, each from a different law school.
Richard Lieb, Director of the St. John's Institute for Bankruptcy Policy developed the idea for the amicus brief course based on his experience two years ago preparing a Supreme Court amicus brief for a group of law professors on a bankruptcy sovereign immunity issue. (Lieb is pictured above with student Bill Bensinger). According to Professor G. Ray Warner, Director of the St. John’s LL.M. in Bankruptcy Program,“This is the only law school course we know of that is focused on the writing of an amicus brief in a real case.” St. John's website has more information about the case and the amicus program.
Suffolk Clinic Attorneys Honored as "Human Heroes"
Suffolk Prof. William Berman and clinic graduate Jared Olanoff, JD '04 are Human Heroes to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA). Berman and Olanoff were honored with the MSPCA's "Human Hero Award" for their representation of public housing residents fighting to keep companion pets in their homes.
“The new pet policy contained an exception for people with disabilities,” explained Berman, “and a number of our clients were disabled people who relied on their pets to help them. Yet the Housing Authority rejected our clients’ claims under this exception.” So, the Suffolk Housing and Consumer Protection Clinic took on the pet owners' cases. But, the clinic didn't take on the work alone. Instead, the clinic worked with local organizations and with the Chesterfield Smith Community Service Fellows in the Boston-based law firm of Holland & Knight.
From the perspective of clinic student Jared Olanoff, the "pet cases" were what made his law school experience so special. Olanoff began working on the cases during the summer after his first year in law school, when he interned at Suffolk's Legal Services office in Chelsea. Through the Housing and Consumer Protection Clinic, Olanoff continued working on the cases as they developed. Says Olanoff, "this enabled me to develop both as a person and a lawyer. I went to bat for people whose homes were on the line, and I discovered a disturbing trend of discrimination against people with disabilities." Prof. Berman adds, "Jared has gone far beyond the call of duty with these cases primarily because he cares about the people he's serving. He cares about protecting their rights, correcting an injustice, and restoring some dignity to their lives."
Drake Legal Clinic Hosts Forum on Protecting Children
The Drake Legal Clinic recently sponsored the first national conference on the Pew Foundation's Fostering Results initiative. The initiative seeks to prevent unnecessary foster care placements, and to quickly and appropriately move children out of foster care and into safe, permanent families. Drake Legal Clinic's Children's Rights Project operates a unique partnership with the interdisciplinary Middleton Center for Children's Rights."We are very proud of the work we're doing with Pew and that we were selected to partner in this national project," said Suzanne Levitt, Executive Director of Clinical Programs at Drake Law School. Levitt notes, "We were further honored to be selected as the site for the first national conference on the report." Drake's recent press release has more information about the conference.
Jeff Renz and Greg Munro are fighting to save the law clinic in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. Over the next two months, their Kyrgyzstan Diary will appear as a regular blog feature.
KYRGYZSTAN DIARY (with apologies to our good friend and Montanan, Thomas Goltz.)
I think that clinicians have a look about them. I see it in Alan Kirtley of the University of Washington, Larry Weiser at Gonzaga, and others. It is that joyful, love our students and speak truth to power, look. Akjol Berdiev and Jenish Arzymatov of the Human Rights and Democracy Centre in Osh, Krygyzstan, have that look. These guys are the original clinicians in Central Asia, the way we think of the original clinicians in the USA. When the Centre was founded in the 1990s with the help of the Soros Fund and OSCE-DIR, Berdiev and Arzymatov took their roles seriously. They attended every ABA-CEELI training session on clinical legal education that they could find. Then they took the lessons back to Osh.
When I first visited them in 2003, when the University of Montana was searching for a Kyrgyzstan university to partner with, I was astounded. The best students in the law faculty worked in their clinic. Their students hung out in the clinic. Their teaching, mentoring, and other methods were ours. They used mock exercises, role plays, demonstrations, videotapes of student performances, as well as the normal lecture.
The Centre enrolls 40-60 students from a 1,200 student law faculty. They operate a criminal defense clinic, a civil law clinic, and a street law clinic. They take on strategic projects, the most recent of which is a project to teach young people to monitor elections. It may also be, in light of the March "revolution" and the coming July elections, their most important strategic initiative. This year may be their last.
We all know that you live and die by grants. Montana lost two clinicians (and Gonzaga gained one) when we lost two Department of Education grants in the mid-1990s. For the same reasons our grant funding ends, the Centre's is due to end in 2005. If the Centre ceases to exist, the loss will extend beyond the loss of the program. The Clinic is a filter for the good students.
Kyrgyzstan is a place where you buy your grades and your degrees. Today I met a young woman, the head of the Academic Honesty project at Osh State. She had just finished one of her exams. "Only two of us refused to pay to pass the exam," she said. "The rest paid."
The Centre selects students for ability, not for connections or for money. The students who come out of the Centre will be the lawyers who will, sometime in the future, once a critical mass is achieved, develop a code of ethics and professionalism, and root out corruption that is endemic in a dispute resolution system that is known any where else as the justice system. But not if the Centre does not survive.
I came to Osh in 2005 to expand the clinical education program. Now my mission may be to save it. We will keep you up to date in future diaries. Prof. Greg Munro and I will offer some more insights into Kyrgyzstan and its wonderful people in future diaries, thanks to the Blog. Rakhmat, da zaftra.
Prof. Jeff Renz is the Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at The University of Montana School of Law. His colleague, Prof. Greg Munro, is the Law School's Director of Professional Skills.
June 5, 2005
U.S. Supreme Court Win for Prof. David Goldberger and his Civil Clinic Students
On May 31, 2005, the United States Supreme Court handed prisoners a victory by upholding Section 3 of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The case, Cutter v. Wilkinson, is also a victory for Prof. David Goldberger and students in the Civil Clinic at Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law. The picture on the left shows Prof. Goldberger with Clinic students: left to right) 3L Kelly Ryan, Prof. Goldberger's assistant Jenn Urban '03, 3L Amy Purwin, 3L Jason Small, 3L Chris Reis, 3L Anne Juterbock, 3L Matt McNeil, 3L Jaime Klausner and 3L Amanda Runyon. Moritz's webpage features more information about the case.
Boalt's Samuelson Clinic Files Amicus Brief in Second Circuit IP Case
On May 12, 2005, Boalt's Samuelson Clinic submitted a brief amicus curiae on behalf of thirty intellectual property and constitutional law professors in the case of United States v. Martignon. The case concerns the federal criminal anti-bootlegging statute, which the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down last year because it violated both the Limited Times and Writings requirements in the Constitution's Copyright Clause.
Formally known as the Samuelson Law, Techonology & Public Policy Clinic, this program actively represents the public interest in public interest in cases and matters on the cutting-edge of high technology law. The Samuelson Clinic is also a joint sponsor of the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, a resource designed to help amateur internet users (like me!) understand how First Amendment and intellectual property laws apply to online expressive activities.
Designing a New Clinic Space?
In the wake of recent cliniclist posts about designing a clinic work space, I thought it might be appropriate to create some blog space for follow-up inquiries. Prof. Alexander Tanford of Indiana University - Bloomington, has prepared a Guide to Building or Renovating Clinical Space. Prof. Tanford's guide includes copies of plans for newly built or renovated law clinics at American, Chicago-Kent, Rutgers-Newark, University of Chicago, Syracuse and Indiana-Bloomington. Click on each school to see its plans. On the left, for example, is Indiana-Bloomington's plan for the 20-student Community Legal Clinic. Click on the image to see it in a readable size.