September 26, 2008
Clinical Legal Education Workshop: May 5-9, 2009 in Cleveland, OH
A Workshop on Clinical Legal Education entitled Emerging Lawyers: Clients, Complexity and Collaboration in a Cross-Disciplinary Lens will be held in Cleveland, OH on May 5-9, 2009. The workshop's Planning Committee has provided the following description:
Our students are adult learners entering a multifaceted profession. We expect them to learn how to interact professionally with us, with each other, and most importantly, with clients. They are faced with complex problems to solve just as they are trying on their new professional role. When we ask them to commit a semester, a year or even multiple terms to this endeavor, they rightfully expect that we are aware of how to teach adults about the ethical, legal and practical complexity of this unfamiliar role. They may also expect that we will draw on the expertise of teachers of other professional disciplines to shape our approaches to their learning.
This workshop will help clinical teachers meet these expectations by inviting adult learning experts and colleagues from multiple professional disciplines to shape our discussion of three specific issues clinical teachers routinely face: how do lawyers solve complex problems; how do lawyers learn to shoulder the moral responsibility and weight of representing clients; and how do clinical teachers ensure and enhance their students’ abilities to learn from the classmates who will soon be their colleagues.
To shake us all up a little as we address these issues, we have reorganized the structure of the workshop. The most significant change is that we are organizing working groups by level of experience rather than affinity groups (don’t worry; there’s a significant opportunity for affinity group meetings as you’ll read below). Working groups will also play a more central role in the overall workshop, allowing the groups to grapple with the issues presented by the plenary presentations. The concurrent sessions, which will occur only twice, will be structured around these learning themes. The last afternoon will be set aside for affinity group meetings which the planning committee will assist the groups in organizing.
Cleveland will provide us with two organizing principles: addressing social justice and having fun. We will be identifying ways in which legal and social justice organizations are tackling Cleveland’s stark reality of being the poorest big city in the United States and integrating that knowledge into the program. But Cleveland is also a city rich in activities we all enjoy: baseball, art, classical music, and of course, rock and roll. We’ll find time for all of these plus, in honor of our rock and roll location, the program will include opportunities for clinicians to sing, make music and boogie the night away.
Requests for Proposals will be issued in October for the two concurrent sessions and the affinity group meetings. The Planning Committee is also soliciting clinicians who can double as musicians and singers (you know who you are), to organize some of the musical activities. The May 5th Directors Day is also being organized and more information will be provided shortly. The Planning Committee for the Workshop on Clinical Legal Education includes:
Elizabeth B. Cooper, Fordham University
David Anthony Santacroce, The University of Michigan
Alexander Scherr, University of Georgia
Jane M. Spinak, Columbia University, Chair
Paulette J. Williams, University of Tennessee -jl
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