Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Program Update from the Clinical Legal Education Program at Florida State

Via Prof. Darby Kerrigan Scott

At the FSU Law Public Interest Law Center, we are all about expansion, collaboration, and innovation. Exciting new programs are already fully booked. A statewide racial justice initiative adds to our established focus on racial issues. Advocacy and research with the FSU College of Social Sciences reflects our zeal for collaboration. Decades of advocacy result in full release from prison. The honor of a fact reference from the United Nations. More than 80 Afghan families, relocated in North Florida, receiving our crucial help. These are stories of hope and dedicated students. Happy holidays!

-Professor Paolo Annino, director of the FSU College of Law Public Interest Law Center

Read FSU's full program update here. 

 

January 18, 2023 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 9, 2023

Clinical Law Prof Blog and Best Practices for Legal Education

After many years of blogging about critical issues in legal education, the Best Practices blog has transitioned to merge with the Clinical Law Prof blog. The new, permanent home for the Best Practices blog is now on the Clinical Law Prof Blog and Best Practices for Legal Education blog site. This new blog affiliates the Clinical Law Prof blog with the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), an organization of law professors that advocates for clinical legal education as fundamental to the education of lawyers. We are grateful for this partnership and are confident that this cooperative endeavor will serve the best interests of legal education and further the critical role of law clinics in legal education.

Davida Finger & Melanie Daily

January 9, 2023 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

CLEA Newsletter - Winter 2022-2023

Here is the fresh CLEA Newsletter, Winter 2022-2023, with a message from new co-presidents, Lynnise Pantin and Gautam Hans; CLEA's statement on US News rankings; updates from the CLEA committees; articles on clinical legal education; notes on CLEA events; and news and celebration from clinical law profs and this community. 

Read the newsletter here!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

January 3, 2023 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Applied Legal Storytelling Conference - Priority Proposal Submission Deadline, Feb 3

Via Prof. D'lorah Hughes and the organizing committee: 

The planning committee for the 9th Biennial Applied Legal Storytelling Conference is please to send out this call for proposals. The conference will take place July 26 to 28, 2023 at The City Law School, City, University of London. The Call is attached and also reproduced, below the end of the email. The proposal submission site is online.

Per usual there are two deadlines for proposals: December 2 (priority deadline) and February 3 (extended deadline). And per usual, we welcome people new to the discourse. The call includes links to materials, but this conference is known for presenters bringing in brand new and experimental ideas.

Please distribute this CFP widely! And please feel free to ask questions to any of the planners. In addition, we are also convening a “New Participants” committee, who will offer resources and special welcomes to those who are new to the conference series.

Download the complete Call for Proposals and conference information here.

December 18, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 12, 2022

CLEA Statement on US News Rankings for Clinical Programs (2022)

Via CLEA Co-Presidents Prof. Caitlin Berry and Prof. Shobha L. Mahadev

The Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) continues to oppose the ranking system used by U.S. News and World Reports (USNWR). CLEA exists to advocate for clinical legal education as fundamental to the education of lawyers, and one of our core points of advocacy is to pursue and promote justice and diversity as core values of the legal profession. CLEA has long recognized that the USNWR ranking system is at odds with our central mission, as it rewards schools who rely on high standardized test scores in admissions decisions and punishes schools who offer public interest fellowship programs to their graduates. CLEA’s recent restatement of our opposition to the standardized testing requirement in law school admissions before the ABA Council reiterated our position that the use of standardized tests to assess students and schools negatively impacts legal education and is racially discriminatory.

With regard to clinical rankings, the current USNWR ranking system places us in competition with each other, when we as a group see ourselves in a shared struggle for social justice and equity in legal education. Second, there are no articulated factors for ranking clinical programs, including whether to recognize the work of externship programs, so the voting can be arbitrary and inconsistent. Third, some schools may unfairly suffer because they do not have the budget or the support of their administration to market their program or send their clinical faculty to annual conferences.

For clinic faculty who are in a position to take action against the use of USNWR rankings, possible alternatives to participating in the ranking of clinical programs could include: (1) declining to submit a ballot at all and sending a letter to USNWR explaining why; (2) requesting that USNWR remove the school from the clinical ranking survey; (3) submitting a ballot in which the response for every school is "no answer;” and/or (4) making a public statement against the use of USNWR rankings requesting that others do not rank the school in the survey.

We understand that each law school has a unique set of needs and priorities. Some clinical programs outside the top-tier rankings have achieved recognition of their respective programs through the USNWR; and this, in turn, has allowed them to further advance the goals of their clinical education programs. Individual faculty may choose to continue to participate, or may not be in a position to refuse to submit a rankings ballot or ask that their program not be ranked. If faculty do vote, CLEA urges those ranking clinical programs to focus on factors that promote the principles for which CLEA advocates, namely the increased presence of clinical education (law clinics and externships) in law school curricula, security of position for clinical faculty, and diversity and equity. In evaluating clinical programs, CLEA urges voters to consider: 1) the number of law clinic and externship slots available relative to the student population at a school; 2) the breadth and quality of clinical curricular offerings available to students; 3) the school's security of position, academic freedom, and governance rights for faculty who teach clinics or externships; and 4) the extent to which the school has committed to pursuing racial justice in its clinical program through its course offerings, impact on the community, and demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity in hiring and promotion of clinical faculty.

CLEA urges voters to score only those programs for which they have sufficient information to make informed decisions. It urges voters to choose the “No Answer” option when they have insufficient information to assess a particular clinical program. Last, CLEA also urges those who receive ballots to consult their clinical colleagues for their views to increase the range of informed opinions reflected in the balloting.

We are grateful to the growing list of law schools who have removed themselves from the rankings system for their advocacy and for raising awareness about the destructive consequences of the current system. We hope that our collective efforts move legal education towards greater equity and accessibility for future students and the legal profession.

December 12, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 9, 2022

In gratitude for CLEA

Today was my last meeting as a member of the board of directors of the Clinical Legal Education Association. This is one of the high honors of my career, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to work and serve alongside brilliant, creative, generous, justice-minded clinical law profs for these six years. I’m terming-out after three years on the executive committee and a three-year term on the board. In 2017, I served as vice-president followed by a term as president in 2018. These are positions of stewardship and collaboration for a vital organization within US legal education.

When I became a clinical professor and program director nearly 17 years ago as a young lawyer, I was at a school with a then fledgling (now thriving) clinical program. I did not take clinics in law school, so I was excited but adrift without a lot of support to show me how to do it. It was CLEA and its community of hospitable, encouraging mentors and colleagues who taught me how to do this work well, through meetings and conferences, conversations and questions, books and articles. In my experience, CLEA plays two essential roles in legal education, and this is the first one: developing community and training, empowering, and guiding new clinicians. Very often, clinical profs are few (maybe even alone) at their law schools, and CLEA provides a collegial, practically useful congregation of experienced experts more than willing to share.

CLEA’s second great contribution is advocating for clinical education itself, the movement toward more and better experiential education and professional formation for law students, rooted deeply in access to justice and the improvement of the law and our profession. CLEA has been essential in advancing security of position and status for clinical profs and ensuring that clinical education is a central part of law school curriculum. Its work results in generations of law students better prepared to practice, to practice well with wisdom and resilience, and to advance access to justice in their careers. That work continues.

I’m ever grateful to CLEA for its investments in me and countless other clinical professors, and I am grateful to have served for six years on the executive committee and the board of directors with some of the best professors, lawyers, and people in the world. CLEA and its leadership will continue to advance its important work with care, integrity, joy, and love. 

Well done, y’all.  

December 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Program Update from the Clinical Program at Loyola - New Orleans

Via Prof. Davida Finger: 

The Loyola New Orleans Law Clinic is pleased to share an update about its in-house clinics and externship program. We are proud to have sworn in 65 student practitioners for the 2022-2023 academic year. We are also pleased to share the accomplishments of our clinic faculty. At Loyola New Orleans, we know that working with clients is a fundamental aspect of legal education. We hope that you enjoy our Fall 2022 clinic news.

Read the full report here. 

December 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 5, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at UDC

Via Prof. Lindsay Harris

Dear Community,

We are so proud to share with you our annual newsletter for the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law’s Clinical Program. As one of only six HBCUs in the country, this year, we celebrate 50 years of UDC Law’s commitment to access and excellence.

Below you will read and hear about the work of our seven in-house Clinics. Some highlights include welcoming three new tenured or tenure-track faculty members this Fall, the re-launch of our Criminal Law and Tax Clinics, along with the wins and client perspectives from our Immigration and Human Rights Clinic. You’ll read about our General Practice Clinic Co-Directors being recognized with teaching and service awards and a new annual community summit organized by our Youth Justice Clinic. Our Legislation Clinic students and faculty advocated for change on the local and international stage and students in our Community Development Law Clinic saw their transactional work as transformational, human work. We are united in continuing to provide life-saving legal services to the most vulnerable members of the broader D.C. community while providing rigorous training to our students.

Through our continued partnership with the Government Accountability Project, we offer the unique Whistleblower Protection Clinic, and we launched a new partnership with Rising for Justice this year to offer a Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic. Through it all – at 50 years – we remain steadfastly committed to community and dedicated to practicing law, promoting justice and changing lives.

Read the full report here. 

December 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 2, 2022

Fogel, Hoopes and Liu on Law Clerk Selection and Diversity

This is interesting clinic-adjacent scholarship, a study by Jeremy Fogel (Berkeley), Mary Hoopes (Pepperdine), and Justice Goodwin Liu on diversity in federal judicial clerkships. 

Here's the abstract for the paper on SSRN

Judicial clerkships are key positions of responsibility and coveted opportunities for career advancement. Commentators have noted that the demographics of law clerks do not align with the student population by law school, socioeconomic background, gender, race, or ethnicity, and that ideological matching is prevalent between judges and their clerks. But extant studies draw on limited data and offer little visibility into how judges actually select clerks. For this study, we conducted in-depth individual interviews with fifty active judges of the federal courts of appeals to learn how they approach law clerk selection and diversity. Our sample, though not fully representative of the judiciary, includes judges from all circuits, appointed by Presidents of both parties, with average tenure of fourteen years. The confidential interviews, which drew in part upon the peer relationship that two of us have with fellow judges, yielded rich and candid insights not captured by prior surveys.

This Article reports our findings, among them: (1) With few exceptions, appellate judges hire clerks as an “ensemble” and assign positive value to diversity, although judges vary significantly in the dimensions of diversity they seek. (2) Most judges disclaim any interest in ideological alignment when hiring clerks; we situate this finding in the context of factors that contribute to ideological segmentation of the clerkship market. (3) Republican appointees, compared to Democratic appointees, more often identified socioeconomic diversity as the primary dimension of diversity they seek. (4) Judges who graduated from law schools outside the U.S. News & World Report top twenty are significantly more likely than other judges to hire clerks from schools outside the top twenty. (5) Almost all judges in our sample consider gender in clerkship hiring, and many have specific goals for gender balance. Republican appointees reported more difficulty drawing women into their applicant pool than Democratic appointees. (6) Most judges in our sample assign positive value to racial diversity and consider race to some degree in evaluating applicants, although it is important to note that some judges believe strongly that such consideration is inappropriate. (7) Many judges who view racial diversity positively nonetheless reported difficulty hiring Black and Hispanic clerks. The judges with the most robust records of minority hiring are those who make affirmative efforts to draw minority candidates into their applicant pool or place greater emphasis on indicators of talent besides grades and law school rank, or do both. (8) Black judges are particularly successful in hiring Black clerks; we estimate that Black judges, who comprised less than one-eighth of active circuit judges during our study, accounted for more than half of the Black clerks hired each year in the federal courts of appeals.

These findings have implications for judicial selection; in short, diversity among judges affects diversity among clerks. Further, one of our most consistent findings is that judges do not discuss clerk hiring or diversity with each other. This silence reflects norms of judicial culture that foster collegiality and mutual deference while tending to inhibit peer-to-peer discussion of how judges select their clerks. Yet many judges want to hire more diverse clerks and would like to learn from their colleagues’ practices. We propose measures to increase transparency, facilitate peer exchange, and increase judges’ capacity to achieve their hiring objectives, whatever they may be.

 

December 2, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at Denver University Sturm College of Law

Via Prof. Kevin Lynch

Greetings from Denver! It has been quite a year for our clinical program, including a $300,000 settlement for one of our clients, precedent-setting developments on language access for water pollution permits, and a visit last April by Professor Sameer Ashar—our most recent Hartje Clinical Scholar in Residence. We are also thrilled to welcome two new visitors in our Criminal Defense and Immigration Law and Policy clinics, as well as three new fellows in our Christopher N. Lasch Clinical Teaching Fellowship program. Our externship program continues to raise the bar, this year hitting a record of over 40% paid externships. Finally, I’m excited to take the reins as our Clinical Director after Patience Crowder led us through the challenges and opportunities of the past few years. We’re excited to share what we’ve been up to with all of you.

Download the 2022 Denver Law Clinical Update here.

December 1, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Difficult Decisions on Voting in US News Rankings of Clinical Programs

The ballots for US News rankings have arrived. I am a voter for the Law Specialty Clinical Training category in my role as associate dean for clinical education. In this season of upheaval and controversy around US News rankings, I am mindful of their profound deficiencies and the complex, conflicted decisions they present to those of us who object to their hegemonic distortions in legal education. Here I wrestle with some of the ethical quandaries pressing on voters in the specialty categories, at least mine.

(In full disclosure, I am not writing on behalf of Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, where I work, or the Clinical Legal Education Association, where I sit on the board.)

The main US News law school rankings are flawed in many important ways, but I am focusing on the specialty rankings. These depend entirely on peer reputation with essentially no guidance at all for assessing programs. The ballot lists every ABA-accredited law school and asks voters to score each school on a 5 – 1 scale: Outstanding (5), Strong (4), Good (3), Adequate (2), Marginal (1), plus a “no answer” category. The ballot does not define these terms. Here are the only instructions and sole guidance for voters:

Please review the entire list of law schools before rating individual programs. Identify the law schools you are familiar with, and then rate the overall academic quality of their clinical training courses or programs. In making your choices consider all elements that contribute to a program's academic excellence, the depth and breadth of the program, faculty research and publication record, etc. Rate programs on a scale of outstanding (5) to marginal (1). If you are not familiar with a school’s faculty, programs and graduates, please mark “No answer.”

For these and all other specialty rankings, US News does not obtain publicly available data or seek more information from law schools. It could inquire about the number of programs at a school, seats in clinics and externships relative to the student body, the rank and status of clinical faculty, curriculum requirements, and the like. We provide this sort of data to the ABA, CSALE, and other rankings already. But US News determines its rankings for these programs exclusively on peer reputation which voters may base on deliberate investigation, general familiarity, proximity, vibes, or last year’s peer reputation rankings.

So these rankings are not reliable indicators of much, but they exert a gravitational pull on law schools and all our programs. To date, a dozen schools have declared that they are not participating in US News rankings (although their statements are not clear what participation means and whether they will decline to vote in addition to refusing to provide data). Other schools have affirmatively announced they are remaining. The schools who have left are mostly schools with enough market power to move without much risk and that may exert enough pressure to make US News change its ways. Other schools are not competitive in US News rankings and may rightly feel some liberty to ignore them and manifest their values in other ways. For many schools in the middle, the best option now seems to be to stay in the US News morass and urge it to improve.

For the specialty voters at the schools who remain, the option to refuse may not be available. Unless our schools have withdrawn, those of us who vote in specialty rankings may object, but we likely have an obligation to our schools to participate despite the flaws. Personally, I would scrap the entire racket or strip it of its dispositive influence, but I have a duty to my school if it designates me to vote. I also have a duty to counterparts in clinical education at other schools to vote well, honestly, and diligently. My real, moral objection to the entire enterprise compounds the tension. These are common conflicts.

For many in this position, if they refused to vote while their school participates, their schools could merely replace them. Individual conscientious objection likely could harm their school and their careers without effecting much influence. Collective action is key to improve or discard the rankings (even if there might be some risk of anti-trust exposure, however slight).

For years, CLEA has addressed this with a statement that criticizes the regime and offers guidelines for voters. (I’ve helped draft some versions of this statement for CLEA.) Here is the most recent version from 2021:

CLEA, through its Board of Directors, urges those ranking clinical programs to focus on factors that promote the principles for which CLEA advocates, namely the increased presence of clinical education (law clinics and externships) in law school curricula, security of position for clinical faculty, and diversity and equity. In evaluating clinical programs, CLEA urges voters to consider: 1) the number of law clinic and externship slots available relative to the student population at a school; 2) the breadth and quality of clinical curricular offerings available to students; 3) the school's security of position, academic freedom, and governance rights for faculty who teach clinics or externships; and 4) the extent to which the school has committed to pursuing racial justice in its clinical program through its course offerings, impact on the community, and demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity in hiring and promotion of clinical faculty. 

CLEA urges voters to score only those programs for which they have sufficient information to make informed decisions. It urges voters to choose the “No Answer” option when they have insufficient information to assess a particular clinical program.

Last, CLEA also urges those who receive ballots to consult their clinical colleagues for their views to increase the range of informed opinions reflected in the balloting.

These are material, valid factors to consider when evaluating the quality of a program, but they are not binding. There is no way to ensure that the results of US News reflect these standards, but our community hopes that they do.

We should not cede to US News the role to define standards for evaluating clinical programs, but US News could look to publicly available data or look to experts in these fields to establish sound standards and objectives. This would help the academy, the clinical movement, and US News itself.  

Until it does, I continue to struggle over whether and how to participate. In light of the systemic realities and the conflicting interests among our various institutions and obligations, perhaps the best we can do is to organize among ourselves to improve the results, to vote with honesty and diligence, and to continue to advocate for a better way. This runs of the risk of complicity, and perhaps it is insufficient to dislodge the pernicious effects of the rankings. But if our schools have not withdrawn, opting out as individual voters likely does not advance the reforms we need. Even if only one voter votes (and maybe if no voter votes), US News will still rank our programs; rankings are the product it sells.

For now, clinical colleagues at schools that have withdrawn almost certainly will not vote, and that will create distortions of its own, however admirable and needed. Some may refuse to vote even if their schools have not withdrawn, running risks to their schools and themselves, on principle, and denying the rankings their careful insights. Others, like me, will again vote under protest, applying the CLEA guidelines and doing our homework to vote as well as we can, relying on this vibrant, smart, good community to do the same.

The results will be even more suspect next year. Perhaps this will prompt US News to improve its methods or make the rankings less relevant to everyone.

November 30, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, November 21, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at WashU

Via Prof. Sarah Narkiewicz:

We are proud to share news about the amazing work that WashULaw’s Clinical Education Program has done over the past year, in St. Louis and beyond. Each of our eighteen clinics and externships provides an opportunity for students to gain invaluable real-world experience and mentorship under the supervision of outstanding professors and attorneys. Our students do vital work in the community and make a real difference in the lives of their clients. As 2022 comes to a close, and as we approach our 50th anniversary as a leader in clinical education, we look forward to even brighter things to come.

Download the 2022 WashU Clinic Program Report here.

November 21, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trial Manual 7 for the Defense of Criminal Cases (2022) by Anthony G. Amsterdam and Randy Hertz

Via Prof. Randy Hertz

A recently published new edition of Tony Amsterdam’s and Randy Hertz’s Trial Manual 7 for the Defense of Criminal Cases is available for free downloading in PDF form by lawyers in public defender offices, nonprofit legal services offices, and those whose criminal-defense practice is predominantly pro bono. The free copy of the PDF version of the Trial Manual can be downloaded from the American Law Institute’s website by filling out a form at https://www.ali.org/trial-manual/

 

The Manual is a guidebook for criminal defense lawyers at the trial level. It covers the information a defense attorney has to know, and the strategic factors s/he should consider, at each of the stages of the criminal trial process. It is organized for easy access by practitioners who need ideas and information quickly in order to jump-start their work at any given stage.

 

The Manual begins with an overview of criminal procedure and then focuses on the issues a defense attorney is likely to confront, and the steps s/he will need to take, at the early stages of a criminal case, including: the first steps to be taken to locate, contact and protect a client who has been arrested or summoned or who fears s/he is wanted for arrest; arguing for bail or other forms of pretrial release; conducting the initial client interview; developing a theory of the case; dealing with police and prosecutors; planning and overseeing the defense investigation; conducting the preliminary hearing; grand jury practice; challenging indictments and informations; obtaining discovery; filing motions; seeking diversion; and plea bargaining. It also addresses the additional considerations that may arise when representing a client who is mentally ill or intellectually disabled.

 

The Manual next conducts an in-depth examination of the pretrial motions that defense attorneys commonly litigate in criminal cases. This includes lengthy chapters on suppression of tangible evidence, statements of the defendant, and identification testimony. These chapters provide detailed information about federal constitutional doctrines and a large number of state constitutional rulings that confer heightened protections. The chapters also provide suggestions for framing suppression arguments and conducting suppression hearings effectively.

 

The Manual then discusses the immediate run-up to trial: issues relating to the timing of pretrial and trial proceedings; interlocutory review of pretrial rulings; and the concrete steps that counsel will need to take to prepare for trial.

 

Moving on to the trial stage, the Manual discusses the decision to elect or waive jury trial; jury selection procedures and challenges before and at trial; general characteristics of trials; opening statements; evidentiary issues and objections at the trial of guilt or innocence; techniques and tactics for handling prosecution and defense witnesses; trial motions; closing arguments; requests for jury instructions and objections to the court’s instructions; and jury deliberations. Issues, procedures, and strategies unique to bench trials are discussed in tandem with the parallel aspects of jury-trial practice.

 

Finally, the Manual discusses posttrial motions and sentencing and concludes with a short summary of appellate and postconviction procedures and a précis of the first steps to be taken in connection with them.

 

The structure and presentation of material are designed to facilitate the conversion of text into defense motions and other types of briefing. Three of the documents in the text are available for direct downloading from the ALI website: section 2.5’s flow-chart of procedures in summary, misdemeanor, and felony cases; section 4.5’s questionnaire for obtaining information pertinent to bail from the client; and section 6.15’s checklist for interviewing the client. The bail questionnaire and the interview list are in Word format that can be edited and thus customized to an individual user’s practice and/or turned into a form for use in taking notes in real time during client interviews.

November 21, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at UC Hastings

Via Prof. Gail Silverstein

UC Hastings Law’s clinical and experiential faculty continue to expand and improve opportunities for students to engage with community legal needs and develop legal skills, all while bringing timely scholarly insights to the profession.

 
 
 
 
 

Many changes are afoot in the pro bono sphere. An expanded pro bono program is a key focus of our new Center for Social Justice, which is being directed by both Professor Brittany Glidden and Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and Clinical Professor of Law Gail Silverstein. The pro bono program also hired its first full-time director, Allison Wang. The program had a robust year last year with students performing 7905 hours of pro bono service in 112 separate projects. UC Hastings also diversified and expanded its pro bono spring break programs, offering five different opportunities. Students provided civil legal services in rural New York and provided direct services to clients seeking asylum in Tijuana, Mexico, El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona. Richard Boswell, who directs the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, designed a new course to prepare some of the students—teaching them to counsel and prepare clients for credible fear interviews. A student-led organization, Hastings-to-Haiti, partnered with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, and made national news when Legal Director Blaine Bookey and students successfully represented a Ukrainian family who was being denied entry to the United States. The incident has been cited in the increased pressure on the government to end Title 42 restrictions. 

In our Clinical Programs, over 160 students engaged in vital legal work, logging over 48,000 hours. Using a modest billing rate of $130 per hour, that totals over 6.2 million dollars of legal services provided by our clinic and externship students this year. 

 
 
 
 
 

The Clinical Program responded to the continuing pandemic with flexible protocols to service our clients’ and students’ holistic needs. To highlight just one example: Our Refugee and Human Rights Clinic (RHRC), directed by Karen Musalo and Christine Natoli, has represented their clients who are seeking asylum with a mix of both remote and in person representation tailored to the specific needs of each individual. The RHRC has continued to service hard-to-reach populations, including an indigenous Guatemalan woman who speaks the Mayan dialect, Mam. The Clinic maintained its human rights docket by developing creative ways to connect with in-country sources over Zoom. Clinic leaders are excited to return to more in-person engagement this academic year, traveling with a group of students to Honduras to meet with government officials and civil society organizations to gather information on climate and environmental drivers of migration, as well as a range of other human rights issues.

 
 
 
 
 

In addition to their clinical teaching and advocacy, clinical professors published a diverse range of influential scholarly publications.

Alina Ball, Director of the Social Enterprise and Economic Empowerment Clinic, published Transactional Community Lawyering in Temple Law Review. The article defines and explores the intentional application of community lawyering theory into a distinctly transactional practice. 

Kate Bloch, Director of the Criminal Practice Clinic, published Untangling Right from Wrong in Insanity Law: of Dogs, Wolves, & God in the Hastings Law Journal. The article argues that the U.S. Supreme Court’s broad-brush approach in its 2020 majority and dissenting opinions in Kahler v. Kansas risks exacerbating confusion about wrongfulness in legal insanity doctrine.  

Karen Musalo, Director of the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, recently published numerous items, including: Deploring the Violence, Abandoning the Victim in Just Security and an article in the Fordham International Law Journal, The Legal and Moral Responsibility to Protect.

Ascanio Piomelli was invited by the California Supreme Court Historical Society to write about his Community Group Advocacy and Social-Change Lawyering Clinic for a special section on Legal History in the Making: Innovative Experiential Learning Programs in California Law Schools. The article, Toward a Broader Vision of Lawyering, appears in California Legal History.

Amy Spivey, Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, and Manoj Visnawathan, Director of the Business Tax Practicum, jointly wrote a paper, Practical Considerations in Starting and Operating an Academic Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic that will be coming out soon in The Tax Lawyer.

Yvonne Troya, Director of our Medical Legal Partnership for Seniors Clinic, published Exercising Control or Giving It Up? What Elder Law Attorneys Should Know about Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Journal. This article explores the loss of control which a prospective resident may face when joining an entrance-fee Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). 

 

November 17, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at Cornell Law

Via Prof. Beth Lyon

In what the Economist calls “the era of predictable unpredictability,” clinic students, staff, and faculty are adjusting to postpandemic practice while standing by clients who are fighting for their fundamental rights.

This spring, the Labor Law Clinic  successfully concluded a case invoking a new law protecting New Yorkers from discrimination on the grounds of gender identity, helping their transgender client litigate and settle their workplace discrimination claim. The 1L Immigration Law and Advocacy Clinic concluded the second of two long trials, helping their clients — a mother and young child — win permanent protection in the United States with a novel legal argument. After the First Amendment Clinic and co-counsel intervened in a federal court case brought by a news outlet, the Court unsealed the records of a wrongful death settlement brought by the estate of a woman who took her own life in her prison cell against a county prison and its healthcare contractor.

As we all reexamine our assumptions about stability, Gender Justice Clinic students and faculty presented a workshop explaining the legal implications of the overturn of Roe v. Wade and future paths for advocacy. We were grateful to take a step back and celebrate when the Clinical Legal Education Association honored Cornell with one of its annual awards, recognizing generations of faculty, students, and partners for litigation, research, and teaching confronting capital punishment in the United States and around the world.

The Economist article referenced above pronounced that as the pandemic wanes, “everything is up for revision,” but one thing never changes: every day in the clinic our clients, partners, and students inspire us with their courage, ingenuity, and hard work.

You can read about these and many other clinic activities in this issue of our clinical newsletter.

Walk gently,

Beth

Cornell Update. 11.15.22

 

November 15, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 11, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at Suffolk Law

Via Prof. Sarah R. Boonin

Read Clinical Program News from Suffolk Law report here with Associate Dean Boonin's welcome note: 

We are excited to highlight some of the ways that Suffolk Law’s clinical programs are providing students with rich clinical experiences, while meeting emerging community needs and leveraging technology to help solve pressing access to justice issues.

Some highlights include our Transactional Clinic, which helped a non-profit create a Sharia-compliant micro-loan program to assist African refugees; our Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples Clinic, which earned a victory for indigenous Guatemalans after a ten-year battle to win the right to access broadcast media; and our Legal Innovation & Technology Lab, which was recognized for its groundbreaking work providing pro se litigants with digital access to essential court processes. Of course, we have new colleagues to welcome and promotions to celebrate, too!

We’re also thrilled to be hiring two visiting clinical professors–one to help us build out a new Environmental Law Clinic, and another to help us develop a Legislative Policy and Practice Clinic. Please consider joining us for a year–or help us spread the word! Details below.

We wish you all a productive fall semester and are overjoyed to be seeing many of you in San Francisco this spring!

Sincerely,
Sarah Boonin

November 11, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Program Update from the Refugee Law Clinic at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Via Prof. Kristina Campbell

Kristina Campbell (UDC) is visiting this year at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law to launch the law school's new in-house Refugee Law Clinic. Clinic students will assist the refugee and immigrant community in Utah with filing applications for asylum and other humanitarian forms of protection. The inaugural semester of the Clinic will be in Spring 2023.

 

November 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at UConn Law

Via Prof. Jessica Rubin

The University of Connecticut proudly announces the following developments in our clinical programs, expanding UConn Law’s involvement in our communities and opportunities for our students:

New Clinics

Housing and Eviction Defense Clinic – UConn School of Law launched a Housing and Eviction Defense Clinic that will provide representation and legal advocacy to tenants. Supported by a grant from the Connecticut Fair Housing Center and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the clinic will serve low-income tenants who are facing the threat of eviction. Pictured below are new clinic faculty members Catharine Freeman, Director, and Alex West, Associate Director.  

UConn Update 11.8.22

Disability Rights Clinic – UConn School of Law joined forces with Disability Rights Connecticut to offer a clinic providing legal advocacy for people with disabilities. Students participating in the new Disability Rights Clinic help clients with legal problems involving housing, education, employment, health care, and other issues. Students work under the supervision of Deborah Dorfman, executive director of Disability Rights Connecticut, and other lawyers on the agency’s staff.

New Clinicians

Rachel Reeves joined the law school as an assistant clinical professor of law and director of field placement and pro bono programs. She is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, where she directed the field placement program for seven years. Reeves also led the Rural Practice Fellowship, a collaborative project within and outside Maine Law that works toward alleviating the widening justice gap in Maine’s rural communities.

 

Diana R. Blank is a visiting assistant clinical professor appointed to a three-year term as the William R. Davis Clinical Teaching Fellow, joining Professor Jon Bauer in the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic. She is a graduate of Yale Law School. Blank previously served as a staff attorney for the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, specializing in family law and immigration law, and as a visiting clinical lecturer in law at the Yale Law School, where she co-founded and co-taught the Legal Assistance Immigrant Rights Clinic.

 

Catharine Freeman joined the law school as a visiting assistant clinical professor to serve as the Director of UConn’s new Housing and Eviction Defense Clinic. Freeman has had a long career as a housing lawyer for Connecticut Legal Services and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and community involvement.   

 

Alex West joined the law school as a visiting assistant clinical professor to serve as the Associate Director of UConn’s new Housing and Eviction Defense Clinic. West was most recently a lawyer with SouthCoast Fair Housing, and an adjunct professor teaching Mental Health Law at New England Law School. West is a long-time advocate for fair housing laws, policies, and services.

Promotions

Jessica Rubin, Clinical Professor and Director of UConn’s Animal Law Clinic, became UConn’s Associate Dean for Experiential Education in July 2022.  Rubin succeeds Jennifer Mailly. 

Retirements

Jennifer Mailly, former Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Director of Field Placements, retired and is now Clinical Professor Emerita, continuing to teach Civil Procedure and mentor students.

Barbara McGrath retired after 22 years directing the Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative, a nonprofit legal transactional clinic. McGrath educated law students and provided legal services to nonprofit groups. She also served as founder and Executive Director of a statewide public-private partnership, the Community Economic Development Fund.

November 8, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 7, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Legal Education Program at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law

In this season of updates, I'm proud to share our program report for the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law clinics, externships, practicum courses, and grant-funded stipend programs for public interest placements.  
 
Please read it here.
 
The report includes updates about our new director of externships and pro bono (Prof. Tori Votino), the relaunched Public Interest Law Practicum and redesigned Therapeutic Justice Practicum, the new Religious Liberty Clinic (with Profs. Eric Rassbach and Michael Helfand), and updates on our eight other clinics and the externship program. 
 
Here's an excerpt from my report: 
 
In our programs, everything is pedagogy; every client, matter, task, and conversation is an opportunity to teach and learn. Our students and faculty serve clients from Skid Row to the Ninth Circuit, from state courts to the IRS, from the US to four other continents, through litigation, mediation, transactions and every step of client-centered advice, counsel, and advocacy. I invite you to read stories from the Legal Aid Clinic, Mediation Clinic, Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic, Community Justice Clinic, Restoration and Justice Clinic, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Faith and Family Mediation Clinic, Startup Law Clinic, and the Religious Liberty Clinic. You can also learn more about the Public Interest Law Practicum, the Therapeutic Justice Clinic, and our expansive Externship Program.

Each of our clinics offers a unique scope and style of practice, affording students incomparable experience to develop as professionals and serve clients and communities in great need. Through our clinics, practicums, and expansive externship program, we ensure students thrive in practice during law school and advance access to justice locally, nationally, and globally.

November 7, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 10, 2022

Externships 11: Final Reflections and Gratitude

We gathered for Externships 11 last weekend, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7 and 8, 2022, at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. The externships community has met for these vital conferences every other year since Externships 1, but this was the first in-person conference for four and half years. It was the first major, in-person, clinical conference in three years. As teachers, we know the deep value of intentional reflection, sharing, exchanging, and engaging in person, so the time together was inspiring, rejuvenating, and full of joy in the work. 

Representing well over one hundred law schools, one hundred and eight professors and administrators gathered in person, and another fifty joined us online. Professors from Australia and a large delegation from law schools in the Philippines joined the conference to share, learn, and further develop their programs. 

The substance of the conference was critical and important. Our high calling in externships is the formation of excellent, ethical lawyers and public citizens, so the plenary and concurrent sessions addressed practice, pedagogy, and professional formation. Several sessions specifically focused on implementing the new Section 303 standards from the ABA on cultural competence, bias, and racism. Experienced professors led sessions for new clinicians, and multiple professors presented scholarly works in progress for comment and critique. 

The experience of the conference together was beautiful, a long awaited return for a rich, dedicated community. True to the values of externships and clinics, the conference raised $1200 for donations to Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County and Bet Tzedek, to support the field supervisors who support our students in critical public interest placements. 

Personally, I am profoundly grateful for the collaboration, creativity, and hard work from the organizing committee and an all-hands effort from our teams at Pepperdine. These were good days that will make us better teachers, mentors, lawyers, and colleagues. 

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October 10, 2022 in Conferences and Meetings | Permalink | Comments (1)