Friday, September 19, 2014
The University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) is seeking applicants to direct the School of Law's Housing/Consumer Clinic and Legislation Clinic. We will be interviewing for these positions at the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference in Washington, D.C. on October 17-18, 2014. Please feel free to circulate the attached announcements widely.
PROFESSOR HOUSING/CONSUMER CLINIC
UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DAVID A. CLARKE SCHOOL OF LAW (UDC-DCSL) invites applications for an assistant/associate professor to direct and supervise students in the School of Law’s Housing/Consumer Clinic. The professor will teach clinical students D.C. tenant law, trial advocacy, and pretrial litigation. The clinic handles a wide variety of litigation matters including tenant cases, consumer cases, tort cases, discrimination cases, administrative cases, and a selection of other pedagogically valuable civil cases. Relevant experience includes a demonstrated knowledge of tenant law (D.C. preferred) and excellent skills in jury trial and civil pre-trial litigation, including civil, administrative, and appellate procedure. A demonstrated potential for outstanding clinical teaching is expected. The rank of the position will depend upon the successful applicant’s level of experience. The candidate should be a member of the D.C. Bar or be able to waive into the D.C. Bar.
PROFESSOR LEGISLATION CLINIC
UNIVERSITY OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA DAVID A. CLARKE SCHOOL OF LAW (UDC-DCSL) invites applications for an assistant/associate professor to teach in the School of Law’s Legislation Clinic. The professor will teach students the skills necessary for effective legislative advocacy and provide them with opportunities to work on projects that produce law reform through the legislative process. The rank of the position will depend upon the successful applicant’s level of experience. Candidates must hold a J.D. degree with a record of strong academic performance and excellent potential for scholarly achievement. Relevant experience and demonstrated potential for outstanding clinical teaching is expected.
The mission of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law is to recruit and enroll students from groups under-represented at the bar, to provide a well-rounded theoretical and practical legal education that will enable students to be effective and ethical advocates, and to represent the legal needs of low-income District of Columbia residents through the school’s legal clinics. UDC-DCSL is one of only six American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). UDC is the nation’s only urban, public land grant university.
UDC-DCSL is ranked seventh in the nation in Law School Clinical Programs (US News and World Report, 2014); first most diverse law school in the U.S. (National Jurist, 2012); first most chosen by older students (Princeton Review, 2014); 2nd most diverse faculty (Princeton Review, 2014); third for clinical opportunities (PreLaw Magazine, 2011); eighth best environment for minority students (Princeton Review, 2014); eighth most liberal students (Princeton Review, 2014); Top 20 most innovative law school (PreLaw Magazine, 2012). UDC-DCSL has a strong commitment to diversity among its faculty and encourages applications from minorities and women.
Although we will accept applications until the position is filled, we strongly encourage interested applicants to submit applications immediately for complete consideration. Interested candidates should apply online at www.udc.edu.
Contact: Professor Andrew G. Ferguson, Co-Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law, 4200 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20008; e-mail: email@example.com.
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Today, Scotland is voting for independence from the United Kingdom. Parliament has permitted the plebiscite, and the Queen is staying neutral on the vote. This is remarkable. It is a testament to the Rule of Law and the advance of representative democracy that this moment rests on a vote of the people of Scotland. Yes or No, a vote of self-determination stands in stark contrast to centuries of war between Scotland and England. Hadrian’s Wall was a barrier between Rome and Scotland, and neither the Emperor, the Pope nor the Crown has been particular attentive to the will of the people for most of two millennia of history on their island.
The Magna Carta was first executed in 1215, and as we approach a big anniversary, here are the people voting for independence. The vote will count, and there is not a threat of war. We know something about war with England, and our Declaration of Independence is a legal document setting forth grievances and claiming relief consistent with the Magna Carta, the limited sovereignty of the Crown and English common law. The Americans were asserting their rights as British subjects, and independence was the remedy. In 1776, the Crown did not abide by the will of the people who sought their own sovereignty.
This moment in history is rare and beautiful, whatever the outcome. It is adherence to the Rule of Law, not violence. It is the shifting vicissitudes of politics and economics, manifest in a popular election that gave rise to an initiative authorized by a legislature to welcome a vote on a matter of sovereignty and national standing. Through decades of political organizing within a constitutional system centuries in the making, a nation gets to vote on independence, without risking a war.
Last week at our law school, we hosted a judge, lawyers and students from the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. I sat beside an English judge and mooted an appellate argument between English and American law students, and we all understood the work at hand, the law and the process of making Common Law. We owe our traditions of the Rule of Law and representative democracy and mixed government to British lawyers, and this fascinating, historic day drives home to me the critical importance of teaching lawyers.
Lawyers are the operatives of the Rule of Law. We shape, manipulate, reform, advocate, organize, negotiate and criticize the law. When we exploit our power and influence, we invite violence, vigilantism, instability, injustice and war. When we do our work with integrity, courage and excellence, we invite trust and submission to the Rule of Law. The expanding Rule of Law, opening a place at the table for more and more people to participate in the system, promotes peace, justice and prosperity. Access to justice accelerates the vision of our Founders in 1776 and the Barons on Runnymede in 1215, that the people might be their own sovereigns. This liberty exists only if the people bear the burden and opportunity of their own government.
The Preamble of the ABA Model Rules on Professional Conduct calls lawyers “public citizens,” with an obligation to ensure the expansion of access to justice, of representation in the system that would govern them and us. Trust in the Rule of Law, trust in our system of justice, trust in republican, representative democracy, all depend on the people’s access to justice and the political system.
For better or worse, the burden of this trust rests on lawyers who are the expert gatekeepers and practitioners of our common, constitutional life. Whether we prosper in peace and democracy or whether we descend into cynical, self-serving war depends on the lawyers. Teaching and training lawyers is a high calling. We are not training mercenaries bent on profit. We are training public citizens upon whom the social order rests.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
I admit that the one email I dread every September is the announcement of the MacArthur Fellows --nothing like feeling totally inadequate three weeks into the new school year by reading about the exceptional accomplishments of this extraordinarily creative and hardworking group of individuals. I personally much prefer the announcement of the Darwin Awards.
But this year when I saw the dreaded email from the MacArthur Foundation, I quickly noted that the clinical community’s own Sarah Deer has been selected! Professor Deer is on the faculty of William Mitchell College of Law and is co-director of their Indian Law Clinic. She is a tireless advocate who has been instrumental in developing legal protections for Native American victims of domestic violence. A description of Professor Deer’s work can be found here. A full list of this year’s MacArthur Fellows can be found here. Congratulations, Professor Deer, on a truly extraordinary and well-earned distinction!
September 16, 2014 in Clinic News, Clinic Profile, Current Affairs, Domestic Violence, Faculty Profile, Family Law, Job Opportunities & Fellowships, Promotions, Honors & Awards | Permalink | Comments (0)
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Last week, The Economist published an article called "Generation i." The “i” was not a capital “I”—a reference to self-centeredness, a characteristic we often assign to the next generation coming of age, both out of a reflexive stereotype, as well as with an enduring familiarity with the characteristics of late adolescence. Rather, it was the more humble and humbling lower-case “i,” and referred to one of the most ethically confounding components of the law school curriculum today: externships. The Economist article referred to externship by its synonym, “internship,” (hence, the “i”) and considered the—ideally, educational and professional—experience in the context of a global trend in which internships have become widely required for entry into the most elite professions, such as law, finance, corporate management, journalism, and government.
The Economist article highlighted that with the rise of internships expected prior to hiring, the market has also seen an increasing number of these internships being unpaid, which effectively serves to segregate poor potential interns from wealthier ones. After all, it is far more difficult for a poor student and her family to support her for several months while she works for free. But it gets worse. As legal educators are well aware, many young people not only have to work for free, but they have to pay to do so in today’s market. In the case of law school students, some will be paying $15,000 or more to work full-time in law offices off-campus over the course of one semester. Is there a point at which this becomes exploitative?
One generation ago, in the late 1990s, I racked up approximately 3,500 hours of law practice experience between my first day of law school and my graduation day and was paid close to $100,000 in the process. If one were to add in my field experience with human and children’s rights, my experiential hours would have approached 4,000. Of those, only approximately 100 were earned through a law school-sponsored externship.
What did my law school do while I was off campus getting thousands of hours of legal experience? It treated me like an adult and tried to support me with flexibility and funding. It granted me a one-year leave to take a paid position working in an international law firm in Tokyo, let me complete my third year in another law school on the other side of the country where I clerked at the law firm where I happily spent the first eight years of my legal career, gave me two grants to support my field work in children’s rights, and allowed me to spend a January term researching child labor in Asia. In other words, the school allowed me a significant amount of freedom to design an educational and professional experience that worked for me as an individual. In exchange, I took my law school classes seriously, participated actively in the law school community, paid full tuition for three years, and despite the income I earned, still graduated six figures in debt with a studio apartment overlooking a parking lot and driving a 1987 Volkswagen Jetta. But I had experience and purpose and was positioned to launch, so I was happy.
Can we offer law students similar opportunities to individualize their legal education and professional development today? I think we can. The ABA’s recent decision to stop limiting law students’ ability to work more than 20 hours a week is a step in the right decision, as is the standard requiring law schools to mandate that students take more experiential courses. But, these changes do not go far enough. In today’s market of declining enrollment for law schools, some deans will be tempted to balance the budget on the backs of students and satisfy the experiential course requirements by offering low-quality externship opportunities. Every law school in the country must resist the temptation to allow our students to mortgage their futures with government-backed student loans in exchange for the “opportunity” to work for free off campus without substantial support from the law school.
Instead, law schools should see the new ABA standard requiring six credits of experiential coursework as an opportunity to strengthen and diversify course offerings that have long been neglected in the legal academy. These offerings should include a variety of law practice simulation courses leading into multiple clinical practice opportunities followed by a successful externship placement or paid clerkship that could lead to a permanent job offer, such as those described in last week’s article in The Economist. In other words, we need to ensure that our students are competitive to launch in a market very different than you and I entered one or two generations ago.
At every stage of this learning process, law schools should ensure that experiential course offerings are high quality and well-resourced, even when they occur off campus. When a student writes a check for thousands of dollars to a law school to work for free, the law school has a heightened moral obligation to ensure that the student has adequate support and supervision from the law school to help ensure that the experience is truly educational and professional and the student is successful. The student should complete the semester, or at his or her least law school career, feeling that, even in a market that many of us fear is increasingly exploitative, the law school had the student’s back. Law schools should not be seen as part of the exploitation and class stratification of “Generation i” being witnessed on a global basis.
Instead, we should transform our approach to “Generation i” into “Generation U,” getting to know our students individually, discovering their dreams and aspirations, and then helping to design an educational and professional program that is all about them. Sometimes that will mean providing high levels of support, other times, it will mean just getting out of their way, but always it should include high-quality choices, both academic and experiential. In doing so, let’s ensure that internships are all about education with our students at its core—in other words, a capital “U” bringing together us, the University, and You, our students.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Yesterday domestic violence was the focus of my clinic class. Along with several guest speakers who practice victim advocacy law, I urged my law students to practice self-care and to anticipate vicarious traumatization in this work. We discussed resilience, and balancing holistic lawyering with appropriate lawyer-client boundaries. We brainstormed stress management activities ranging from running to retail therapy.
And today I am sad. Nearly despondent at times. You wouldn't notice it from my professional demeanor, but I'm aching inside. The sky looks exactly the same today as it looked that morning thirteen years ago when the world changed. The morning the D.C. federal courthouse where I worked was evacuated and my boss and I discussed how long we could "get away with" staying in the building to finish up some pressing work. The morning I could not reach my boyfriend to tell him I was safe, and knew in that same moment that I would marry him and help raise his children who had lost their mom three months earlier to the day. The morning I wondered what the rule of law meant if we were abandoning a federal courthouse where we could see the Pentagon burning from our office window.
Sometimes I still wonder what the rule of law means, where it takes us as a society, how it serves us. I hope it means we get a little better about self-governing every day. That we continue to define societal expectations about what constitues behavior punishable by criminal sanction or enforceable by civil court order.
Twenty years ago the United States Congress passed groundbreaking federal legislation with the Violence Against Women Act. Life and the law under the VAWA is far from perfect. But it's better. My students can lean on the state statute authorized by the VAWA to gain protective orders for their clients. Tomorrow, one of them will do that at a hearing in a small, beautiful state courthouse that on September 11, 2001 did not have to be evacuated. There will be protective order hearings in my old courthouse in D.C. too. We went back to work within a few days, and the rule of law proceeded. As shall we.
Monday, September 8, 2014
The new ABA accreditation standards are out, and we’ll need to start making adjustments to how we assess what our students learn. The standards are intended to move law schools in the direction of learning outcomes, while still requiring certain inputs into the law school learning environment. The word “competency” makes its debut in the standards (appearing three times) and the phrase “learning outcomes” debuts with ten appearances.
Most notably, according to revised standard 301(b), a “law school shall establish and publish learning outcomes.” Revised standard 302 takes areas of law and practice in which we are currently required to “provide instruction” and mandates that we now establish learning outcomes in those areas:
Standard 302. LEARNING OUTCOMES
A law school shall establish learning outcomes that shall, at a minimum, include competency in the following:
(a) Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law;
(b) Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context;
(c) Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system; and
(d) Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession.”
New standard 315 states that we must conduct ongoing evaluation of our learning outcomes and assessment methods:
Standard 315. EVALUATION OF PROGRAM OF LEGAL EDUCATION, LEARNING OUTCOMES, AND ASSESSMENT METHODS
The dean and the faculty of a law school shall conduct ongoing evaluation of the law school's program of legal education, learning outcomes, and assessment methods; and shall use the results of this evaluation to determine the degree of student attainment of competency in the learning outcomes and to make appropriate changes to improve the curriculum.
Many in the clinical community have become accustomed to evaluating and measuring student performance, so these changes present less of a sea change and more of an opportunity to re-examine and upgrade our practices.
I am lucky to work in an interprofessional context in which I can learn from my psychology and social work colleagues, whose accreditation standards have long required competency based educational models. The National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology bases its model on six measurable core competencies. The Council on Social Work Education has identified ten core competencies which are defined as “measurable practice behaviors that are comprised of knowledge, values, and skills.”
While we at the Interprofessional Center have been engaged in interprofessional practice for over a decade, our assessment tools have remained focused on our individual disciplines. Each supervisor evaluates her or his students by discipline specific tools. Over the past year, we have been looking to the health professions for models for identifying and assessing interprofessional collaboration competencies. As a result, we have been learning not only from other health professions, but from each other in terms of how to assess our students’ development. Relying very heavily on the work of others, we have modified and developed a set of Interprofessional Collaboration Competencies and are working this year to implement and measure them with our students engaged in practice. Stay tuned for more on how we are trying to accomplish that task.
Virgil Wiebe, University of St. Thomas (MN)
Over the past year, I have been working with my undergraduate institution's Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Initiative (SoTL). Throughout this effort, I have been amazed while learning about various methdologies used among other discplines. Conversley, at times, I have been driven into the depths of despair (slight exageration) at the woefully inadequate measures of my own, and a fair amount of law school, teaching.
I found this most recent article, passed along from SoTL, to be illuminating, and I wanted to share it with my clinical colleagues (who I am now "tagging" with the responsibility of continuing to pass the article along to other educators).
In sum, the article is based on a recent study by Elizabeth Ligon Bjork, professor of psychology at UCLA, and postdoc research associate, Nichoals Soderstrom, who found that pre-testing students (helping them realize how much information they are lacking from the start), can be effective for improving academic performance and retention. "Bjork’s experiment suggests that pretesting serves to prime the brain, predisposing it to absorb new information."
It's incredible how such a seemingly simple flip can have a significant impact in the classroom....This article, along with my SoTL work, have made it very clear that I have "miles to go before I sleep..."
The author of the New York Times article is Benedict Carey. [On a side note, apart from reporting for the Times, Mr. Carey also has a book coming out later this month "How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where and Why It Happens."]
Monday, September 1, 2014
For your Labor Day reading, a job posting, courtesy of Prof. Greg Reilly of California Western School of Law:
CALIFORNIA WESTERN SCHOOL OF LAW in San Diego invites applications for an entry-level, tenure-track faculty position to begin in the fall of 2015. Our curricular needs are in Family Law, Business Law, and Clinical Teaching. We are particularly, though not exclusively, interested in candidates who are interested in teaching in our Clinical Internship Program, as well as in one of the above-mentioned subject areas. Candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our faculty are strongly encouraged to apply. Interested candidates should email their materials to Professor Scott Ehrlich, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org. California Western is San Diego’s oldest law school. We are an independent, ABA-approved, not-for-profit law school committed to producing practice-ready lawyers. California Western is an equal opportunity employer.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
“It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world.” ― Nelson Mandela
My father was hiking in Mammoth Lakes with his wife, their 5-year-old daughter, and one of his cross-country runners last month when he unexpectedly had a heart attack and died. He was 75 years old and still went to work six days a week, eleven months a year. He had just arrived for a high altitude training camp for his runners. It was his favorite week of the year in a job he loved.
The only thing he loved more than coaching was his family. Thus, at the age of twenty, when he had his first of seven children, he began a lifetime tradition of packing up our entire family (and often a couple of neighborhood friends), driving us to the 405, and asking, “North or South, East or West?” We never knew at the beginning of these month-long vacations whether we would wind up in the Canadian Rockies, a Kansas farm belonging to a third cousin, or the White House. These summer journeys became our sacred time--a time to rejuvenate, reflect, and cocoon as a family, away from work and school.
When I learned of my father’s death, I was in the midst of one of these sojourns with my older sister and our two families. We had just arrived in Ireland for a work-free week of family vacation. Somehow I had managed to complicate my first two weeks away from campus with two law conferences, a grant application, the presentation of two papers, and several professional meetings with potential collaborators. Needless to say, I am no John Binford.
Returning to campus three days after my father’s burial, I immediately threw myself headlong into work—focusing on meeting the end of summer writing deadlines, and preparing to survive the late August tsunami of students and clients and committees. I became friends with midnight and a stranger to my children.
Transitioning from work to sleep one early morning, I read the following article in Times Higher Education (“THE”) on the link between relaxation and work, which reminded me that working longer hours can often compromise productivity, not increase it. It brought to mind a New York Times essay I read last year that cited similar research. Somehow between infancy and high school, I became caught up in America's "Busy Trap," and here in mid-life, I have still not learned to break free. Was this busy-ness compromising my productivity as a professor? Did it make me a poor role model for my students? Was I missing out on motherhood because I mistakenly thought that working 14 hours a day would make me more successful or helpful to those in need or a better provider or whatever it is that is driving me?
What would happen if we stepped back and experimented with some new approaches to productivity, such as those suggested in this Forbes article? What if we set aside three hours a day, away from our students and family and clients and colleagues just to write, and broke those hours into 90-minute blocks? What if we made it a priority to sleep at least eight hours a night? Should we turn off email for hours at a time as suggested in this New York Times op-ed? What if we silenced all notifications when we wanted to think or needed to meet with people? Could we stop sleeping with our iPhones next to us? Better yet, what if we declared our time away from work a digital-free zone? Would that make us smarter, more present, productive, efficient, relaxed? Is it possible to be at peace with not at least trying to answer every email every day? Would it possibly make us more professional to manage our time and communications more proactively, rather than go through life with an “Always Open” neon sign across our chests? Maybe my dad was right about the sanctity of summer vacations. Should we, could we stop trying to work on vacation? According to NPR, adults need recess, too. What about dancing and singing and loving? Will these make us better teachers, scholars, attorneys, people? Maybe we should find out.
Care to dance with me this semester?
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The AALS Request for Proposals for Concurrent Sessions, Workshops, Poster Presentations and Session Moderators for the 2015 Conference on Clinical Legal Education, via its email to members of Aug. 25, 2014:
From Dr. Saru M. Matambanadzo of Tulane University School of Law, please see this Call for Participation in the Twelfth Annual LatCrit-SALT Junior Faculty Development Workshop. The FDW is a yearly effort to support junior faculty and aspiring faculty whose work is committed to critical and progressive perspectives.
Call for Participation
Twelfth Annual LatCrit-SALT
Junior Faculty Development Workshop
October 9, 2014
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
LatCrit, Inc. and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) are pleased to invite interested participants to the Twelfth Annual Junior Faculty Development Workshop (FDW), immediately preceding the SALT Teaching Conference. This annual workshop is designed for critical, progressive, and social justice oriented pre-tenure professors, including clinicians and legal writing professors, as well as those who may be contemplating a teaching career. However, we also encourage more senior members of the profession to attend, share their experience, and serve as resources and mentors.
The FDW is designed to familiarize critical, progressive, and social justice oriented junior faculty with LatCrit and SALT principles and values and support them in the scholarship, teaching, and service aspects of professional success. In addition, the FDW seeks to foster scholarship in progressive, social justice, and critical outsider jurisprudence, including LatCrit theory, among new and junior faculty, students, and practitioners. Finally, the FDW aims to cultivate a community of scholars interested in the continuation of this and similar projects over the years.
To facilitate community building through shared experiences and the exchange of ideas, we strongly encourage all participants to attend the entire workshop.
If you have questions about the workshop or would like to attend, please email SALTLatCritFDW@gmail.com. Although we will make efforts to accommodate all interested participants, RSVPs are strongly suggested by September 30, 2014
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
From Prof. Margaret Johnson of the University of Baltimore School of Law, please see this Call for Papers for the Eighth Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference:
CALL FOR PAPERS: "APPLIED FEMINISM AND WORK"
The University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center on Applied Feminism seeks submissions for its Eighth Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference. This year’s theme is “Applied Feminism and Work.” The conference will be held on March 5 and 6, 2015. For more information about the conference, please visit law.ubalt.edu/caf.
As the nation emerges from the recession, work and economic security are front and center in our national policy debates. Women earn less than men, and the new economic landscape impacts men and women differently. At the same time, women are questioning whether to Lean In or Lean Out, and what it means to “have it all.” The conference will build on these discussions. As always, the Center’s conference will serve as a forum for scholars, practitioners and activists to share ideas about applied feminism, focusing on the intersection of theory and practice to effectuate social change. The conference seeks papers that discuss this year’s theme through the lens of an intersectional approach to feminist legal theory, addressing not only the premise of seeking justice for all people on behalf of their gender but also the interlinked systems of oppression based on race, sexual orientation, gender identity, class, immigration status, disability, and geographical and historical context.
Papers might explore the following questions: What impact has feminist legal theory had on the workplace? How does work impact gender and vice versa? How might feminist legal theory respond to issues such as stalled immigration reform, economic inequality, pregnancy accommodation, the low-wage workforce, women’s access to economic opportunities, family-friendly work environments, paid sick and family leave, decline in unionization, and low minimum wage rates? What sort of support should society and law provide to ensure equal employment opportunities that provide for security for all? How do law and feminist legal theory conceptualize the role of the state and the private sector in relation to work? Are there rights to employment and what are their foundations? How will the recent Supreme Court Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn decisions impact economic opportunities for women? How will the new EEOC guidance on pregnancy accommodation and the Young v. UPS upcoming Supreme Court decision affect rights of female workers?
The conference will provide an opportunity for participants and audience members to exchange ideas about the current state of feminist legal theories. We hope to deepen our understandings of how feminist legal theory relates to work and to move new insights into practice. In addition, the conference is designed to provide presenters with the opportunity to gain feedback on their papers.
The conference will begin the afternoon of Thursday, March 5, 2015, with a workshop. This workshop will continue the annual tradition of involving all attendees as participants in an interactive discussion and reflection. On Friday, March 6, 2015, the conference will continue with a day of presentations regarding current scholarship and/or legal work that explores the application of feminist legal theory to issues involving health. The conference will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker. Past keynote speakers have included Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn, Senators Barbara Mikulski and Amy Klobuchar, and NOW President Terry O’Neill.
To submit a paper proposal, please submit an abstract by Friday, 5 p.m. on October 31, 2014, to email@example.com. It is essential that your abstract contain your full contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address where you can be reached. In the “Re” line, please state: CAF Conference 2015. Abstracts should be no longer than one page. We will notify presenters of selected papers in mid-November. We anticipate being able to have twelve paper presenters during the conference on Friday, March 6, 2015. About half the presenter slots will be reserved for authors who commit to publishing in the symposium volume of the University of Baltimore Law Review. Thus, please indicate at the bottom of your abstract whether you are submitting (1) solely to present or (2) to present and publish in the symposium volume. Authors who are interested in publishing in the Law Review will be strongly considered for publication. Regardless of whether or not you are publishing in the symposium volume, all working drafts of symposium-length or article-length papers will be due no later than February 13, 2015. Abstracts will be posted on the Center on Applied Feminism’s conference website to be shared with other participants and attendees. Presenters are responsible for their own travel costs; the conference will provide a discounted hotel rate, as well as meals.
We look forward to your submissions. If you have further questions, please contact Prof. Margaret Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Ciaran White, Senior Lecturer in Law and Director of the Ulster Law Clinic at the University of Ulster, has asked me to share this opportunity with the clinical community. The University of Ulster is hiring a permanent Lecturer in Law to be associated with the Ulster Law Clinic at the Jordanstown campus, seven miles north of Belfast (at the base of the South Antrim Hills). Details can be found here.
If you have not been to Belfast recently, it is undergoing dynamic transformation as a result of the reconciliation efforts being made by many. It is now the safest city in the United Kingdom, and has a rich and vibrant culture with strong Irish, Scottish, and English influences. The complex political and economic history in the region makes the award-winning Ulster Law Clinic ideally situated for those committed to access to justice, especially in peaceful post-conflict settings. There continue to be socio-economic disadvantages faced by large segments of the population, and there is a concerted effort to create a more just and integrated society.
In addition to the engaging setting of this opportunity, the opportunity to collaborate with someone like Ciaran White is exceptional. I recently had the opportunity to visit with him and his family in Belfast and he is a perfect blend of intelligence, wit, humility, and humor. His dedication to social justice is inspiring, and greatly needed in the Belfast community as it continues to move toward greater reconciliation and healing. If you are in the position to consider an opportunity like this, I strongly encourage you to apply.
Ciaran can be contacted at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Monday, August 18, 2014
In recent days, several stories have highlighted dating violence and intimate partner violence in college. Here is NPR from today, and here is an important piece in HuffPost on the intersections of campus culture, dating violence and sexual assault. Here the Washington Post reports on Coach Nick Saban inviting speakers to address the Alabama football team on domestic violence and human dignity.
Registration is now open for Pepperdine’s conference on DV/IPV on college campuses, October 10 - 11, 2014, at the School of Law in Malibu, California:
Joining me on the organizing committee are Prof. Tanya Cooper of Alabama, Dr. Alesha Durfee of Arizona State, Prof. Margaret Drew of UMass, Prof. Leigh Goodmark of Maryland, and my colleagues, Profs. Carol Chase, Maureen Weston, Janet Kerr and Tony Miller of Pepperdine.
So far, multidisciplinary panels include professors, lawyers and activists from Alabama, North Carolina, UC-Davis and the UC system, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine and other schools. These panels will discuss critical topics including Title IX and Clery Act compliance and strategic interventions, intersectional critiques of institutional responses to DV/IPV, and comprehensive strategies to address campus culture through Greek life, student health, and model bystander programs.
Please join us to discuss and illuminate this epidemic crisis in higher education. Please share this information with leadership, administration, counsel, staff and faculty at your schools so that we may advance justice, peace and well-being among our students.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
This week, besieged by news of injustice, violence, oppression, war, disease and death at home and around the globe, I have felt insulated in privilege and virtually helpless to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice. I have cast about for ideas and action to take beyond shouting into the social media storms, and I remember this powerful weapon against injustice:
This is the new classroom for clinics at Pepperdine. We just moved into new quarters at the School of Law, and this room will serve our clinic seminars, case rounds and externship workshops. Presently, it is plain and simple, with temporary furniture and awaiting all of the technology of modern classrooms. Even without projectors, computers, wired tables and ergonomic chairs, it is sacred space.
Classrooms are our sanctuaries, and into that space we enter with students who are becoming lawyers, operatives and guardians of the Rule of Law. They will be the public citizens responsible for ensuring the fate of the Republic. Whether they are prosecutors or defenders, impact litigators or corporate counsel, in Congress or in a basement, they will enter communities with power and skills to shape society. In our classrooms, we do not indoctrinate, but we work with students to shape who they will be, to guide how they will use their gilded brains and technical prowess. This is holy ground.
This is why I insist that students call me Professor. The title marks the relationship, the obligations and purpose of our undertaking. Like we name judges, clergy and representatives, so we mark the office of teacher. We remind ourselves and our students of the important work of preparing for work in the world. They will take lives, families, liberty, fortunes and justice into their hands, so we do not take their training casually. This is justice work.
This week we had a brilliant full-moon. My nine-year old daughter and I went out to look at it rising over the mountains around our house. She said that she had never been able to understand the Man in the Moon. She couldn’t envision it, couldn’t make her mind see the shapes in an image that everyone else could see. I explained that the image was really shadows on the craters of the moon and described it as an abstract picture of a face that covered the whole circle of the moon, with wide eyes, a squiggly nose, an open mouth. She said, “Oh, I see it! Like it’s saying, ‘Oh!’” She saw it, and she will see it forever. She will forget that she could ever look at a full moon without seeing it.
This is our best teaching. We explain and demonstrate the concrete facts, the reality, but we infuse the cold, hard edges with ancient wisdom and the vision to see what might be. We inspire imagination as we impart knowledge. We interpret a vision that will forever shape the hearts and minds of students, and we must be careful. We must show them the world as it is but lead them to imagine what can be.
Our students go forth into the world to amplify our lessons to everyone in their worlds and to future generations. In dark days, when doing my job seems ridiculously inadequate to the task, I take hope from the realist wisdom of Reinhold Niebuhr:
The fight for justice in society will always be a fight. But wherever the spirit of justice grows imaginative and is transmuted into love, a love in which the interests of the other are espoused, the struggle is transcended by just that much.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Prof. Stacy Caplow is the Associate Dean for Professional Legal Education & Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School. Brooklyn recently announced the addition of several new clinical faculty to support new and expanding programs.
1. Recently you shared an announcement of several new hires on the Brooklyn clinical faculty. Who are the professors joining you, and what will they be teaching?
Brooklyn Law School was able to hire four new clinicians this year. The first, Jodi Balsam, is filling a newly created position of Director of Civil Externships. Jodi most recently taught in the Lawyering Program at NYLS and before that in the Lawyering Program at NYU. She worked for a major NYC law firm, the NFL and clerked in the federal court in both the SDNY and Second Circuit. We have one of the most extensive externship programs in the country (not difficult in NYC) in which students work in judges’ chambers, law offices (both private and public interest) government agencies, and corporations. More than 200 students each semester participate in externships (and that’s on top of the approximately 100 in our in-house clinics and another 50 in our hybrid clinics). Jodi will bring experience as a both a teacher and practitioner to help us harness this program by creating better designed reflective components, working more closely with adjunct faculty, and reviewing all of the placements. It’s a huge job but she’s already hard at work.
Two clinical faculty members were recruited through our Center for Urban and Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE) a new center at Brooklyn Law School that stresses introducing students to the skills and values of being business lawyers, particularly to new enterprises. We already have three popular and established transactional clinics —Community Development, Corporate Real Estate (affordable housing) and BLIP (Brooklyn Law Innovation & Policy-tech working with start ups and policy). Expanding our clinics to enroll more students and to handle more and different types of projects has been a key goal of CUBE. Our two new clinical faculty will work in these three clinics. Ted DeBarbieri, an alum of the Community Development Clinic, has worked for years at the Urban Justice Center particularly in organizing worker’s coops. Ted is a true ‘economic justice’ lawyer who most recently co-taught in a clinic at NYU. The other new clinician, Marjorie White, stands in contrast to Ted. She has spent her entire career in the private sector, both law firms and corporations, in a sophisticate global transactional practice. Marjorie will work primarily in the BLIP clinic bringing her expertise in corporate law to Brooklyn Law School students.
Natalie Chin is the director of our newest offering, Advocates for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Clinic. This program was funded with a four-year grant to serve a very underrepresented group within the community of the disabled. Natalie was most recently a Clinical Fellow at Cardozo where she co-taught in their Guardianship Clinic. The AIIDD Clinic will assist individuals transitioning into adult services in employment and housing, and will also work to help draft and create instruments to assure the care and security of individuals as their own long-term caregivers age. Natalie will spend this semester planning the program and we’ll enroll its first students in January.
2. That is significant growth for a program in one year. How did you, the deans and faculty at Brooklyn plan and prepare for the addition of these clinics and teachers?
It certainly is… and it’s more growth than we’ve experienced in a long time. There are at least two explanations for this burst of activity. First, we have a new Dean who is very supportive of our clinics and externships. He truly understands that we need to provide the best designed, most thoughtful and most diverse opportunities to our students. He cares about quality not just quantity. Second, we have been really lucky in our fundraising. It should come as no surprise that donors respect and are excited by the kind of education that takes place in clinics. But this is really the first time in the law school’s history that we have raised so much private funding (the late lamented DOE and LSC money did wonders but that’s long gone) that does not merely allow us to expand temporarily but to do some serious long term building. Third, it’s no accident that this is happening at a time that law schools are undergoing seismic changes. Our school has distinguished itself for a long time by having a large, diverse and exciting clinical program. The message about learning from practice as a way of preparing for a career is resonating even more loudly these days. Applicants to the school see these opportunities, and employers value our students’ clinical experiences. Why wouldn’t a school support one of its most enduring and valuable pillars!? In fact, our faculty voted a practical skills course requirement this year too. It was easy to persuade them to do this since all but 17 students in last year’s graduating class had taken at least one semester of a clinic or externship
3. What are your strategies and visions for the program in coming years after such a big year of expansion?
Obviously we are not likely to experience such dramatic growth often. We will be looking for one more new clinician once Natalie starts in September since our grant also funds a fellow/staff attorney position. So that will make 5! But one of our senior, tenured clinicians is retiring at the end of next year so my immediate goal is to engage our faculty in thinking about what kind of clinical program should be our next step, and to start a tenure-track hiring process. Ask me next summer if I managed to persuade my faculty that this would be an important next step. We are also hiring a new Director of Legal Writing so I am hoping to collaborate with my new colleague to bring more writing and skills classes to the upperclass elective curriculum. Over the past decade, most of our expansion took place in hybrid programs. With all of these new programs and the expansion of existing programs, we should be reorienting ourselves to expanding or at least holding fast to our in-house offerings and making sure we have a strong faculty infrastructure for all of our programs
4. How has the expansion of your programs affected your work as program director and your own teaching and clinical practice?
Funny you should ask! I had a sabbatical last semester but worked harder than ever recruiting all of these new hires and pushing through other projects. After about a year of effort, I am launching a new program this fall that I’ll be teaching. It’s called the Public Interest/Public Service Fellowship Program. It’s modeled after and owes a big debt to the Lawyers for America Program at Hastings. Nine students will be doing year-long, full-time externships at six different law offices (6 public interest, 3 government placements) and taking a 4-credit seminar with me that also satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement. After they take the bar exam, they will return to their placements as paid Fellows for one year. In most cases, their salaries are comparable to entry-level hires at these offices. While there is no guarantee that they will find permanent employment at the host office, at the end of two years they will have had a lot of valuable experience and will be admitted to the bar (hopefully). And by the way, I’m still supervising students in the Safe Harbor Immigration Project and teaching immigration law. My academic dean gave me a break this fall and allowed me to not teach Criminal Law for the first time in more than twenty years.
5. In California, the state bar is ready to enact rules to require 50 hours of pro bono and 15 units of professional skills classes as a requirement for admission to the bar. New York already has such rules; how have New York’s bar rules affected your work in clinics and externships?
Not really since the 50 hour requirement includes all clinics and externships in the public sector, even judicial, so our students have no trouble meeting the requirement. As I mentioned above, we passed a skills course requirement (excluding simulations) with no controversy. We’ve found that more than 60-70% of our students take two semesters in either a clinic or externship. 100% of the class take a skills course, including simulations.
Yesterday, the ABA House of Delegates voted to approve a number of law school reforms, including one that would require students to “take a minimum of six hours in a legal clinic or other ‘experiential’ environment,” the National Law Journal reports. Kudos to Kate Kruse and Claudia Angelos, who have led this charge for positive change on behalf of the Clinical Legal Education Association or CLEA, whose mission is “to advocate for clinical legal education.” In their most recent update for the spring 2014 CLEA newsletter (p. 3-4), they recount the history behind “the most sweeping changes to the ABA Standards to come in the area of law school curriculum” and CLEA’s petition to the ABA that, compared to numerous other professions to require practical training, “the law lagged far behind.” Of course, as Bob Kuehn writes in the fall 2013 CLEA newsletter (p. 6), several “states are stepping into the breach to address the lack of adequate practice-based training in law school” by requiring new candidates for admission to their bar to have prior experiential education. Even though, as Kruse and Angelos note, “implementation of the 6-credit experiential education requirement will go into effect three years after enactment,” this is a great day for experiential law; congrats to all.
This has been a Happy year for artist Pharrell Williams, and also for clinical law school teachers. Lawyer happiness (well-being and career contentment) was a central theme at this year’s AALS Clinical Conference, Becoming a Better Clinician, where several clinicians presented empirical research (see Nancy Levit, et al.’s bibliography on p. 89-90). Turns out that factors like professional autonomy in a supportive environment, a genuine sense of serving a benevolent purpose, and alignment of work/personal values really matter when assessing job satisfaction, as Larry Krieger and Ken Sheldon’s 6200-subject study on what makes lawyers happy found. In a summary for the spring 2014 CLEA newsletter (p. 27-8), Krieger puts his study’s “striking” findings in context for clinicians: “they showed that the hierarchical, competitive, and materialistic priorities common to many law schools and law firms can undermine lawyer happiness and satisfaction. . . . For example, when comparing subjects by practice grouping, the group with the highest mean pay and class ranks, lawyers in ‘prestige’ jobs, were less happy, and felt less competent in practice, than the group with the lowest mean grades and pay, lawyers in public service positions. Thus, both ‘success’ and ‘competence’ as traditionally measured in law school do not appear to translate to real lawyers in actual work settings.”
In the real world, too many lawyers are unhappy, as Leigh McMullan Abramson wrote in last month’s The Atlantic. Abramson left the law, disenchanted with her large-firm experience, and was surprised to learn there is an industry devoted to helping people leave the profession. “Law-firm associate consistently ranks at the top of unhappy-professions lists and despite starting salaries of $160,000, law firms experience significant yearly associate attrition.” (hyperlinks in original). “The problem,” Abramson notes, “can begin with the choice to go to law school, which is often made for reasons having nothing to do with the actual practice of law and without diligence about whether the profession is really a fit.”
Finding your fit in the profession is precisely how some law schools help students address this lawyer-burnout problem. At the University of Alabama School of Law, for example, Pamela Pierson has created The Business of Being a Lawyer, a mandatory ethics course that explores topics like the ever-changing legal market and employment trends, basic personal finance planning, emotional intelligence (see also Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman’s Authentic Happiness questionnaires), and how to effectively become a “free agent” given that “the average attorney will change jobs seven times in a career,” and “attorneys need marketing skills to position themselves for multiple employment situations and transitions throughout their careers.”
Another reason for lawyers’ blues, Abramson highlights, is the “disconnect between the training students receive and the skills required in practice.” Too many new grads feel ill-equipped for practice. Enter experiential learning. If only it was ubiquitous and mandatory. That should change since the ABA voted yesterday that new “standards for law schools would require students to take a minimum of six hours in a clinic or other ‘experiential’ environment,” the National Law Journal reports. The data does not however suggest, Krieger explains, that either clinical or externship experience in law school contributes to lawyer wellbeing; instead, “the most important factors relating to well-being are also factors that would tend to develop more in experiential programs – autonomy, competence, relatedness to others, interest in/passion for one’s work, and valuing altruistic service.”
Speaking of legal education reform, Montré Carodine suggests in her article for Ozy that law profs get back to practice: the “key to innovation in law schools is having policy makers immersed in the real world for substantial periods of time.” As a clinician, I relish that daily privilege. Practicing with students keeps me informed about how the law is interpreted and justice meted out in everyday scenarios that usually involve the poor, unpopular, and often disenfranchised segment of local society. In those opportunities, I learn what is and how to teach best practices, and it is satisfying. Clients and students alike report similarly positive outcomes, and how they felt treated and able to participate in the process. We are, according to Jane Aiken, Provocateurs for Justice. On occasion, a monumental case with issues of law and fact of first impression will arise, and we can contribute to its common lawmaking. We especially get to interact with those people affected and that makes a big difference in our experience and ability to convey their plight, and the responsibilities and rewards abound. And I for one am happy to clap along.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Prof. Kathryn M. Stanchi of Temple University Beasley School of Law and her co-editors share this call for applications for contributors, authors and editors for The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project:
The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of revised opinions and commentary for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. This edited volume is a collaborative project among feminist law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key Supreme Court decisions relevant to gender issues. Editors Kathy Stanchi, Linda Berger and Bridget Crawford seek prospective authors for 20 to 25 rewritten Supreme Court opinions covering a range of topics including reproductive rights, equal protection, the state’s use of criminal power, privacy, the family, women’s political participation, Title IX, employment discrimination and substantive due process. The editors also seek authors for commentaries of 1,500 to 2,500 words to put into context each of the rewritten cases.
The U.S. Feminist Judgments project was inspired by the successful collection and publication in Britain of Feminist Judgments:From Theory to Practice, edited by Rosemary Hunter, Clare McGlynn, and Erika Rackley. This volume, which included feminist versions of twenty-three key British decisions from the Court of Appeal and House of Lords, was published in 2010 and has been very well received. Like the sister project in Britain, the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project endeavors to pioneer “a new form of critical socio-legal scholarship” that illustrates how cases could have been decided differently had a feminist method been employed. We believe that U.S. Supreme Court law is ripe for this kind of scholarly treatment.
Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten opinions should fill out an application here.
Applications are due by September 15, 2014 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Editors will notify accepted authors and commentators by October 7, 2014. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on February 1, 2015. First drafts of comments on the rewritten opinions will be due on March 15, 2015. The editors are in the process of identifying a publisher; publication of the final volume is anticipated for late 2015.
A list of cases tentatively scheduled for rewriting is available here.
Applicants may indicate their preferences among the list of cases. Applicants also may suggest other cases for rewriting. The tentative cases were chosen with the input and advice of an Advisory Panel of distinguished U.S. scholars including Kathryn Abrams, Katharine Bartlett,Devon Carbado, Mary Anne Case, Erwin Chemerinsky, April Cherry, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Martha Fineman, Margaret Johnson, Sonia Katyal, Nancy Leong, Catharine MacKinnon, Rachel Moran, Melissa Murray, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Nancy Polikoff, Dorothy Roberts, Dan Rodriguez, Susan Ross, Vicki Schultz, Dean Spade, Robin West, and Verna Williams.
Friday, August 8, 2014
My friend, Ken Dunham, begins his last semester teaching this week. He is retiring after a long, fruitful career first as an accountant, then a lawyer for decades, then reborn as a mediator and clinical law professor. I met Ken at Faulkner University Jones School of Law where I started teaching as the school’s first dedicated clinical director.
The truth is that Ken had been the clinical director there before there was a clinical program to direct. He started the first clinic there, JSL’s Mediation Clinic, even as he founded the school’s center on alternative dispute resolution and as he helped design and shape Alabama’s systems for alternative dispute resolution. He researched, designed and launched the school’s externship program, all before the school moved from state-accreditation to full approval by the ABA. Ken wisely navigated complex local politics, using his training and experience as a mediator and negotiator to help guide JSL through great and disruptive transitions.
Ken laid the foundation for the clinical program which I led for a long season as a rookie law professor, and he only ever encouraged and empowered me. We became and are fast friends, and he is a wise, calm and committed colleague with a heart for justice. We coached JSL’s ABA Negotiation Competition and the ABA Representation in Mediation Competition teams, and won a national championship in 2013. In these competitions, we traveled the country together with students, and I discovered Ken’s secret weapon. He knew really good restaurants in every single city we ever visited, and this is knowledge not to be underestimated.
Professor Ken Dunham is a loving, funny teacher, and he has had a formative effect on generations of students at JSL. He has transformed Alabama’s system and culture of alternative dispute resolution. He has been indispensable in the building of a strong and scrappy law school that serves Montgomery and Alabama with excellence. He is a great friend to many and is a wise mentor to young lawyers throughout the South. He is devoted as a husband and father, and he tells great stories without end. He is an excellent, practical lawyer.
Thoreau wrote, “Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of too much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.” Ken Dunham is moral, and he is good. He lives a full and abundant life, and he has been good for something. He has earned retirement, but he will strive to teach and love students for one more semester. His legacy is secure.