Clinical Law Prof Blog

Editor: Jeffrey R. Baker
Pepperdine University
School of Law

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2016 Shanara Gilbert Award to Prof. Perry Moriearty

Announcement via Prof. Christine Cimini:


We are pleased to announce that Perry Moriearty, Vaughan G. Papke Clinical Professor in Law at the University of Minnesota School of Law, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the clinical section’s Shanara Gilbert Award.  The award will be presented to Perry during a luncheon at the Clinical Legal Education Conference in Baltimore on Sunday, May 1, 2016. 


Designed to honor an "emerging clinician," the award is presented to a clinical professor with ten or fewer years of experience who has (1) a commitment to teaching and achieving social justice, particularly in the areas of race and the criminal justice system; (2) a passion for providing legal services and access to justice to individuals and groups most in need; (3) service to the cause of clinical legal education or to the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education; (4) an interest in international clinical legal education; and (5) an interest in the beauty of nature (desirable, but not required).


The nomination materials detailing Perry’s many accomplishments note that Perry’s work on race and criminal and juvenile justice issues is an archetype for how a clinician can combine teaching, scholarship, and law reform advocacy. As the co-director of the University of Minnesota Child Advocacy and Juvenile Justice Clinic Perry led her students into work on cutting edge projects related to the United States Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in the case Miller v. Alabama. This work has had a national impact on issues of race and justice in criminal and juvenile arenas.


Perry’s work on the Miller retroactivity issue has garnered substantial attention among academics, advocates and the media. Her 2015 article, Miller v. Alabama and the Retroactivity of Proportionality Rules, 17 J. CONST. L. 929, 981 (2015), has been featured in both local and national commentary, and was the subject of SCOTUSblog’s September 29, 2015 Academic Highlight. In January 2016, in Montgomery v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court held that Miller is retroactive, and Perry’s article was quoted and cited extensively in amicus briefs.  Perry’s work on the issue of juvenile life without parole has also led to her to act as an advisor on related matters outside of Minnesota. She has worked with national litigators, including Bryan Stevenson of Alabama’s Equal Justice Initiative and Marsha Levick of Philadelphia’s Juvenile Law Center, on coordinated litigation strategies at the Eighth Circuit and Supreme Court levels.


In addition, Perry is rapidly becoming an important voice in the scholarly community. She published a series of articles based on her research on race and juvenile and criminal justice issues that have made an impact not only on scholarship in this field, but also on public policy. Her work has been cited in some of the leading law reviews, but it also has provided support for litigation by racial justice advocates and has been used in legislative debates.


Perry routinely extends her work into the public service arena.  In addition to her clinical teaching and scholarship, she has played a critical role in legislation, policy and public advocacy on race and criminal and juvenile justice matters.  Over the last four years, at the request of the McArthur Foundation in 2012, she has been coordinating a state-level effort to draft and enact a multi-pronged progressive juvenile justice bill.


Perry served on the CLEA Board for four and a half years and has also presented workshops and led working groups at a number of the AALS conferences over the last several years.


Last year, Perry and her students worked with Carolina Rojas Flores, a human rights attorney and clinical professor at the Universidad Catolica de Oriente in Colombia who specializes in penitentiary law, on the development of her clinical program.  This work was part of the University of Minnesota’s USAID/Higher Education for Development (HED) human rights partnership with four law schools in Antioquia, Colombia.


Finally, Perry is an avid hiker, camper, kayaker and runner, spending as much of her free time as possible in undeveloped wilderness. Perry has kayaked portions of the Sea of Cortez and backpacked through areas of Maine and Colorado.  She and her husband have also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.


Please join me in recognizing Perry for her many accomplishments and contributions.  We look forward to celebrating her work together at the conference in Baltimore. 

April 12, 2016 in Promotions, Honors & Awards | Permalink | Comments (0)

Third National Symposium On Experiential Learning In Law: June 10-12, 2016

Via Prof. Margaret Barry of Vermont:

Third National Symposium On Experiential Learning In Law

Hosted by New York Law School, New York, NY

June 10-12, 2016

The 2016 Third National Symposium on Experiential Learning in Law will take a careful look at how to identify and effectively assess experiential learning outcomes in the legal education context. This symposium will offer highly interactive sessions that will provide learning designed to improve the quality of assessment in law schools’ experiential programs.

Assessment is the pedagogical topic of our time. As law schools move toward greater adoption of multiple forms of assessment, it is incumbent on legal educators to share information on existing methods of assessment—what has worked well and less well, and why—as well as to tap into the expertise of those from other disciplines who have adopted assessment techniques for experiential learning that might be applicable to law schools.  With these goals in mind, we anticipate holding several plenary sessions that will offer broad perspectives, from within and from outside law, on the challenges and the methods of assessing experiential learning.

We also plan multiple small-group sessions at which individual assessment methodologies will be presented and closely assessed by workshop participants. These sessions will be the result of a call for proposals issued in 2015 which generated multiple submissions by teachers engaged in assessing experiential learning, and these submissions in turn are now part of an iterative process of feedback and revision in advance of the conference.

This conference is sponsored by New York Law School and The Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law and co-sponsored by Northeastern University School of Law, American University, Washington College of Law, Elon University School of Law, the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and Vermont Law School. Additional generous support comes from West Academic Publishing and from Carolina Academic Press.

New York Law School has a longstanding commitment to experiential education. Its Office of Clinical and Experiential Learning coordinates a program of 19 clinics in a wide range of subject-matter and skills fields, together with externships and workshops, simulation courses, project-based learning courses, upper level writing courses, and skills competition teams. The School’s Clinical Theory Workshop series, now completing its 30th year, offers clinicians and other skills teachers a forum for scholarship and reflection on lawyering skills and pedagogy.

The Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law (“the Alliance”) was formed in 2011 under the auspices of Northeastern University School of Law.  It now includes members from more than 113 law schools and legal services organizations.  “The Alliance’s ultimate goal is to ensure that law graduates are ready to practice with a full complement of skills and ethical and social values necessary to serve clients and the public interest, now and in the future.”


Register Here!


Conference webpage:


Registration page:

April 12, 2016 in Conferences and Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Oh what's in a name - RSS Boaty McBoatface...

If you are anything like me around this time of the year, when the weather slumps and with exams approaching, you look for hilarity where you can find it (when you are avoiding all press about the upcoming political chaos that represents our electoral system).  That's why I was so excited to learn about being able to vote for Boaty McBoatface.  That's right - Boaty McBoatface.  Because, despite best intentions, when you allow the internet to assist with what seems like an innocuous naming endeavor, sometimes funny wins out. 

NERC - the United Kingdom's Natural Environment Research Council, opened up the ability to suggest a name for their newest polar research ship in early March of 2016.  With initial names suggested being what you might expect for this sort of thing - Shackleton, Endeavour and Falcon for example, they might have thought that they were safe.  Not so fast, thanks to James Hand, who submitted the name and who's Twitter feed profile lists him as being a reason we can't have nice things, along with the hashtag #BoatyMcBoatface

Should you want to cast your vote - you'd better hurry.  Voting closes April 16, 2016.  You can cast your vote here or by visiting:  Let this be a lesson to all of us - and may the best name win!

April 11, 2016 in Current Affairs, Environment, Science | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Clinicians, Humanists --with guest author Courtney Kiehl

My clinical work has been marked by tragedy. I am not alone in that. Clients lose their dignity and their lives in our world with remarkable frequency.  A few days ago, on the third anniversary of the loss of my clinic's client Traci Raymond Miscavish in a murder-suicide resulting from domestic violence, I met a leader in this work who inspires me. Eve Ensler has been a seemingly tireless advocate for victims of sexual violence for decades.  But she has also written extensively about her survival of cancer and its link to her awakening to the need for self-care for advocates. Her work now relates directly to the connection we all experiences as humans, and our need to model self-care as we are fighting for others to care for--or simply not harm-- one another. The photo of us after a few precious moments of dialogue about this topic among other Penn State advocates for victims of sexual and intimate partner violence is below.  Also pictured below is a photo of my Family Law Clinic's graduate fellow, Courtney Kiehl with an inspiring human rights advocate she met recently through our work at Penn State.  Courtney's work with my interdisciplinary research partner, Penn State's Weiss Chair of the Humanities Rosemary Jolly, has inspired me to evolve as a scholar and teacher.  Human rights and its connection to justice in a systemic way are informing the articles I write, the doctrines I focus on in the classroom, and the daily interactions I have with clinical students.  Our connections enable our collaborations, which increase our capacity as legal advocates.  Here is Courtney in her own words:

As a recent law graduate and someone who has spent most of her life working with victims of sexual and domestic violence, I’m drawn to studying human rights. Still, I’m a 26-year-old middle-class American who with much to learn about human rights.  At a recent conference on African human rights, I was shocked at the connects I experienced.  

One speaker asked me why I came to Penn State Law from California.  I told her that I started working with survivors after coming forward about the sexual abuse I suffered by the hands of my gymnastics coach as a child.  An expression of deep sadness came over her face.  It was genuine in a way that I’m not even sure I’ve ever seen in the 12 years I’ve been telling my story.  It was as if in that moment, the thought that people we trust are capable of hurting us in an immensely devastating way.

For me, that was the moment it clicked. This woman, who came from South Africa, a nation that has been through apartheid and colonization, a nation where a myriad of horrible injustices are the norm, was reacting to hearing my experience in the same way I reacted to hers.  Our mutual sadness and bewilderment was evident as we reflected on the terrible things humans do to one another.

Later, the brilliant speaker Tushabe wa Tushabe discussed the oppression of individuals who don’t conform to gender norms in our hetero-normative world.  With scrunched eyebrows, Tushabe said, “Why would you do something to someone that you wouldn’t want for yourself? Simple as that. Why?” You could have heard a pin drop.  She continued, “It must be that the life you’re looking at doesn’t matter.”  To address human rights violations, we must see the survivors as fully capable humans with experiences, thoughts, and lives that matter.

The conversations spanning the course of the weekend have inspired me and allowed me to feel more connected and less alone than I ever have before.  I hope to never forget this feeling and am eternally grateful for the beauty and generosity of the brilliant humans I was fortunate enough to spend two days with.



April 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 1, 2016

Midwest Clinical Conference 2016 RFP/Save the Date

From Prof. Anna Carpenter of Tulsa:

2016 Midwest Clinical Legal Education Conference, University of Tulsa College of Law, October 6-8, 2016.  

Our plans continue to develop for the 2016 Midwest Clinical Conference and we want you to be part of those plans!  We have received a number of exciting proposals and we still have more room for you to contribute your creative talents and ideas to make this an even better conference.  Since we know this is the crunch time for many clinical faculty and their students, we have decided to extend the deadline for proposals until Friday, April 22.  

So, whether you are collaborating with friends and colleagues or have an idea for a solo presentation on an issue or idea that has been percolating for a while, don't be shy!  The beauty of being part of this great community of teachers, advocates, and scholars is that you are always among friends eager to share ideas and learn from each other.   ​Make a plan to join us in Tulsa in October!  

In addition to fascinating presentations and conversations, we have great evening events planned in the Brady Arts District and at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.  We hope to see you in Tulsa in October!

The planning committee is seeking proposals from faculty and administrators engaged in clinical education, externships, incubators, and other experiential learning opportunities who are interested in presenting/participating in conference panels or presenting works-in-progress.  Although the regional conference seeks to bring together clinicians and clinic administrators from law schools located in the Midwest (however broadly or narrowly you define it),  we encourage participation by interested law faculty and administrators from far and wide. Information about submitting a proposal for a presentation or a WIP is attached.  We invite you to share your experience and ideas with clinical colleagues from across the midwest and the United States.  The deadline for proposals is April 22, 2016.   Please ignore all previous deadlines.

More information about registration and accommodation at the conference will follow.  In the meantime, please save the date and consider joining us in Tulsa and participating in the more than 30 year tradition of thriving Midwest Clinical Conferences. And feel free to contact Elizabeth McCormick at if you have any questions at all about being part of this great conference.  

Download Midwest Clinical Conference Call for Presentation Proposals-- First Call

Download Midwest Clinical Conference WIP Call 2016 -- First Call

Download Midwest Clinical Conference Cover Sheet for Proposals --FirstCall


April 1, 2016 in Conferences and Meetings, RFP | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2016 National Jurist rankings for Practical Training

National Jurist has released its rankings of law schools for practical training.

In the article, the editors explain their methodology.  Clinics account for 38% of the ranking scores, derived from ABA data on the number of clinic seats filled relative to upper level enrollment.  Externships accounts for 24% of the ranking scores, based on the numbers of students in externships relative to the number of upper level students, likewise based on ABA data.  Simulation courses account for 21% of the ranking scores, reckoned similarly from ABA data.  Interschool competitions account for 5% of the scores, and the final 10% of the scores are for other  programs, like pro bono, that are not reflected in the other categories. 

Here are the top 25 schools from this year's rankings:

  1. Northeastern
  2. University of St. Thomas (MN)
  3. Yale
  4. UC-Irvine
  5. Washington & Lee
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Arizona
  8. BYU
  9. Denver
  10. Pepperdine
  11. Colorado
  12. UMKC
  13. Utah
  14. Northwestern
  15. Case Western
  16. Brooklyn
  17. Wyoming
  18. Mitchell Hamline
  19. Mississippi
  20. Golden Gate
  21. Kansas
  22. Liberty
  23. New Hampshire
  24. Cardozo
  25. Drake

March 22, 2016 in Clinic News, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Talking to Our Students about the Election—Just Kidding!

I was walking out of our university cafeteria yesterday in my characteristically rushed state with an empty stomach, a couple of “To Go” boxes intended to last through midnight, and a 12:30 p.m. meeting with students just minutes away when a young man I did not recognize (an undergraduate student perhaps?) leaned across a poster and said something. My mind rapidly assessed my priorities as I noticed his highly corrective glasses, a discreet hearing aid, and a pronounced speech disability. The cascading moments came to a standstill, and I apologized. “Would you please promise to never use the ‘R-word’?” he repeated as he handed me a pen.

“Of course,” I said, as my hand tried to scribble a flourished signature across the top right-hand corner of the poster. The white space remained nameless. My pen was dry. As I borrowed another pen from a student sitting nearby, my eyes scanned the writing across the top of the poster: “Pledge to End the R-Word.” I wondered who this young man was, what his disability was, whether it mattered, and what would become of him and his pursuit of dignity and respect after the U.S. presidential election.

The Super Tuesday results were so definitive the night before that the leading candidates for both parties were announced well before bedtime. The night was restless. It was clear to all that the 2016 presidential election had become an interminable political version of the “The Jerry Springer Show,” but without a remote, volume control, mute function, or an on/off button.

Worse than the reality show nature of the election is the fact that support for the leading Republican candidate appears to increase with the frequency of comments and gestures and policies that are degrading to the disabled, women, minorities, and immigrants. Crowds applaud when he advocates for widespread discrimination against legally protected groups. They holler and cheer when he pours forth chest-thumping threats celebrating violence. And they laugh when he physically impersonates people, like the young man standing before me whose spine appears slightly bent, and his hands just a little curled. Yes, he is different, but not much. We all are—just a little bit different—but mostly the same.

The candidate also uses the “R-word.” Indeed, he uses a lot of words. “I know words. I know all the best words,” he has bragged with a bravado bred in fear and born from cowardice. “Is the R-word one of them?” I wonder.

And so I occasionally speak out, largely in my home or more often in my mind. Occasionally, there are hushed conversations, but mostly I am silently screaming. The first time I found myself silently screaming was the night of the Iowa caucuses. It was one of the busiest weeks of the semester, with client interviews running late into the evening. The clinic was humming and rushing with students and staff hurrying between our clients and our iPhones and computer screens watching the caucus results roll in.

As I walked into the student lab, I casually asked a student looking at the results on his computer screen, “Who are you voting for?” I immediately wanted to take my words back. Our teacher/student relationship gave me almost all of the power and privilege, and my job as an employee of a 501(c)(3) organization, especially while doing my job at my place of employment—8:00 p.m. or not—had brought me perilously close to an improper interaction.

I have been advising non-profits for nearly 20 years; teaching our students non-profit law in our Business Law Clinic for nearly ten. I knew the words nearly by heart: “[501(c)(3) organizations] may not participate in, or intervene in . . . any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.” Part of the erasure I desired was that I did not want to say anything that would jeopardize my employment or the tax-exempt status of my university, but a larger part of my desire was that I did not want to abuse my relationship with a student—a relationship in which there is an inherent imbalance of power.

But it was the student’s response that fundamentally compelled my desire to unlive the moment. He proudly and cavalierly told me he was voting for the candidate who not only uses the R-word, but condones war crimes, torture, discrimination, and assault--someone who publicly observes that some women “look good on [their] knees.” And I want to scream. I knew that the candidate had a sizeable (and growing) following, but I assumed that they were comprised of “others”—not well educated, high performing students working on their doctorate degrees. Not my students.

As my mind raced with ideas about how I could justify “setting this student straight” due to the unique role of law professors in educating our students (and our larger communities) about Constitutional rights, humanitarian law, justice, human rights, and so much more, I said nothing.

I wonder whether in trying to protect my job, I will fail to do my job. Yet, my voice remains silent and my pen is dry.

Well, at least from 9-to-5, and occasionally, from 9-to-8.

March 4, 2016 in Current Affairs, Teaching and Pedagogy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Flint, Michigan & the Clinical Experience

My students and I traveled to Flint, Michigan recently. We handle all kind of housing matters and quite a few are simple landlord-tenant civil disputes. Flint had its share the night we came specifically as a result of the ongoing toxic drinking water crisis. 

Our visit was at the invitation of one of the law firm’s handing one of the class actions against the state of Michigan and Governor Rick Snyder for their role in the Flint water crisis. The firm, Pitts McGhee, Palmers Rivers had organized a town hall style meeting to register residents who might fit into the class and to inform them of the status of the case. We were invited to offer legal advice to residents who had residential housing questions related to the contaminated water system. Questions like:

Do I have to still pay my rent?
Can I break my lease?
Can I withhold my rent?
If I paid rent and it included water, do I get reimbursed under the state’s reimbursement law?

There were others but these were the most frequent questions.

And landlords.

Am I liable for the toxic water that is flowing through the pipes to the tenants?
Is there a way to check for lead pipes?
Do you help landlords?

The answer to the last question is usually - no, but that night, we tried to answer everyone’s questions. The crisis in the city calls for some new approaches, some flexibility and empathy. The questions were seemingly endless that night; the tragedy almost surreal.

As I walked up to the event, the auditorium where the event was held was already filled to capacity. People were hanging out the doors it was so packed. A guard was turning residents away. There were as many stuck outside as there were inside. There was some tension once it was clear the event was overflowing into the streets. People were everywhere. They wanted to know what was next.

Our clinic does a lot of community educational outreach but this kind of event was not just outreach and education for the public; it was educational for us. It brought the real world into the law school experience in the most real way. This was a national story being covered by CNN, Time Magazine, the New York Times, Democracy Now, and other media outlets. The students would not get many actual clients (we had a number of follow-up calls to make) out of the experience but they would get a unique clinical experience that is important in their overall development.

There were a few things that were notable:

Most of the attendees were black (Flint is 56 percent African-American but their numbers at the event exceeded that amount) though there were individuals from many racial backgrounds.
The residents of Flint were remarkably calm and respectful. They were also quite appreciative we had even showed up to try to help. 
The residents were still a bit in shock that state officials would let this happen and then fail over and over to fix it.

The importance of this clinical experience could not be overstated considering what the students had observed and experienced that night in Flint. I try everyday to bring the real world into my classroom or take the classroom to the real world. This experience was a gem. Our clinic already plans to create a link on our webpage that will provide resource materials on water issues and housing as a result of the Flint crisis. Lead contamination in water systems is an issue that is not likely going away even though the city of Flint is about to replace its pipes. Other cities will likely have to face the problem of lead in drinking water that arose in Flint. 


March 3, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

CLEA Newsletter Spring 2016: Call for Items (Due April 1)


On behalf of the CLEA Newsletter committee, I am happy to announce that it is once again time to send information for the CLEA Newsletter.  We invite you to submit your creative writing and shorter articles on clinical andragogy and social justice topics.  We also welcome your good news: promotions, moves, new experiential teachers, retirements, publications, and awards.  Links to articles and press releases are welcome. 

Please keep your news items as short as possible (50 word limit per news item). Longer submissions are subject to editing by the newsletter. To avoid duplicating information published in the AALS Clinical Section Newsletter, CLEA will publish clinical program news on its Facebook page. 

We hope that you will consider allowing CLEA to feature your writing.  The deadline for submissions for the Spring Newsletter is April 1, 2016. Please e-mail them to, and please contact us with any questions.

Thanks, and best wishes,

CLEA Newsletter Committee

Lauren Bartlett, Susan Donovan, D’lorah Hughes, Kate Kruse & Tanya Asim Cooper

March 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 29, 2016

2016 Clinical Law Review Workshop Details Announced

The Clinical Law Review will hold its next Clinical Writers’ Workshop on Saturday, September 24, 2016, at NYU Law School.  The registration deadline is June 30, 2016.

The Workshop will provide an opportunity for clinical teachers who are writing about any subject (clinical pedagogy, substantive law, interdisciplinary analysis, empirical work, etc.) to meet with other clinicians writing on related topics to discuss their works-in-progress and brainstorm ideas for further development of their articles. Attendees will meet in small groups organized, to the extent possible, by the subject matter in which they are writing. Each group will “workshop” the draft of each member of the group.

Participation in the Workshop requires the submission of a paper because the workshop takes the form of small group sessions in which all members of the group comment on each other’s manuscripts. By June 30, all applicants will need to submit a mini-draft or prospectus, 3-5 pages in length, of the article they intend to present at the workshopFull drafts of the articles will be due by September 1, 2016.

As in the previous Clinical Law Review Workshops, participants will not have to pay an admission or registration fee but participants will have to arrange and pay for their own travel and lodging. To assist those who wish to participate but who need assistance for travel and lodging, NYU Law School has created a fund for scholarships to help pay for travel and lodging. The scholarships are designed for those clinical faculty who receive little or no travel support from their law schools and who otherwise would not be able to attend this conference without scholarship support. Applicants for scholarships will be asked to submit, with their 3-5 page prospectus, by June 30, a proposed budget for travel and lodging and a brief statement of why the scholarship would be helpful in supporting their attendance at this conference.  The Board will review all scholarship applications and issue decisions about scholarships in early July. The scholarships are conditioned upon recipients’ meeting all requirements for workshop participation, including timely submission of drafts, and will be capped at a maximum of $750 per person.

Information about the Workshop – including the Registration form, scholarship application form, and information for reserving hotel rooms – is available on-line at:

If you have any comments or suggestions you would like to send us, we would be very happy to hear from you. Comments and suggestions should be sent to Randy Hertz at

-- The Board of Editors of the Clinical Law Review

February 29, 2016 in Conferences and Meetings, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

NYU Law Review Seeking Submissions on Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

NYU Law Review is seeking submissions for its online publication on the Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. You can find the original message posted on the Michigan State Indigenous Law and Policy Center Blog, Turtle Talk, and also linked here.

They are looking for pieces that discuss the case itself, its legal background and importance, and its implications for Indian and non-Indian country alike—particularly Indigenous women’s issues and its insights into women’s issues in general. If your clinical practice intersects women's issues, enterprise issues, or tribal issues I encourage you to research the case. It may infuriate you, but a minimum you will have a better understanding of the legal obstacles Indian tribes face in federal courts, most especially our Supreme Court.

February 29, 2016 in Current Affairs, Scholarship, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

RFP: Conference for the U.S. Feminist Judgments Projects (April 15, 2016)

Via Prof. Kathryn M. Stanchi of Temple:



Call for Papers and Presentations

Deadline April 15, 2016

We are seeking proposals for papers to be presented during the U. S. Feminist Judgments Project conference October 20-21, 2016 at the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron School of Law in Akron, Ohio. We are also seeking proposals for “snapshot” presentations to be included in the final plenary of the conference. The conference is co-sponsored by The University of Akron School of Law and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law.

This conference will celebrate the 2016 publication of U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. That volume brought together more than fifty feminist legal scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, significant Supreme Court cases from the 1800s to the present day. (For more information, see the project website here.) Illustrating the value of this method of practical scholarship, the volume demonstrates that different processes and different outcomes would have been possible had decision makers applied feminist theory and methods in critical Supreme Court cases despite the restrictions of stare decisis.

The conference is designed to provide the appropriate setting and the essential participants for a structured conversation that explores and assesses the effects of feminist methods and theories on real-world judicial decision making. We expect the conference will identify common core principles and propose directions for future scholarship.

To this end, we seek proposals for papers that incorporate feminist theory and methods or report on research that furthers feminist thought. The organizers view feminism and feminist theory broadly as covering issues of inequality related to gender and gender norms, but also intersectional dynamics related to race, sexual orientation, immigration status, socioeconomic class, and disability.

Potential topics cover a broad range, including women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We welcome with enthusiasm proposals from faculty in disciplines other than law, and we would especially appreciate proposals from new voices in feminism and feminist theory.

Our hope is to build on the insights of the U.S. Feminist Judgments book and to explore new avenues of inquiry for feminist legal scholarship. We hope to provide a supportive atmosphere to foster scholarship and networking among teachers, scholars, and others who are interested in gender equality and the law.

The conference will include plenary sessions related specifically to the U.S. Feminist Judgments book as well as sessions that will be more general in focus, concurrent sessions drawn from this Call for Papers, and a closing panel also drawn from this Call for Papers. The closing panel will be a brainstorming session to consider future directions for scholarly and practical projects that relate to gender equality, the judiciary, future Feminist Judgments projects, or all of the foregoing.

Concurrent Sessions – Paper Proposals

The concurrent sessions will feature presentations on any topic related to gender equality issues, with preference given to presentations related to the topics of women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We will organize the presentations into panels based on the subject matter of the proposals.

Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed paper (no more than 1000 words) and a resume. Please let us know in the proposal which of the above categories or what other, non-listed category best fits your proposal. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Paper Proposals” and e-mail these materials to Maria Campos ( by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.

Brainstorming Presentations – Snapshot Proposals

The final plenary session of the conference will feature snapshots, or very brief presentations, of ideas for future projects that will advance gender equality in the law. Each selected participant will be limited to five minutes to present her or his idea or project. The presentations will be followed by audience feedback and comments. We welcome proposals for this brainstorming session on any topic related to gender equality.

Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed presentation (no more than 300 words) and a resume. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Snapshot Proposals” and email these materials to Maria Campos ( by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.


Anyone interested in issues of law and gender equality is eligible to submit a proposal, including full-time faculty members, fellows, visitors, and adjuncts who teach in undergraduate or graduate schools; judges; practitioners; government officials; and business, community, and non-profit leaders. The conference is free and open to the public.

There is no publication commitment associated with the conference. Presentation abstracts will be made available on the website of the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron, and by mutual agreement of interested authors and journal editors, remarks may be published in a special symposium issue of ConLawNOW, the online companion journal run by the Center for Constitutional Law.

There is no registration fee for the conference but proposers and panelists must pay all of their own expenses associated with conference attendance. There will be a conference-negotiated rate at a local hotel. The University of Akron is located approximately 15 minutes from the Akron-Canton Airport and approximately 40 miles southeast of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Please direct questions regarding this Call for Papers and Presentations to Kathy Stanchi (, Linda Berger (, and Bridget Crawford (

February 25, 2016 in RFP | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Keep Your Suitsy and Your Jammies at Home - No Pajamas in Court

Recently pajamas and their displeasing appearance in public has made the news both here and in England. In England, the displeasure was specifically directed at parents turning up in pajamas at school for drop-offs and pick-ups. In the States, however, pajamas are not part of the accepted dress code for court settings (specifically District Court settings in Columbia County, PA). 

That's right people. No pajamas in court. Go figure. Suits required. But what if one has suit pajamas? This dream can be yours via a product affectionately named "Suitsy" - a onesie designed with all of the comfort of pajamas but having the appearance of a casual business suit. Recently when I came home from work, my three year old daughter greeted me at the door with, "Okay Mom, now you can take your work jammies off." I thought to myself, wow, wouldn't it be great to actually have such a thing as "work jammies" - they sound so much more comfortable than regular suit attire. Sadly for me the Suitsy appears to have only a male version of their product - perhaps a hashtag campaign (along the lines of #wheresrey) such as #wheresaladysuitsy or #giveagirlasuitsy might generate enough attention that one can exist in the future. The major question then would be whether I would actually have the nerve to wear it professionally to court. Jury's out on that one folks. 

For a full review of the Suitsy in all of its glory, check out a review on Business Insider from May 2015:

February 24, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ode to Antonin

You are not even in the ground yet and they come.  They come with their disdain, their praise, their vitriol and idolatry, their mocking and memorializing.

You oh great proponent of originalism, the idea that our Constitution is frozen in time and hallowed, to be viewed not as a living, breathing document, but one that is dead, cemented with principles of the past, exactly as it was written. 

And while I can understand the allure of such adherence, a clutching onto the solace that comes with certainty in this otherwise uncertain world, I could never concur.  For you see at the time “We the People” was constructed, I was excluded from the very definition of the “people.”  My blackness and my womanhood denied me the ability to be fully vested in those assigned rights. 

And so I do not accept the idea of a dead document.  See, we live in a world never envisioned or imagined. Those men who developed those past notions, revolutionary though they may have been in their moment, cannot continue to govern me from their graves, nor can you from yours.

I will never allow them or you to grip me from that bygone era, but that way of being does not mean that I am not sad over your passing.   I am perplexed by the strange circumstances that now surround you; this peculiar war that is waging on around you before you are even buried and fully mourned.  While I have never seen eye to eye with you, I have always seen you as my colleague, my equal, my foe to be sure, but a worthy opponent. 

You were the dark to my light, the down to my up, the out to my in and through your hard and fixed gaze on originalism, I learned to set my sights on the flexibility that seems necessary to adjust to our constantly evolving realities.  And through your strict adherence to the models of the old, I learned to flow into the stretch, the growth and even the pains that come with embracing the new.  And so I see no reason for hatred here, just gratitude for the formation that only comes after being forged in the fires of deep dissent. 

Until we meet again, dear Antonin.  Until we meet again.

February 18, 2016 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Learning from Practice, 3d ed.

West Academic has announced the publication of Learning from Practice: A Text for Experiential Legal Education, 3d ed. The editors are Leah Wortham of Catholic, Alexander Scherr of Georgia, Nancy Maurer or Albany, and Susan L. Brooks of Drexel.

From the publisher’s description:

The third edition of Learning From Practice covers topics relevant to law students working in real practice settings, including externships, in-house clinics, and other experiential courses. Intended for use in course seminars and tutorials, each chapter helps students succeed in their work, reflect on their development, and plan for their lives as lawyers. The book starts with topics common to all real world experience: planning to meet goals, working under supervision, observing carefully, communicating effectively, understanding bias and cultural difference, and reflection. The book offers detailed coverage of ethical issues in experiential coursework including a new chapter on professionalism. A group of chapters address key lawyering abilities such as good judgment, client relationships, collaboration, writing for practice, and making presentations. This edition expands coverage of important practice areas including judicial, criminal justice, public interest, public service, and transactional practices. The closing chapters turn to the future and focus on developing professional identity, maintaining well-being, finding a job and career, and the future of the profession. Throughout, the book encourages students toward self-direction, reflection, dialogue and collaboration, critical assessment of law practice, and well-being and career satisfaction.

In true collaborative, clinical style, there are thirty-four authors, including three contributors to this blog, Inga Laurent, Alex Scherr, and me. The first edition of this book was very important and useful to me when I was a rookie teacher, and it’s an honor to contribute to this latest, innovative edition.

February 17, 2016 in Teaching and Pedagogy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 15, 2016

On the Shoulders of Giants

"When I began as Director of the University of Chicago Law School in 1970, I held the position of Assistant Professor of Law but the other six (6) clinical teachers were called staff attorneys and not considered faculty for any purpose.”

I understand now that the late Gary Palm uttered those words in 2014 on my behalf (and so many others) before a hearing at the American Bar Association. In 1970, I wasn't even out of elementary school but Mr. Palm was laying the path for myself and many others to have opportunity as clinicians, critical players in legal education today.

The quote is part of his testimony before the ABA to save the status of Clinical Law Professors at the nation's law schools. I never met Mr. Palm but obviously, I am eternally grateful. Reading various clinicians write about him this week upon the announcement of his death, I am moved. It is refreshing to know people (colleagues) are putting in work on your behalf and created a chance for you.  I stand on the shoulders of many people. Add Mr. Palm to my personal list.

Mr. Palm, also stated the following in his testimony that day: 

Because of the uncertainty of funding in the 1970’s and 1980’s, those of us who negotiated 405(e) wanted flexibility but with the assurance that a core of clinical teachers would hold positions reasonably similar to tenure.

How important is the phrase "assurance that a core of clinical teachers would hold positions reasonably similar to tenure?"

Essential.  Monumental for many of us.

My first clinical job had a financial guarantee of two years. I was already out looking in my second year for work. I stayed on that job for 5 years. I was able to learn the trade in those 5 years and meet individuals. I went through the meat market and got interviewed repeatedly, again learning how the system worked and most of all, I got to know intimately clinical work. Year to year promises were not the ticket. It wasn’t the law school’s fault necessarily but I had an idea of options that I had never known before. 

So, now I am on a long term contract, a presumptively rolling contract that provides security and stability under the current rules. Is it perfect? No. Bt it is progress. I am now in my sixth year of my current teaching post and still learning, still savoring the stability, still enjoying the day to day with the lawyers of tomorrow. 

Yet, while security and stability is great, I know the ultimate goal should be one faculty with equal rights. I have always felt this way.  In the new law school era, it would be wise to give everyone equal skin in the game but at times, the pattern seems to be delay, delay, or divide, divide.  

What I do know is I would never have taken the job I have now without a long term contract or stability. I would have done something but continue on the path of one year contracts?  I don’t need anxiety on that level and I would not do that to my family again or insult myself with such an arrangement. As I once heard long time ago in some movie about actors taking negative, stereotypical roles just to have any old role:  there is work at the post office.

So, in that respect, here is another quote from the late Gary Palm, a legend who I somehow missed when I attended various events at the AALS Clinical Conference and who I know is the best of what clinical legal education has become in the modern era: 

"[T]he general sentiment is that 405(c) should provide greater protections with more long-term contracts, no “at will” contracts and greater participation in all aspects of faculty governance, including especially hiring and promotions of all faculty.

I could not agree more. We will see if Mr. Palm’s call will be realized and much more.   

February 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Northern California Clinical Conference

Come join us in Berkeley on February 27th for the Northern California Clinical Conference. Check out the Draft Agenda (still subject to change) and register at the following website: 



February 11, 2016 in Conferences and Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Beware the Ides of February: Feeling Spectacular During the Nadir of Morale for the Year

Yesterday, I made a spectacle of myself, and I am trying to decide if I need to teach my students to do the same. I didn’t set out to do it, but I was just so down. I always am this time of year, but this year seems worse. It’s been in the 20’s and 30’s the last few days, after a snowstorm blanketed the area a few weeks ago. I come to work in the dark or at daybreak and leaving in the dark. It feels like there is no life. It was time for some self-care.

My students are experiencing the same blah feelings now, too. It is not uncommon in the legal and academic world for people to feel low this time of year. The holidays are done, and there is little else exciting on the horizon until graduation day for some and Memorial Day for others. Students and teachers are in a rut, repeating for the next several months the patterns into which they have fallen this year—1L’s know how to take exam courses, upperclassmen feel they know the drill for most of what they do and must just keep doing it, and teachers don’t see the final end in sight. Relief seems relatively far away. In the medical world, my wife’s department chair when she was a resident would call this time the “nadir of house staff morale” and hold some type of party or event. Our law school notices this too and promotes things like 100 days to graduation celebrations at this time of year. I need to respect this in my students and recognize their needs, too.

So how did I make a spectacle of myself? It began on the train, where I sat down and took out my knitting. You may not think of knitting as much of a spectacle, but it turns out to be. Try it. It always draws attention and gets stares. Maybe it is because I am male and not that many men knit. Maybe it is because I am being so 1910’s instead of 2010’s to knit instead of burying myself in my cell phone. Or maybe it was the pinkish socks I was making for my wife. But yesterday, I did not care.   And really that was not really making a too much of a scene. IMG_0922

However, it didn’t stop there. I still needed an escape and I had no time

—noon came, I had appointments to see clients at an intake site in town two and a half miles away and I had two dingy subway rides staring at me. I couldn’t stand it.

So even though I was wearing a shirt and tie and had on a long wool coat, I grabbed a bike helmet I keep in the office for more seasonal days. I left the Temple Legal Aid Office, walked to the bike share rack, checked out a bike, and rode to see clients. My coat blew around, which I had to keep open even in the cold to be able to pedal, and my tie flew from side to side. I pedaled along through campus, through low to medium income residential communities in North Philadelphia, and then through Center City streets. My helmet wouldn’t stay on right, as the headband I put around my ears to keep warm (with a Temple “T” on it!) kept it from fitting right, the headband itself continually sliding down near my eyes, making it tough to see. A few stared, and some may not have noticed because they were too down themselves to see the crazy professor on the bike. But it was great! I had to get out—too much winter weather for too long, and too much February academic blahs. For a few minutes, I was free and happy.

As a clinical teacher, I help my students reflect with how things in their lives are impacting on their practice, and this is one of those things that is. It is something that will continue to impact them when they graduate, as practice also has a seasonal flow, and this can be a challenging time for all. We talk in class about understanding who and where we are while we are with clients so we can work most effectively with them. This is one of those things I am going to raise with my students this year—recognizing the February doldrums and doing something to relieve those feelings for ourselves, our colleagues’, and our clients’ benefits.

February 11, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Call for Contributions - Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions (Corrected Feb. 25, 2016)

Corrected Feb. 25, 2016 - JRB

Via Prof. Kathryn M. Stanchi of Temple:

Call for Contributions - Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions


Volume Editors

Bridget J. Crawford

Anthony C. Infanti

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and commentary on those opinions for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions. This edited volume, to be published by Cambridge University Press, is part of a collaborative project among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions. The initial volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court, edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford, will be published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. (That book’s Introduction and Table of Contents are available here.) Subsequent volumes in the series will focus on different courts or different subject matters. This call is for contributions to a volume of tax decisions rewritten from a feminist perspective.

Tax volume editors Bridget Crawford and Anthony Infanti seek prospective authors for 8 to 10 rewritten tax-related opinions covering a range of topics. Authors are welcome to suggest cases of their own choosing or to consult the editors or others for ideas. All tax-related cases are appropriate for rewriting. Possible cases from U.S. courts are listed here, but that is not an exhaustive list. Cases may come from any jurisdiction and any court, including non-U.S. jurisdictions. The volume editors conceive of feminism as a broad movement concerned with justice and equality, and welcome proposals to rewrite cases in a way that bring into focus issues such as gender, race, class, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, and immigration status.

As the core of the Feminist Judgments Project is judicial opinions, proposals must be either to (1) rewrite a case (not administrative guidance, regulations, etc.) or (2) comment on a rewritten case. Rewritten opinions may be re-imagined majority opinions, dissents, or concurrences, as appropriate to the court. Feminist judgment writers will be bound by law and precedent in effect at the time of the original decision (with a 10,000 word maximum for the rewritten judgment). Commentators will explain the original court decision, how the feminist judgment differs from the original judgment, and what difference the feminist judgment might have made (4,000 word maximum for the commentary). Commentators and opinions writers who wish to work together are welcome to indicate that in the application.

In suggesting possible cases for rewriting, the volume editors have had the input and advice of an Advisory Panel of distinguished U.S. scholars including Alice Abreu (Temple), Patricia Cain (Santa Clara), Joseph Dodge (Florida State), Mary Louise Fellows (Minnesota), Wendy Gerzog (Baltimore), Steve Johnson (Florida State), Marjorie Kornhauser (Tulane), Ajay Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation, Northwestern), Beverly Moran (Vanderbilt), Richard Schmalbeck (Duke), Nancy Shurtz (Oregon), Nancy Staudt (Washington University), and Lawrence Zelenak (Duke).

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project approaches revised judicial opinion writing as a form of critical socio-legal scholarship. There are several world-wide projects engaged in similar efforts, including the U.K.-based Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice (2010); Australian Feminist Judgments: Righting and Rewriting Law (2014); the Women’s Court of Canada; ongoing projects in Ireland, New Zealand, and a pan-European project; and other U.S.-based projects currently under way.

Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten tax cases should fill out an application here.

Applications are due by February 29, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Editors expect to notify accepted authors and commentators by April 15, 2016. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on August 15, 2016. First drafts of commentary will be due on September 15, 2016.

February 9, 2016 in RFP, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Nominations Open for the 2016 Shanara Gilbert Award from the AALS Clinical Section

From Prof. Margaret Barry on the LawClinic and Lextern listservs:

The Awards Committee of the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education is now accepting nominations for the Shanara Gilbert Award, which will be given out during the AALS’s Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Baltimore, Maryland, April 30 – May 3, 2016.  

Designed to honor an "emerging clinician," the award is for a recent entrant (10 years or fewer) into clinical legal education who has demonstrated some or all of the following qualities:

            1) a commitment to teaching and achieving social justice, particularly in the areas of race and the criminal             justice system;

            2) a passion for providing legal services and access to justice to individuals and groups most in need;

            3) service to the cause of clinical legal education or to the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education;

            4) an interest in international clinical legal education; and

            5) an interest in the beauty of nature (desirable, but not required).

Please nominate a colleague who meets these criteria.  Nominations for the Gilbert Award must be received no later than March 15, 2016.


Past recipients include:

2001 Adele Bernhard (Pace University)

2002 Grady Jessup (North Carolina Central University)

2003 Beth Lyon (Villanova University)

2004 Esther Canty-Barnes (Rutgers School of Law — Newark)

2005 Melissa Breger (Albany)

2006 Michael Pinard (University of Maryland)

2007 Pam Metzger (Tulane)

2008 Kris Henning (Georgetown)

2009 Ron Whitener (University of Washington)

2010 Charles Auffant (Rutgers School of Law – Newark)

2011 Nekima Levy-Pounds (University of St. Thomas School of Law)

2012 Kimberly Ambrose (University of Washington)

2013 Sarah Gerwig-Moore (Mercer)

2014 Lisa Radtke Bliss (Georgia State)

2015 JoNel Newman (University of Miami)

NOMINATIONS GUIDELINES: To ensure that the Awards Committee has uniformity in what it is considering in support of each candidate, the Committee requests that nominations adhere to the following guidelines:

1)  To nominate someone, send the name of the nominee and a nominating statement setting forth why the Section should honor the individual, specifically referencing the award criteria outlined above where relevant.  The Committee strongly encourages nominators to obtain some supporting letters for the candidate, given that its deliberations are assisted immensely by a variety of voices speaking about a particular nominee.  Please note that there is a limit on the amount of supporting material that will be considered. Supporting materials for  nominations include: nominating statement of no more than five pages in length (required); a copy of the nominee's resume (required); a list of any scholarship, but not copies of the scholarship (required, but do not duplicate this if it is in the nominee's resume); no more than five letters or e-mails in support (no letter or e-mail should be more than four single-spaced pages long, exclusive of signatures, which may be multiple); and no more than five pages of any other materials. The nomination and documentary support must be submitted via e-mail either in Word or pdf files. Any nominators who want to submit supporting materials that they have in hard copy are responsible for converting them into portable document format or scanning them and cleaning and submitting them via pdf files attached to e-mail. 

2)  Members of the clinical community who have nominated a person previously are encouraged to re-nominate that person for this year’s award, provided that the person is still a recent entrant (10 years or fewer) into clinical legal education. The selection of one nominee over another should not be viewed as a statement against those not selected. The Committee can select only one person and someone not selected one year might be selected the next.

3) The Committee’s deliberations are assisted immensely by a variety of voices speaking about a particular nominee. Nominators are strongly encouraged to seek letters in support of the nominee from colleagues. Such letters may also include letters of support from students whom the candidate has supervised in a clinical setting.

Please send your nominations by e-mail no later than March 15, 2016 to:

Margaret Martin Barry

AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education

 Awards Committee Members: 

Sameer Ashar (Irvine)

Margaret Martin Barry, Chair (Vermont) 

Dionne Gonder (North Carolina Central)

Lisa Martin (Catholic)

February 8, 2016 in Conferences and Meetings, Promotions, Honors & Awards | Permalink | Comments (0)