Thursday, January 21, 2021
COLLEGE OF LAW DEAN
THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA
COLLEGE OF LAW
The University of Tulsa (TU) seeks a candidate beginning July 1, 2021, to serve as the Dean of the University of Tulsa College of Law. The Dean is the chief academic officer of the College and provides strategic vision and operational leadership for all aspects of the academic enterprise; supports and promotes excellence in faculty scholarship and teaching; and preserves a collaborative and transparent environment for students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni. The Dean supports the College's fundraising and development efforts, develops, and promotes strategic plans for the College, and works with law school faculty, administrators, and other program directors in advancing the broad interests of the College. The Dean must work collegially with faculty, staff, and fellow members of the President’s Leadership Team and Deans' Council, other colleges, alumni, and community members to advance the academic mission of the College and the University.
We seek an intellectually curious, thoughtful, and forward-looking person who can lead a complex institution, raise funds, and identify opportunities in the challenges presently facing legal education.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Juris Doctorate degree or equivalent; academic and professional credentials necessary for eligibility for a tenured faculty appointment
A more detailed position description can be found here: https://utulsa.edu/jobs/
The University of Tulsa seeks to recruit and retain talented students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Tulsa is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and encourages qualified candidates across all group demographics to apply. The University does not discriminate on the basis of personal status or group characteristic including, but not limited to race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, ancestry, or marital status.
Please submit a cover letter addressing the candidate’s experience, qualifications, education, and vision for the future of the College of Law, and a CV to: The University of Tulsa, Office of Human Resources, 800 S Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK 74104 or submit online at utulsa.edu/job-application.
Applicants who progress in the search process will be asked to provide five references, accompanying letters of recommendation, a diversity statement, and official transcripts. Application review will begin on February 1 and continue until the position is filled.
Confidential inquiries and expressions of interest may be addressed to Search Committee Chair, Elizabeth McCormick, at LAWsearchchair@utulsa.edu.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Via Prof. Stacy Caplow:
Tenured or Tenure Track Position
Brooklyn Law School
Brooklyn Law School invites applications for the Director of our immigration clinic (now known as the Safe Harbor Project). The Law School is looking for an outstanding teacher, lawyer, scholar, and leader who will join our faculty and our clinical program. We are seeking candidates who either currently meet or will soon meet our specialized tenure standard.
The Safe Harbor Project began in 1997. During that time, BLS students have represented hundreds of clients in a wide range of types of immigration matters, although its primary docket consists of applications for asylum and other humanitarian relief. More than 350 students have participated in the clinic, many of whom now are leaders in the immigration lawyer’s community in New York or who continue to represent immigration clients pro bono.
The Director will have full control over the direction, focus, design and priorities of the Clinic. The Director will be responsible for overseeing every aspect of the Clinic’s work including developing the docket, supervising clinic students and teaching the required seminar. The Director also will also teach at least one non-clinical course per year.
The Director will join our accomplished group of clinical faculty members who teach in our eight in-house clinics and direct our externships. The Law School strongly supports, and is known for, its clinics, taking great pride in their accomplishments. This year marked the 50th anniversary of clinic programs at BLS.
The Law School’s commitment to public interest and public service is longstanding and deep so that the Director also will have opportunities to mentor student pro bono organizations and to participate in local, state and national projects relating to immigration. The Law School supports and encourages the scholarship of all faculty through generous summer stipends, research assistance and pre-tenure leaves.
Brooklyn Law School, founded in 1901, is located in one of the most diverse and vibrant communities in New York. In the heart of booming downtown Brooklyn, the Law School is within walking distance of all state and federal courts. BLS students are hardworking, enterprising, always questioning and eager to participate in the “real world.”
A candidate for this position must have a JD from an ABA-accredited institution, a strong academic record, a current license to practice law, at least five years’ experience in practice, with experience as a clinical teacher strongly preferred. The candidate should be admitted to or eligible for immediate admission to the New York State and/or federal bars.
We seek a new colleague who is creative, curious and self-motivated with an ability to thrive in an academic environment and who has a demonstrated passion for social justice advocacy.
We hope to find a new Director to take over the clinic no later than fall 2021 but the position will remain open until our search is successful.
Please send a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Professor Julian Arato, email@example.com with the subject line “Clinical Faculty Position.”
Applications are welcome, and will be considered on a rolling basis. We will begin considering applications on February 8, 2021, and can only guarantee full consideration of materials received before that date.
Salary, rank, and title will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Brooklyn Law School is an equal opportunity institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. BLS does not discriminate on the bases of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, personal appearance, income, veteran status,, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws in its programs and activities.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
Via Dean Molly Stafford:
[T]he University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, is hiring an Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills to direct its Homeless Advocacy Clinic. The clinic will join the three other clinics that form Community Legal Services (CLS): Bankruptcy, Immigration, and Elder & Health Law. CLS has been providing pro bono services to our Sacramento community for over 40 years. CLS has been providing “socially distanced” in-person services to vulnerable populations during the pandemic, as it has been deemed an essential service.
The Homeless Advocacy Clinic has been operating for the last two years as part of the Elder & Health Law Clinic. CLS has received a grant to now enable it to spin off the Homeless Advocacy Clinic as a stand-alone clinic. If you are anyone you know is interested in applying, here is the link: 
Monday, January 4, 2021
Coinciding with the AALS Annual meeting, both CLEA and the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education have published their regular newsletters this week. The newsletters cover different, but complimentary, beats. CLEA focuses on individual clinicians, and the AALS newsletter focuses on programs. They both include important information from their respective leadership teams and insightful pieces from clinical law profs.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
Via Prof. Yael Cannon:
The Health Justice Alliance hires one individual to serve as a clinical teaching fellow and supervising attorney each year, for a two-year term.
Fellows have several areas of responsibility, with an increasing role as the fellowship progresses. First, fellows supervise students in direct representation cases, as co-supervisors with experienced fellows and faculty and then on their own.
Second, fellows co-supervise one or more project teams of students.
Third, the fellows and faculty share responsibility for teaching seminar sessions. Fourth, fellows share in the administrative and case handling responsibilities of the clinic.
Finally, fellows participate in a clinical pedagogy seminar and other activities designed to support an interest in clinical teaching and legal education.
Monday, December 14, 2020
UCLA LAW's Williams Institute and Experiential Education Program seek applications for the Sears Clinical Law Teaching Fellowship for 2021-2024. Applicants who intend to pursue a career as a clinical professor and/or public interest lawyer engaged in legislative lawyering and policy work are invited to apply if their practice or research interests are focused on the intersections of sexual and reproductive health, LGBTQ rights, and racial and economic justice.
We invite applications from those practicing or working in law, policy, and other disciplinary traditions. Applicants must have a clear legislative lawyering and/or policy focus, be interested in experiential teaching, and should have career or research interests that center questions of sexual and reproductive health, sexuality (broadly defined) and gender identity, and racial and economic justice. We are particularly interested in candidates who have an interest in researching religious liberty arguments to limit both reproductive rights and LGBTQ non-discrimination protections. We seek candidates who will bring our two programs together, infusing each with the ideas and work of the other.
The fellowship offers opportunities for experiential teaching and research designed to prepare the fellow to seek a permanent or tenure-track experiential faculty position at a law school, or an advanced position as a public interest lawyer focused on public policy or legislative lawyering. The fellow will be expected to co-teach or teach in experiential courses at UCLA Law for at least one semester each year of the three-year fellowship. During the summer and semesters when the fellow is not teaching, the fellow would be fully engaged with policy and scholarly research projects. The law school will provide teaching mentorship, as well as research support and faculty guidance on research and writing projects.
The law teaching fellowship programs of The Williams Institute and the Experiential Education Program at UCLA Law are some of the oldest in the nation. Together, they have supported over twenty law teaching fellows to secure tenure track appointments at law schools nationwide. Past fellows have secured faculty positions at top law schools including UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine, Wisconsin, and Yale.
Eligibility and Qualifications
UCLA School of Law seeks candidates committed to the highest standards of teaching, scholarship and professional activities, and to a campus climate, that supports equality and diversity. A fellowship candidate should possess (or expect to possess by June 30, 2021): a JD or equivalent legal training; a strong academic record; at least two years of practice experience (more preferred); admission to any U.S. bar, California preferred; excellent analytical and writing skills; an aptitude for student supervision; a collegial style; and demonstrated interest and background in sexual and reproductive health and sexual orientation and gender identity law and policy. In addition, we welcome candidates who possess graduate training in other disciplines, or other personal or professional background that informs their research and teaching interests. The fellowship is for three years, based upon satisfactory completion of each year of the fellowship. Those with previous postdoctoral scholar experience will be limited to no more than five total years of postdoctoral experience including time spent at UCLA.
Terms of the Fellowship
The Sears Clinical Law Teaching Fellow will be appointed for the academic year beginning July 1, 2021 and must be in residence in Los Angeles at UCLA. The fellowship is renewable for a second and third year, contingent on the fellow’s satisfactory progress. The fellowship offers a salary of approximately $70,000 per year and full benefits.
The fellow’s responsibilities include:
- co-teaching or teaching at least one experiential course annually;
engaging in substantial public policy or academic writing each year;
assisting with Williams Institute and Experiential Education programs, such as symposia, journal, moot court competitions, panels, and workshops;
mentoring J.D. and L.L.M. students, both formally and informally;
participating in the intellectual life of the law school by attending faculty workshops, specialized colloquia, and the like.
Confidential review of applications, nominations, and expressions of interest will begin immediately and continue until an appointment is made. To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by Wednesday, January 20, 2021 but will be considered thereafter until the position is filled.
Please go to https://recruit.apo.ucla.edu/JPF06028 to submit an application. A complete application includes the following materials:
- cover letter summarizing your qualifications for the fellowship, including any past and/or potential contributions to equity, diversity and inclusion through research, teaching, and/or public service;
statement discussing your teaching, practice, and research interests of no more than 3,000 words;
law school and other post-graduate transcripts;
writing sample, either published or in-progress;
names and contact information of three references prepared to write a letter of recommendation upon request. At least one should be a professor familiar with your scholarly and/or teaching potential.
Questions via email may be addressed to Assistant Dean Allison Korn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sears Clinical Law Teaching Fellowship was made possible through generous gifts by Jim Hooker, Chuck Williams, Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, and a number of other donors. The Williams Institute is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy. A think tank at UCLA Law, the Williams Institute produces high-quality research with real-world relevance and disseminates it to judges, legislators, policymakers, media, and the public. UCLA School of Law’s Experiential Education Program offers extensive and rigorous practical training for students interested in litigation, transactional, regulatory, and public interest work. Existing substantively-focused law clinic courses include Community Economic Development, Criminal Defense, Documentary Film, Immigrant Family Legal, International Human Rights, Tribal Legal Development, and Veterans Justice.
The University of California seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the people of California, to maintain the excellence of the University, and to offer our students richly varied disciplines, perspectives and ways of knowing and learning.
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, gender transition status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), genetic information (including family medical history), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services, including protected veterans. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination &Affirmative Action Policy at https://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/DiscHarassAffirmAction.
Los Angeles, California
More information about this recruitment: https://law.ucla.edu/
- Cover Letter - A letter summarizing your qualifications for the fellowship, including any past and/or potential contributions to equity, diversity and inclusion through research, teaching, and/or public service
- Statement of Interests - A statement discussing your teaching, practice, and research interests of no more than 3,000 words
- Resume or C.V. - Your most recently updated resume or C.V.
- Law School and other Post-Graduate Transcripts
- Writing Sample (either published or in-progress)
- List of References - Names and contact information of three references prepared to write a letter of recommendation upon request. At least one should be a professor familiar with your scholarly and/or teaching potential.
- Statement on Contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion - An EDI Statement describes a faculty candidate’s past, present, and future (planned) contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion. To learn more about how UCLA thinks about contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion, please review our Sample Guidance for Candidates and related EDI Statement FAQ document.
- 3 letters of reference required
Thursday, December 10, 2020
The Clinical Section is proud to announce that Professors Nancy Maurer of Albany Law School and Susan Bennett of American University Washington College of Law are this years’ recipients of the William Pincus Award. As many of you know, the Pincus Award honors individuals, groups or institutions for effecting an outstanding contribution to the cause of clinical legal education. Attached and below you will find more information about our amazing awardees.
Nancy and Susan will be appropriately feted at the Section’s Award Ceremony on January 5th from 12:15 to 1:15. The Section is planning an exciting virtual celebration. Although we won’t all be together, zoom means, at least, that more can take part, and we hope you all attend.
Please join me in extending a hearty congratulations to our amazing Pincus Award recipients!
Susan Bennett, American University Washington College of Law
Professor Bennett has made substantial and enduring contributions to clinical legal education and the advancement of justice. She founded and directs the American University Washington College of Law Community and Economic Development Law Clinic, through which students provide transactional representation to non–profit organizations, small businesses, and affordable housing cooperatives in under-served neighborhoods in the D.C. metro area.
Professor Bennett has helped people around the region organize, galvanize and advocate for their communities, and prosper. Many of her clients are now bedrock institutions in their communities, providing opportunity to those who have historically been denied such access. In sharing this work with her students, she has helped launch a great number of public interest careers and brought WCL students and the diverse communities of the DC area together.
Among Professor Bennett’s clients over the years are community organizations, entrepreneurs and small businesses, and worker and housing cooperatives. In representing limited equity housing cooperatives, Professor Bennett has worked to preserve this important source of permanently affordable housing for low-income DC residents. Both her teaching and work have had a particular focus on the legacy of residential housing segregation in and around DC. In addition to representing limited equity housing cooperatives and affordable housing developments and advocacy organizations, Professor Bennett works with individual homeowners to remove racially restrictive housing covenants from their deeds. Professor Bennett is keenly aware of the history of the communities in which she practices and the connection between her work and racial justice permeates her client representation, her teaching, and her scholarship.
Over the course of her career, Professor Bennett has produced a substantial and highly influential a body of work relating to public interest lawyering. These writings appear in a variety of prominent journals, including the Clinical Law Review, Fordham Urban Law Journal, Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Wisconsin Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. In these pieces, Professor Bennett has addressed topics including the role of poverty lawyers, attorney-client relations in the context of community lawyering, the practice of “long-haul lawyering,” public housing communities, and welfare reform. Her scholarship elevates the stories of her clients and the communities from which they hail. For the clinical community (and others), she also co-authored Community Economic Development Law: A Text for Engaged Learning, published in 2012 by Carolina Press.
Beyond her service to the clinical community as an editor (since 2016) of the Clinical Law Review, Professor Bennett has held many leadership positions within the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Poverty Law, including serving as Chair and Executive Committee member. She also bridged the worlds of academia and practice in her leadership of the Legal Educators Division of the ABA Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. And from 2007-2010 she served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Homelessness and Poverty.
At WCL, Professor Bennett is an unwavering supporter of public interest law students, and has designed and supported programs to support them, like helping found the Public Interest Alumni Advisory Board, mentoring Public Interest/Service Scholars (PIPS), and serving as a faculty advisor for the law school’s Office of Public Interest, which is responsible for oversight of the schools Pro Bono Honors Pledge Program. Most recently, she laid the groundwork for the creation of a new Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) law student bono project in collaboration with DC’s Housing Counseling Services.
Nancy Maurer, Albany Law School
Professor Maurer’s contributions to the field of clinical legal education over her nearly 40 years of teaching are tremendous, multi-faceted and far-reaching. From the beginning, Professor Maurer actively participated in the activities of the national clinical legal education community, eventually assuming leadership roles.
With the 1983 creation of Albany Law School’s Disability Law Clinic, Professor Maurer founded Albany Law School’s nationally-recognized and renowned clinical legal education program. The Disability Law Clinic was one of the first law school clinics in the country to teach law students through the direct representation of individuals with disabilities. It evolved into a broader Civil Rights and Disabilities Law Clinic during the 1990s, and Professor Maurer has played important roles in other expansions of the clinical program at Albany Law School. She also developed and co-taught Albany Law School’s first Introduction to Lawyering course, part of our cutting-edge Lawyering Program. The Lawyering Program has all the hallmarks of clinical legal education: students, in small firms, “represent” parties in a year-long simulated legal dispute. In this way, students are introduced to the legal system, legal ethics, and the skills and values of the profession.
Professor Maurer’s contributions to the world of externships are exceptional. At Albany, she grew and redesigned what is known as the Field Placement Clinic, designing and implementing the Learning from Practice seminar. She served as co-chair of the AALS Clinical Section’s Externship Committee. And her contributions to LEARNING FROM PRACTICE: A TEXT FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEGAL EDUCATION, have influenced the hundreds of students in field placements who read her work. Her work shaped how several generations of law students participated in and approached law school studies through clinic-based, experiential programs both at Albany and nationally. Moreover, proceeds from the sale of LEARNING FROM PRACTICE further clinical legal education programs, with the co-authors donating over $16,000 in royalties to the Clinical Legal Education Association per diem project following its first year of sales, and over $8,000 in its second year.
Her scholarship in the field of clinical education and disability rights alike have also had tremendous impact. The DISABILITY LAW AND PRACTICE SERIES, which she co-authored, was the 2017 recipient of the Association for Continuing Legal Education’s “Award of Professional Excellence” in publication. In January 2018, the New York State Bar Association honored her for her service as Co-Editor of the DISABILITY LAW AND PRACTICE Series.
Outside the academy, and practice, Professor Maurer helped found and now chairs the board of directors of Disability Rights New York, Inc., a prominent legal services and advocacy nonprofit organization in New York State. She has been very involved in women’s issues serving on the board of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association and Albany Law School’s Kate Stoneman Committee, honoring the first women admitted to the bar in New York State. Most recently, she joined the board of Legal Advocacy Equity Firm, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving individuals who cannot qualify for free legal services, but need civil legal services at reduced rates.
Finally, she continues to innovate and respond to the needs of her students, clinical legal education, and the community at large. Most recently, she has focused on racial justice, finding new placements and designing anti-racism training for field placement supervisors.
In short, Professor Maurer’ work in program development and implementation, scholarship, service, and in the advancement of justice are far-reaching and long-lasting.
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Innocence Clinic
The Midwest Innocence Project (MIP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit legal defense organization dedicated to representing wrongfully convicted prison inmates in our five-state region (MO, KS, NE, IA, AR) who can prove their innocence through the use of DNA testing and other newly discovered evidence. The MIP seeks a candidate for a full-time Supervising Attorney position in Kansas City, MO. This position reports directly to MIP’s Executive Director and is responsible for effectuating the following job responsibilities.
The Supervising Attorney position will be responsible for directing the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law’s Innocence Clinic and teaching the Wrongful Conviction Course. The clinic is responsible for reviewing applications arising from convictions involving forensic science and occurring within Missouri for the instances where DNA could prove an applicant’s innocence. The Supervising Attorney will work with MIP staff; supervise law student in the clinic; engage in case investigations; and participate in litigation and case preparation. This is a fulltime grant-funded position with a two-year term.
This position requires excellent interpersonal communication skills, strong research and writing skills; experience in computer- assisted legal research; word processing capability; time management skills; and the ability to understand and manage complex factual and legal issues and supervise intake processes. The Supervising Attorney must maintain an active caseload while training law students and working with partner attorneys in conducting records collection and investigation. The Supervising Attorney must have a strong capacity and experience in direct litigation and providing oversight for litigation processes.
- Serve as an adjunct professor directing the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law’s Innocence Clinic and teaching the Wrongful Conviction Course
- Train and supervise law students
- Review incoming files and maintain caseload of prospective innocence cases
- Investigate claims of actual innocence in the field and/or supervise the work of an investigator in the field, including locating potential evidence for DNA testing
- Engage in legal writing of DNA motions, habeas petitions, post-convictions motions, and case memoranda.
- Supervise law students in case review, investigation, records collection, and case litigation.
- As needed, participate in litigation preparation and case preparation on activated cases where MIP has been retained as counsel.
Position Skills include
- Juris Doctorate from an accredited law school
- Bar license from Missouri, or the ability to become licensed, and familiarity with state and federal court systems in Missouri
- Experience with teaching, coaching, or the development of skills in others
- At least three years of experience working in criminal defense or post-conviction/habeas corpus litigation is preferred
- Experience and knowledge with issues surrounding forensic science
- Computer Skills including Microsoft Office, Clio, and other relevant tools and applications.
The selected candidate must be detail oriented and have superior organizational, oral communication, writing and interpersonal skills. The ideal candidate must be a self-starter, passionate about criminal justice issues, and dedicated to training and educating individuals on issues regarding wrongful convictions.
Please send a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and a list of references to Tricia Rojo Bushnell at email@example.com. Salary range is $55,000-$80,000 DOE. Medical and dental insurance provided. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.
The Midwest Innocence Project is an equal opportunity employer and strives for diversity among its applicant pool as well as within its staff and board. We strongly encourage people from all backgrounds, especially racial, ethnic, gender and sexual orientation minorities, veterans, people with disabilities, and smart people with non-linear/non-traditional experience and educational backgrounds to apply for this position. Most importantly, no matter their background, the person selected for this position must embrace, advocate for, and deeply value equity, diversity, and inclusivity.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Tenure-Track or Tenured Professor of Law and
Director of the Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic
SEATTLE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
Seattle University School of Law invites applications and nominations for Director of the Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic to begin in the 2021-22 academic year. The Law School is looking for an outstanding teacher, lawyer, scholar, and leader who will advance our vision of a fully-integrated experiential learning curriculum at the forefront of our institutional commitment to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion and to combat structural inequality, including racism, within the academy, the legal profession, and society. We are seeking candidates who either currently meet or will soon meet our unitary tenure standard. Salary, rank, and title (i.e., Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor) will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
The Director’s responsibilities will include: (1) administration and oversight of all clinics and the Externship Program (which has its own faculty Director); (2) supporting full-time and adjunct clinical faculty; (3) supervising administrative staff; and (4) developing and implementing policies and procedures to ensure the clinic meets all professional and academic standards. The Director’s faculty responsibilities will include teaching at least one clinical course each year in their area of expertise as part of a 0.5 FTE teaching assignment and producing scholarship consistent with our faculty tenure standards. We will look to the Director to sustain our long tradition of regional and national leadership in clinical education and to be a powerful voice for clinical education within and beyond our institution.
Consistently ranked one of the Top Twenty programs by US News and World Report, the Peterson Law Clinic typically offers courses in as many as twelve different subject areas in a single academic year. We regularly offer clinics in civil-rights litigation (in conjunction with the Korematsu Center for Law and Equality), juvenile criminal defense, workers’ rights advocacy, estate planning, small business advising, international human rights, immigration practice, and patent matters before the US Patent and Trademark Office.
Seattle University School of Law is committed to preparing great lawyers and leaders who make a difference for their clients and communities. We proudly and consistently attract the most diverse student body of any law school in the Pacific Northwest region (40% students of color in this year’s 1L class). Our commitment to academic distinction is grounded in our Jesuit Catholic tradition, one that encourages open inquiry, thoughtful reflection, and concern for personal growth. Innovation, creativity, and technological sophistication characterize our rigorous educational program, which prepares lawyers for a wide variety of successful careers in law, business, and public service.
Minimum Qualifications: JD from an ABA-accredited institution, a strong academic record, a current license to practice law, at least five years experience in practice, with experience as a clinical teacher strongly preferred. (We will consider applications from individuals without clinical teaching experience who have exceptional records of professional excellence, administration, and leadership.) The successful candidate will be expected to promptly obtain a license to practice in Washington once hired.
Founded in 1891, Seattle University is a Jesuit Catholic university located on a beautiful campus of more than 50 acres in the dynamic heart of Seattle. Our diverse and driven population is made up of more than 7,200 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs within eight schools and colleges.
In support of its pursuit of academic and scholarly excellence, Seattle University is committed to creating a diverse community of students, faculty and staff that is dedicated to the fundamental principles of equal opportunity and treatment in education and employment regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity, national origin, political ideology, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The university encourages applications from, and nominations of, individuals whose differing backgrounds, beliefs, ideas and life experiences will further enrich the diversity of its educational community.
For best consideration, submit application, including cover letter, curriculum vitae, and a list of references, to https://www.seattleu.edu/careers/ by the close of business on January 15, 2021. Questions about the search process should be directed to Professor Paul Holland, firstname.lastname@example.org, Chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee.
Monday, December 7, 2020
By Jasmine Martinez, 3L at the University of Baltimore School of Law
Covid-19 has turned our world upside down to say the least. However, the world did not stop spinning. After lockdown, the world opened its doors to the restaurant around the corner, the gym you occasionally frequented, and even the courthouses of your state. Covid-19 has changed the legal field forever. I am more prepared to enter the legal field because of my experience as a student attorney in Bronfein Family Law Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law this past semester.
Looking back to August 2020, I was uneasy about what my experience in clinic would be like. I had the normal fears most student attorneys experience in clinic: not being good enough, failing my client, or failing my family expectations. However, my classmates and I also faced new challenges due to the pandemic. I wondered how I would build rapport with my clients over Zoom or successfully prepare them for court and advocate for their interests.
Today, as my time in clinic draws to a close, I am proud to say that none of my fears came true. My clinic partner, Shaye Reynolds, and I were able to creative problem solve and successfully advocate for our clients. The road to this success with our clients was not without obstacles or bumps in the road, but our experience in clinic taught us so much about the importance of preparation, flexibility, and resilience.
Challenges to client interactions
My classmates and I did not have a “traditional” clinic experience, to say the least. The pandemic kept us from having class and supervision meetings in-person. We learned, communicated, and collaborated on Zoom, Slack, e-mail, and WhatsApp. Our school’s Covid-19 regulations kept us from not only meeting for class in-person, but it also kept us from meeting with our clients in-person.
In clinic, we practice client-centered, trauma-informed lawyering. In-person interviews and meetings can be a big influence on the trust and rapport built between a client and their attorney. My partner and I had to think creatively about how to build this relationship in a remote environment where traditional tools like body language or even the simple act of offering someone a glass of water or tissue was not available.
With one of our clients, we were able to schedule video meetings. The video helped to mimic the face-to-face contact. We were able to build rapport and trust with our client by keeping eye-contact, checking in regularly, and allowing our client to take breaks when necessary. With another one of our clients, we primarily communicated over telephone. This was more challenging, but we found ways to learn more about our client and make sure they felt comfortable with us as their attorney.
Another challenge to remote lawyering this semester was collecting evidence. Rather than being able to gather documents from our client in-person, we had to have our client email the documents over and think about how address any authenticity concerns and maintain confidentiality. We learned to find loopholes where Covid-19 put barriers.
My experience in clinic this semester was not unique. Earlier this year, the ABA Journal interviewed clinic students across the country whose work has been affected by Covid-19. Daniel Barragan, a clinic student at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, explained how he had to share his WIFI connection at home with his four brothers and feared losing connection with his client. Others explained the challenges of using multiple tech platforms to communicate with clients, student attorneys, supervising faculty, and interpreters.
To compound all of this, we’ve had to consider how remoted lawyering in a pandemic impacts our ethical duties. Lisa R. Lifshitz urged readers in the ABA’s Business Law Today to think seriously about security of client data, the background of those on zoom, and the adequate and secure backup of the documents. There has been a worry about the security of client data with everything being over the internet.
The background of those on Zoom is not always controllable too. Just like our families have to share space, our clients are sharing space with their families. We always checked with our client by asking if there was anyone else in the room with them or if there were any possible interruptions. Furthermore, we had to consider the security and storage of client data and documents on our computers. In clinic we relied heavily on CLIO, our case management software, to store documents and send documents for client review and signature. CLIO surveys found that 89 percent of people believed courts have improved through technology. Sateesh Nori tells the Queen’s Daily Eagle that “[r]emote work can be more productive and rewarding, law practice need not be indentured servitude and flexibility is the bait that will lure and retain smart, dedicated lawyers.”
Clients have shared that they do not mind communicating virtually and do not view it as less of a service than meeting in person. Although, communicating virtually will never be the same, it has cut down on travel time for clients and also time off work. For example, our client got home around 5pm and was able to meet with us by video by 5:30pm. This likely would not have been possible if she had to take public transit to our school.
Challenges in the courtroom
One of our cases this semester actually went to trial. At the time, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City was hearing custody trials in-person. There were numerous measures we had to follow to keep everyone safe that complicated both our court preparation and the actual trial. We chose to get Covid-19 tested before court to ensure we were not endangering those in the court room.
When we made it to trial, the obstacles were not over. We arrived early to the courthouse to go through check in, which now takes a little longer because of Covid-19 regulations. We had to have our temperature taken, we were asked if we had Covid-19 symptoms, and we were told to social distance. After we made it through check in, we continued to social distance and wear our masks. It is a Covid-19 regulation in Maryland to wear a mask when in public places, like a courthouse.
Each one of us had to wear a mask during the whole trial. This was another one of the obstacles of trial. It was difficult to project our voices to be able to be heard by everyone in the room. Not only was it difficult to talk, but it was difficult to see emotions or gauge how our client was feeling. It was also uncomfortable and hot to wear the mask for over 4 hours, but we knew it was for the greater good and protection of others.
Despite these challenges, I am happy to report we won our case!
Celebrating our court victory! Photo used with client's permission.
This semester was a roller-coaster. However, the semester was also an incredible learning experience. I was able experience first-hand how the legal field is adapting to a “new normal” and develop skills and techniques that will serve me well in my legal career. Here are just a few tips and tricks for future student attorneys who will be navigating lawyering during a pandemic:
- Be intentional about your schedule. Make time for your clinic work and also make not to do your clinic work.
- Always clarify with your client what their preferences are when it comes to the case, how you communicate, and what times you meet.
- Challenge your assumptions and prepare to dig deeper for important facts and evidence, such as practicing active listening, asking open-ended questions, and utilizing the funnel interviewing technique.
- Create small, internal deadlines. This helped me stay on track for our big goals without being stressed.
- Communicate!!! Speak frequently with your partner, your supervisor, and your client.
In conclusion, Covid-19 has changed my life and the way I have learned to lawyer. I have learned how to work around not being able to meet with my client in person and how to create a client-attorney relationship without it as well. I have learned how to effectively advocate for my client using client-centered lawyering. Melina Healey stated in the ABA article that we (clinic students) are getting more experience communicating with our clients remotely. I would definitely agree. I will be more prepared entering the legal field post-pandemic after my experience with clinic than I would have been without it. This experience has prepared me immensely and I can’t wait to use what I learn to continuing advocating on behalf of children and families.
Some additional resources:
Plus tips on writing for a digital audience: https://bestpracticeslegaled.com/2020/07/15/why-law-profs-should-teach-law-students-to-write-for-the-digital-reader-in-the-age-of-covid-19-with-checklist/
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Many thanks to everyone who participated in the call for recent scholarship. Members of our community have produced a number of truly interesting articles. They are divided into broad categories below for easy perusal. Congrats to all the authors!
Asylum & Immigration
Liz Keyes, Duress in Immigration Law, Seattle L. Rev. (forthcoming), A look at the disparate ways immigration law treats duress--providing exculpation in some settings (including, counter-intuitively, terrorism) but not in others, like the more sympathetic realm of asylum.
Jennifer Lee Koh, Executive Defiance and the Deportation State, 130 Yale L.J. __ (forthcoming 2021), This essay examines executive defiance in the deportation and detention contexts: situations where the agency refuses to obey a federal court order, as well as instances in which government lawyers transgress litigation norms, thereby defying judicial authority.
Jennifer Lee Koh, Barricading the Immigration Courts, 69 Duke L.J. Online 48 (2020), Examines recent executive-level actions that preclude access to the immigration courts, with emphasis on asylum.
Ingrid Eagly & Steven Shafer, Measuring In Absentia Removal in Immigration Court, 168 Univ. Pa. L. Rev. 817 (2020), No academic study has empirically analyzed decisions by United State immigration judges to deport judges to deport noncitizens without first providing them a day in court, a procedure known as in absentia removal. Yet bold assertions by members of the current presidential administration that immigrants “never” appear in court drive central policy decisions on immigration enforcement, including growing the immigration detention system, limiting access to asylum, and building a border wall. By reviewing immigration court data from 2008 to 2018 made publicly available by the Executive Office of Immigration Review, this Article provides the first-ever independent analysis of in absentia removal orders. Contrary to claims that all immigrants abscond, our data-driven analysis reveals that 88% of all immigrants in immigration court with completed or pending removal cases over the past eleven years attended all of their court hearings. If we limit our analysis to only nondetained cases, we still find a high compliance rate: 83% of all respondents in completed or pending removal cases attended all of their hearings since 2008. Moreover, we reveal that 15% of those who were ordered deported in absentia since 2008 successfully reopened their cases and had their in absentia orders rescinded. Digging deeper, we identify three factors associated with in absentia removal: having a lawyer, applying for relief from removal (such as asylum), and court jurisdiction. These and other important findings have immediate implications for key immigration policy questions.
Jason Cade, 'Water is Life!' (and Speech!): Death, Dissent and Democracy in the Borderlands, 96 Ind. L.J. (forthcoming 2020), Decades of stringent immigration enforcement along the Southwest border have pushed migrants into perilous desert corridors. Thousands have died in border regions, out of the general public view, yet migrants continue to attempt the dangerous crossings. In response to what they see as a growing humanitarian crisis, activists from organizations such as No More Deaths seek to expand migrant access to water, to honor the human remains of those who did not survive the journey, and to influence public opinion about border enforcement policies. Government officials, however, have employed a range of tactics to repress this border-policy “dissent,” including blacklists, water destruction, and aggressive arrests and prosecutions. This Article argues that the context around No More Deaths’ work necessitates First Amendment scrutiny of government attempts to suppress or punish it. No More Deaths’ expressive conduct, carried out in the lethal areas where migrants have been funneled, aims not only to save lives but also to convey the message that all lives—including those of unauthorized migrants—are worth saving. After carefully untangling the complex constitutional sub-doctrines, the Article explains the argument’s broader implications for democratic knowledge and debate about the ethics of border policies. As increased border fortification and militarization lead migrants to attempt even more dangerous land and water crossings, Americans will increasingly be asked to consider whether humanitarian aid should be a crime. This debate-generating function of No More Deaths’ non-violent, symbolic dissent regarding an area of inchoate but intense public concern aligns it with classical values that lie at the core of the First Amendment.
Jeffrey R. Baker & Allyson McKinney Timm, Zero-Tolerance: The Trump Administration's Human Rights Violations Against Migrants on the Southern Border, 13 Drexel L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021), This article analyzes the Trump Administration's zero-tolerance immigration and asylum policies through the lens of international human rights laws, especially including the treaties and conventions to which the US is a party. These policies resulted in the forcible separation of families and the detention of children in violation of US law and international human rights law. The paper assesses the Trump Administration's practices and demonstrates clear human rights abuses on the southern border.
Lindsay M. Harris, Asylum Under Attack, 62 Loy. L. Rev (forthcoming Fall 2020), This article traces the sustained series of policies, regulations, and other actions taken by the Trump Administration against asylum seekers. Taking into account public commitments made by the Biden campaign, this article outlines the actions a future democratic Administration will need to take to not only right the wrongs committed by the Trump Administration, but to provide truly meaningful asylum protection and to reassume the United States’ role as the global leader in refugee protection.
Danielle Kalil, Certified Disaster: A Failure at the Intersection of the U Visa and the Child Welfare System, 35 Geo. Immigr. L.J. (forthcoming Winter 2021), Other scholars agree that state and local agencies’ resistance to collaborating around federal immigration policy has derailed the U visa’s goals and rendered the certification requirement a barrier to the very protection it was meant to facilitate. This article is the first to explore the certification practices of child welfare agencies and analyze the U visa certification process through the lens of an agency’s duties to children in its care.
Sabrineh Ardalan, Asymmetries in Immigration Protection, 85 Brook. L. Rev. 319 (2020), This article addresses a major asymmetry in immigration procedures. Individuals who are deported from the U.S. and attempt to reenter have the opportunity to prove their fears of return to their home countries, whereas those with prior deportation orders who remain in the U.S. are not. This article proposes adoption of a pre-removal screening process to safeguard all immigrants from return to persecution or torture, in accordance with U.S. obligations under domestic and international law.
Christine Cimini & Doug Smith, An Innovative Approach to Movement Lawyering: The Immigrant Rights Case Study, 35 Geo. Immigr. L.J. (forthcoming 2020), The role of lawyers in social change movements is more critical than ever as communities mobilize around systemic racism, police killings, xenophobia, rising unemployment, and widening economic inequality. The immigrant rights movement is a critical part of these efforts to foment change. This Article leverages an in-depth case study – the rise and fall of the controversial immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities - to explore how lawyers work as part of a community to challenge power and effectuate change. The dismantling of Secure Communities was widely credited to a relentless campaign to thwart the government’s then-expanding deportation strategy. The authors reviewed over 23,000 internal DHS documents, media accounts, court transcripts, and interviewed 30 administrative officials, congressional actors, organizers, clients, activists, and lawyers involved in the Secure Communities campaigns. This Article draws on extensive evidence to identify an innovative approach to movement lawyering that involved coordinated efforts of movement actors on the micro level (achieving immediate goals), the meso level (effecting broader policy change), and the macro level (organizing communities around narrative identities). The Article concludes that efforts at change were optimized when lawyers, organizers, and activists together built a nimble, adaptive, and modular strategy to enhance concerted power from the ground up. Within this new construct, lawyers can develop new ways of working with communities that synergistically exploit the advantages of various social change strategies at any given time, producing strengthened relationships and lasting investments in organized resistance.
Anne Choike, A New Urban Front for Shareholder Primacy, 9 Mich. Bus. & Entrepreneurial L. Rev. 79 (2019), In this Article, I analyze CBOs and other new local laws and ordinances that promote stakeholder governance and engagement, and argue that such local laws meaningfully differ from traditional stakeholder protections, most significantly in the way that they weaken managerial accountability to the shareholders of organizations to which such local laws apply. I identify practical implications for the community benefits movement as well as theoretical implications for our understanding of corporate law.
Anne Choike, Usha Rodrigues, & Kelli Alces Williams (eds.), Feminist Judgements: Rewritten Corporate Law, Cambridge Univ. Press (under contract as of October 2020 and forthcoming 2021), The goal of the Volume is to re-envision corporate law as it is practiced and interpreted today, using feminist methods and feminist legal theory, in order to: raise the profile of women in business; engage explicitly with gender issues in corporate law; and extend the work of feminists, feminist legal theorists, corporate lawyers and corporate law scholars to creatively imagine possibilities for corporate law to advance more equitable, ethical, and effective outcomes, while supporting transactions and relationships in our society, culture and economy.
Jennifer Fan, Employees as Regulators: The New Private Ordering in High Technology Companies, 2019 Utah L. Rev. 973 (2019), This Article analyzes how employees in high technology companies have redefined the contours of private ordering and, in the process, have also reimagined what collective action looks like. Because these workers are in high demand and short supply, they are able to affect private ordering in a way that we have not seen before. As a result, they have the potential to be an important check on the high technology sector.
Jennifer Fan, Innovating Inclusion: The Impact of Women on Private Company Boards, 46 Fla. State Univ. L. Rev. 345 (2019), This Article documents the exclusion of women from the boards of nearly all the major private high technology companies currently influencing American business, and it explains why this male-only hegemony matters. It then offers a new paradigm, the innovation imperative, for creating a business culture in which people of all genders can make valued contributions. This Article analyzes two potential arenas for change: the legal and business realms.
Jennifer Fan, Woke Capital: The Role of Corporations in Social Movements, 9 Harv. Bus. L. Rev. 441 (2019), The contribution of this Article is three-fold: it discusses how court cases and changing norms about the role of the corporation in society led to the rise of the modern business corporation; provides an original descriptive account of the role of corporations in social movements using three case studies; and tackles the underlying normative question about the appropriateness of the involvement of corporations in social movements in light of the legal framework in which it resides.
Julie Dahlstrom, Trafficking to the Rescue?, 54 U.C. Davis L. Rev. __ (forthcoming Nov. 2020), Since before the dawn of the #MeToo Movement, civil litigators have been confronted with imperfect legal responses to gender-based harms. Some have sought to envision and develop innovative legal strategies. One new, increasingly successful tactic has been the deployment of federal anti-trafficking law in certain cases of domestic violence and sexual assault. This Article traces federal human trafficking law from its origins to these recent innovative cases. It then considers how civil litigators are turning to human trafficking statutes to overcome decades-old systemic problems with legal responses to gender-based violence.
Rachel Moran, Law Enforcement Perspectives on Public Access to Misconduct Records, 2 Cardozo L. Rev. _____ (forthcoming 2021), This article summarizes the results of an empirical research project studying how public access to law enforcement misconduct records harms or benefits law enforcement agencies and the communities they police.
Margaret E. Johnson, Menstrual Justice, 53 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1 (2019), Menstrual injustice is the oppression of menstruators, women, girls, transgender men and boys, and nonbinary persons, simply because they menstruate. Menstrual injustice includes essentializing, harassing, penalizing, and controlling menstruators resulting in economic, health and dignity harms. Menstrual injustice is the operation of structural intersectionality, the overlapping forms of domination such as patriarchy, white supremacy, transphobia, classism, and ableism. This Article argues that the structural intersectionality frame helps to identify menstrual injustices and build towards menstrual justice.
Margaret E. Johnson, Emily Gold Waldman & Bridget J. Crawford, Title IX and Menstruation, 43 Harv. J.L. & Gender 225 (2020), Students face impediments at school due to the intersection of menstruation and education. This Article argues that because menstruation is uniquely associated with female biology, a school’s failure to address the needs of menstruating students amounts to a denial of educational opportunities on the basis of sex under Title IX. The Article examines multiple theoretical frameworks to support its conclusion that the law must take into account menstruation to permit menstruators full participation in educational opportunities.
Jamie Langowski, William Berman, Grace Brittan, Catherine LaRaia, Jee-Yeon Lehmann & Judson Woods, Qualified Renters Need Not Apply: Race and Voucher Discrimination in the Metro Boston Rental Housing Market, 27 Geo. J. Poverty L. & Pol’y (forthcoming Dec. 2020), In this empirical study we used matched-pair testing to measure the level of discrimination based on race and income level in the Greater Boston rental housing market. We found high levels of discrimination against Black people and individuals using housing vouchers throughout the pre-rental application process, with evidence of race-based discrimination in 71% of tests and voucher-based discrimination in 86% of the tests.
Colleen F. Shanahan, Alyx Mark, Jessica Steinberg, Anna E. Carpenter, COVID, Crisis and Courts, 99 Tex. L. Rev. Online 10 (2020), Our country is in crisis. The inequality and oppression that lies deep in the roots and is woven in the branches of our lives has been laid bare by a virus. Relentless state violence against Black people has pushed protestors to the streets. We hope that the legislative and executive branches will respond with policy change for those who struggle the most among us: rental assistance, affordable housing, quality public education, comprehensive health and mental health care. We fear that the crisis will fade, and we will return to more of the same. Whatever lies on the other side of this crisis, one thing is certain: one part of our government grapples with the individual consequences of inequality and oppression every day and will continue to do so with even more urgency in the future: state civil courts. Even before the pandemic, as other branches of government failed to address inequality, state civil courts became the government actor of last resort for the tens of millions of Americans each year who suffer the consequences of these failures. Now, these same courts—for the first time in history—have quickly and nimbly changed the way they provide justice. Courts’ improvisation in the face of a global public health crisis present an opportunity for social change. In contrast to burgeoning attention to state criminal courts, this role for state civil courts was hidden from those not directly involved and largely ignored by scholars. Now it is unavoidable. This essay lays out a framework for change that state civil courts should embrace as they reopen to the tidal wave of litigants.
Clinical Education and Legal Education
Michele E. Gilman, The Future of Clinical Legal Scholarship, 26 Clinical L. Rev. 189 (2019), The legal academy is questioning the future of legal scholarship given its costs and perceived disconnect from law practice. However, the future of clinical legal scholarship is typically left out of these debates, although it offers a powerful rejoinder to these recurring critiques – it is deeply engaged with real-world problems, and it has demonstrable impacts. In addition, clinical scholars are an overlooked conduit for disseminating scholarship outside the ivory tower. Doctrinal faculty are unaware how much clinical faculty can ensure their work has an impact beyond SSRN citation counts. As law schools consider how to implement the new accreditation requirement that students take at least six credits of experiential education, scholarship should be part of the calculus. This Essay argues that at this inflection point for legal education, choosing to promote, rather than to further degrade, structures to support clinical scholarship allows the academy not only to ensure quality legal education that graduates practice ready lawyers, but also to support engaged scholarship and enhance the scholarly mission of law schools. In short, the future of legal scholarship and the goals of experiential education are intertwined and hinge on a robust commitment to clinical faculty with security of position who write pursuant to an expansive definition of scholarship.
Jaime Lee, From Socrates to Selfies: Legal Education and the Metacognitive Revolution, 12 Drexel L. Rev. 227 (2020), Metacognitive thinking empowers people to increase their mental capabilities by examining and correcting flaws in their thinking processes. While experiential legal education has employed metacognitive approaches for decades, these concepts are only now being adopted in other areas of the legal curriculum, from podium classes and to accreditation requirements. This Article explains the parallels between metacognitive theory and practice as they have developed in experiential and non-experiential legal education, and proposes how the latter can learn from the successes of the former.
Jeff Selbin, Deborah N. Archer, Caitlin Barry, Gautum Hans, Derrick Howard, Alexis Karteron & Shobha Mahadev, The Diversity Imperative Revisited: Racial and Gender Inclusion in Clinical Law Faculty, 26 Clinical L. Rev. 127 (2019), Interrogating decades-long trends in the racial and gender composition of clinical faculty, this essay assesses progress since Professor Jon Dubin argued twenty years ago that faculty diversity was a clinical legal education imperative. Although women now outnumber men in clinical faculty positions by nearly 2 to 1, we found limited progress on racial and ethnic inclusion on clinical law faculties, where white faculty continue to hold nearly 8 out of 10 positions.
Stephen Rosenbaum, The Myanmar Shwe: Empowering Law Students, Teachers and the Community through Clinical Education and the Rule of Law, 28 Ind. J. Glob. Legal Stud. _ (forthcoming 2020), Myanmar is emerging from the isolated world it inhabited after decades of military authoritarianism. The authors draw on their experience in piloting clinical legal education curricula, with an emphasis on the rule of law and access to justice. Along with receptiveness for new approaches to teaching and mentoring by internationals, they faced centralized decision-making, no culture of collegiality or autonomy, risk aversion, frequent teacher transfers, inadequate research skills, rote learning, reliance on “distance education” and limited English proficiency.
Stephen A. Rosenbaum, The Global Path of Myanmar University Community Teaching Programmes: Strategies, Models and Influences, Street Law and Public Legal Education: A Collection of Best Practices from Around the World in Honour of Ed O’Brien (David McQuoid-Mason, ed.) (Juta & Co., 2019), This chapter focuses on recent community legal education initiatives in Myanmar (Burma). BABSEACLE's co-founders, together with International Team Leader and Clinician Stephen Rosenbaum, lay out the Myanmar program, its history, future and sample lesson plan. Seizing on the newfound interest in clinical legal education, this NGO drew on its successful experience in other countries throughout Asia and the methodology that had worked in diverse settings.
Alexi Freeman & Lindsey Webb, Yes, You Can Learn Movement Lawyering in Law School: Highlights from the Movement Lawyering Lab at Denver Law, How. Hum. & C.R. L. Rev. (forthcoming), This Article describes the Movement Lawyering Lab at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. The Movement Lawyering Lab is an experiential course that exposes students to the philosophy of movement lawyering and provides an opportunity for students to partner directly with national and grassroots organizations. The Movement Lawyering Lab draws from some of the key tenets of clinical legal education and adapts that framework for movement work. Through this model, law students learn how they can meaningfully contribute to national, state and local campaigns dedicated to social, racial, and economic justice. This Article is intended to serve as a guide and support for other legal educators with a commitment to introducing a course about race, movements, and power into their law school curriculum.
Laila L. Hlass & Lindsay M. Harris, Critical Interviewing, Utah L. Rev. (forthcoming Spring 2021), This article seeks to expand critical lawyering theory, and in doing so provide an example of a pedagogical approach to teaching what we term “critical interviewing.” Critical interviewing means using an intersectional lens to collaborate with clients, communities, interviewing partners, and interpreters in a legal interview. Critical interviewers identify and take into account historical and structural biases, privileges, and the role they play in the attorney-client relationship.
Michael Murphy, The Search for Clarity in Attorney's Duty to Google, Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law (2020), This article explores an attorney’s duty of investigation, which has been forever changed (and ever changing) by technology. It examines the potential sources of a Duty to Google and argues that this responsibility is poorly defined. Accordingly, this article argues for a better-defined duty of investigation, codified in a rule of professional conduct. The article concludes by suggesting industry-wide changes to better prepare attorneys to meet their obligations of technological competency.
Anahid Gharakhanian, Carolyn Young Larmore & Chelsea Parlett-Pelleriti, Achieving Externship Success: An Empirical Study of the All-Important Law School Externship Experience, S. Ill. Univ. L. J. (forthcoming), The authors analyzed data from hundreds of law students and their externship supervisors. The results reveal a high level of externship success and the contributing factors to that success. Neither law school entering credentials nor the academic component of the externship contribute to externship success. Instead, the most important factor that leads to extern success is the students’ relationships with supervisors, feedback from supervisors, and nature of assignments.
Community Economic Development
Edward W. De Barbieri, Opportunism Zones, 39 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. __ (forthcoming 2020), This Article analyzes and critiques the Opportunity Zone, and argues that compared to other place-based economic development tools implemented through law it is an extreme and potentially frightening approach. I identify three key aspects—use, transparency, and participation—which focus my analysis on the extent to which Opportunity Zones may in fact harm the areas they are supposed to benefit.
Michael Haber, COVID-19 Mutual Aid, Anti-Authoritarian Activism, and the Law, Loy. L. Rev. (Forthcoming), This article looks at the history of mutual aid and argues that recent COVID-19 mutual aid projects are influenced by both this history and by more recent trends in twenty-first century activism. It presents an overview of legal issues faced by mutual aid groups, discussing questions around risk and liability, incorporation, raising and spending funds, and taxation. It concludes for a call to confederate mutual aid projects to build grassroots power.
Kate Sablosky Elengold & Jonathan D. Glater, The Sovereign Shield, 73 Stan. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021), This Article untangles the doctrines that extend the sovereign shield (preemption, sovereign immunity, and intergovernmental immunity) to protect private actors, particularly federal contractors. And it exposes the alliance that such extension enables between the executive branch of the federal government and for-profit businesses.
Kate Sablosky Elengold & Jonathan D. Glater, The Sovereign in Commerce, 73 Stan. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021), This Article argues that the solution to the problem of the expanding sovereign shield lies in redefining the question. In determining whether an actor may enjoy protection from liability and regulation under the sovereign shield, this Article proposes that the analysis should turn on the nature of the activity performed, not the identity of the actor performing it.
Shanta Trivedi, My Family Belongs to Me: A Child's Constitutional Right to Family Integrity, 56 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2021), This paper analyzes a child's constitutional right to family integrity and how this right can be wielded more forcefully in the child welfare, immigration and child welfare systems to prevent family separation.
Lisa Martin, Litigation as Parenting, 95 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 442 (2020), This Article proposes for the first time that constitutional doctrine establishing parents’ protected decision-making authority should make parents the default representatives for their children in federal civil litigation.
Lisa Martin, Modernizing Capacity Doctrine, Fla. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021), Capacity doctrine, or the rules establishing whether and how children’s litigation proceeds, largely remains as it was initially set forth in federal procedural rules more than a century ago. This article contends that it is well beyond time to modernize capacity doctrine to better account for the capabilities of adolescents and support their transition to adulthood.
Ingrid Eagly, The Movement to Decriminalize Border Crossing, 61 B.C. L. Rev. 1967 (2020), Should it be a crime to cross the border into the United States? This Article explores the growing resistance to the politics and practices of mass border criminalization. In doing so, it makes three central contributions. First, it dis-sects the varied strands of the punitive practices of the U.S. Department of Justice, including policies of zero-tolerance prosecution for first-time unauthorized border crossers and enhanced punishments for those who reenter after deportation. Second, it traces how growing public awareness of the previously hidden practices occurring in Border Patrol holding cells and federal criminal courts along the Southwest border have sparked new and outspoken criticism of the illegal entry and reentry laws. These laws have resulted in the forced separation of families, interfered with the rights of asylum seekers, and fostered a racially segregated and substandard court process. Third, this Article analyzes the nascent movement by immigrant rights groups, prominent politicians, and grassroots coalitions of community members to decriminalize border crossing by repealing Sections 1325 and 1326 of the immigration law that have punished unauthorized border crossing since 1929. Although critics maintain that such a legislative change would create so-called open borders, irregular entry would remain a civil violation of the immigration law and be handled by the civil deportation system. As this Article argues, the call to decriminalize border crossing exposes the racialized harm imposed by current policing practices and inspires discussion of additional reforms that would make the civil side of immigration law more humane and equitable.
Jeff Selbin, Fee Abolition and the Promise of Debt-Free Justice for Young People and Their Families in California, Berkeley L. Pol’y Advoc. Clinic, In 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed landmark legislation making California the first state to abolish entire categories of monetary sanctions. Starting January 1, 2018, Senate Bill 190 prohibits counties from charging all administrative fees in the juvenile legal system. SB 190 also repealed county authority to charge certain fees to young people ages 18 to 21 in the adult system. This study presents key findings and recommendations about the implementation of SB 190.
Jeff Selbin, Juvenile Fee Abolition in California: Early Lessons and Challenges for the Debt Free Justice Movement, 98 N.C. L. Rev. 401 (2020), Fees in the criminal and juvenile legal systems are a key driver of racial and economic injustice. This essay draws on years of primary research to describe fees charged to families with youth in California's juvenile delinquency system, the successful campaign to abolish the fees effective January 1, 2018, an emerging movement for fee reform ("debt free justice") nationally, and early lessons and challenges for ending state-sanctioned racialized wealth extraction.
Jeff Selbin, Anna VanCleave, Brian Highsmith, Judith Resnik, Lisa Foster, Hannah Duncan, Stephanie Garlock & Molly Petchenik, Money and Punishment, Circa 2020 (2020), This is the fourth in a series of co-edited monographs focused on money as punishment published by Yale Law’s School Liman Center, the Fines and Fees Justice Center, and UC Berkeley School of Law’s Policy Advocacy Clinic. This volume surveys the literature on the many misuses and negative consequences of money as punishment and efforts underway to dismantle various forms of state-sanctioned racialized wealth extraction.
Zina Makar, Unnecessary Incarceration, 98 Or. L. Rev. 607 (2020), The reliance of pretrial detention in the US is growing at an alarming rate. This Article proposes monetary pretrial compensation as a check on the criminal bail system analogizing the concept to the compensatory aspects of plea bargaining and time-served.
Eve Rips, A Fresh Start: The Evolving Use of Juvenile Records in College Admissions, 54 Univ. Mich. J.L. Reform __, The growing movement to restrict use of criminal history in the college admissions process presents a critical opportunity to reconsider the role that postsecondary systems should play in supporting the rehabilitative goals of juvenile justice systems. This article analyzes the impact of this new movement, and provides recommendations for legislative and institutional language that can more effectively ensure that individuals with juvenile records are given a meaningful opportunity to earn postsecondary degrees.
Amy F. Kimpel, Violent Videos: Criminal Defense in a Digital Age, 36 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. ___ (2020) (forthcoming), Public defenders now receive police body-worn camera footage, surveillance video, and cell phone video in discovery in even the most routine criminal cases. This Article explores the of reviewing this avalanche of digital evidence. The Article includes results of a survey of public defenders, discussion of secondary trauma and burnout, and suggested strategies to address the added toll of digital content on defense attorneys to ensure that defendants receive effective representation in the digital age.
Josh Gupta-Kagan, Beyond "Children Are Different": The Revolution in Juvenile Intake and Sentencing, Wash. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021), This article identifies and analyzes the trend in multiple states to impose offense-specific limits on when the state may prosecute children and when judges may order them incarcerated, limiting the wide discretion that has existed for these decisions since the juvenile court's founding.
J.D. King, The Meaning of a Misdemeanor in a Post-Ferguson World: Evaluating the Reliability of Prior Conviction Evidence, 54 Ga. L. Rev. 927 (2020).
J.D. King, Gamesmanship and Criminal Process, 58 Am. Crim. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2021).
Jenny Roberts, The Shadow Bargainers, Cardozo Law Review (forthcoming, 2021) (co-authors Ronald F. Wright and Betina Wilkinson)
Jenny Roberts, Prosecuting Misdemeanors, in OXFORD HANDBOOK OF PROSECUTORS AND PROSECUTION (forthcoming 2021)
Brenda Smith, Promise Amid Peril: PREA's Efforts to Regulate an End to Prison Rape, 57 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 1599 (2020).
Critical Race Theory; Race & Law
Julia Hernandez, Lawyering Close to Home, 27 Clinical L. Rev. 401 (2020), This essay incorporates ethnographic insights and narrative technique, rooted in part in Critical Race Theory and critical geography studies, to ground conversations about transformative pedagogy and praxis in the lived experiences of our students. Increasingly, students are uniquely situated and motivated to engage in rebellious law practice, yet, fault lines in legal education create heightened challenges for some students with negative formative experiences with the state. Drawing from the work of Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres, this essay introduces the idea of authoritative interpretive communities in the law school classroom while addressing the unique world of legal practice for students working in areas in which they have personal experience.
Disability and Health Law
Stephen A. Rosenbaum, Invisibility, Inclusivity & Fraternity: ‘Was Yosef on the Spectrum? Understanding Joseph through Torah, Midrash and Classical Jewish Sources, 36 Touro L. Rev. 101 (2020), To date, no one has tried to explain the enigmatic behaviors of the Hebrew Bible’s Joseph (Yosef), his interpersonal relationships and his personal journey through a disability lens. The Bible is fraught with conflicting views of disability and the disabled body. A few disability themes stand out in Samuel Levine’s chronicles of Yosef that draw the reader to reflect on this autistic young man’s social or community inclusivity, fraternal relations and his sexuality.
Stephen A. Rosenbaum, Hammerin’ Hank, (Dis)ablism, Homophobia, Racism and Hate Speech, in Disability Hate Speech: Social, Cultural and Political Contexts (Terje Olsen, Mark Sherry et al., eds.) (Routledge, 2020), Some countries have legal provisions regulating hate speech in the form of “artistic expression.” In contrast, the US has long cherished constitutional protections on freedom of expression, effectively shielding those who would promulgate hate, such as the producers and hosts of shock jock radio. The treatment of Hammerin’ Hank, a disabled man in the Doghouse radio broadcast of the early 2000s, is the focus of this chapter.
Tamar Ezer, Megan S. Wright & Joseph J. Fins, The Neglect of Persons with Severe Brain Injury in the United States: An International Human Rights Analysis, 22 Health & Hum. Rts J. 265 (2020), Brain injury contributes more to death and disability globally than any other traumatic incident. While the past decade has seen significant medical advances, laws and policies remain stumbling blocks to treatment and care. The quality of life of persons with severe brain injury often declines with unnecessary institutionalization and inadequate access to rehabilitation and assistive technologies. This raises a host of rights violations that are hidden, given that persons with severe brain injury are generally invisible and marginalized. This article highlights the current neglect and experiences of persons with severe brain injury in the United States, analyzing the rights to life, health, benefit from scientific progress, education, freedom of expression, community, family, and equality.
Alison R. Ohringer, Tamar Ezer & David P. Serota, Prison-Based Harm Reduction Services Are Needed to Address the Dual Substance Use Disorder and Infectious Disease Epidemics in US Prisons, 22 Eclinical Med. (May 2020), There is a human rights imperative to implement SEPs and harm reduction services in US prisons. People in prison are dying because HIV and HCV are spreading at an alarming rate, fueled by current failures. Denying the standard of care for HIV/HCV prevention and treatment violates the international human rights to life (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 6), highest attainable standard of health (International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Art. 12), and freedom from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Art. 7). It is also contrary to the U.N. Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners, WHO Guidelines on HIV/AIDS in Prisons, and International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights. Moreover, at a domestic level, this failure may violate the Constitution’s 8th amendment, which forbids the infliction of cruel and unusual punishment.
Jessica Miles, Straight Outta SCOTUS: Domestic Violence, True Threats, and Free Speech, 74 Univ. Mia. L. Rev. 711 (2020), The article seeks to facilitate continued broad access to civil protection orders for domestic violence victims while simultaneously respecting the First Amendment rights of persons accused of abuse and allowing for vigorous debate on matters of public concern. Specifically, it discusses the question of the constitutionally requisite mens rea for a “true threat” of violence left unaddressed by the United States Supreme Court in the 2015 case of Elonis v. United States.
Margaret B. Drew, Feminist Perspectives on Disaster, Pandemics, and IPV, and IPV, Intimate Partner Violence Across the Lifespan (Springer, 2020), The chapter addresses increased violence that women experience during disasters such as this pandemic. The chapter argues that failure to include women and sexually different people in disaster planning continues this exposure to gender violence. Despite extensive knowledge that women experience increased violence during disaster, governments have not addressed this dilemma during planning. Consequently, most disaster planning looks to restore the status quo, which typically re-creates unfavorable conditions for women and other non-male genders.
Deborah Epstein, From Isolation to Connection: The Practices and Promise of Open Domestic Violence Shelters, J. Interpersonal Violence (forthcoming, 2020), Advocates have begun to question two policies that have long defined DV shelters—strict secrecy regarding shelter location and strict prohibitions on shelter access. Both practices increase survivors’ social isolation and entail coercive rules reflective of broader, oppressive cultural dynamics. A handful of communities have experimented with open shelters, which break from tradition with public locations, and permissive visitor policies. This qualitative study explores the philosophical underpinnings, benefits, and challenges of the open shelter approach.
Jane K. Stoever, Firearms and Domestic Violence Fatalities: Preventable Deaths, 53 Fam. L. Q. 183 (2019), This Article addresses the highly gendered nature of victimization within intimate relationships, firearm ownership, and intimate partner firearm fatalities. Research shows that racial prejudice, political moments, and societal images of “frontier masculinity” produce higher rates of firearm ownership by white men than by other demographics; furthermore, firearm possession correlates with high rates of perpetrating domestic violence and intimate fatalities, making restricting abuse perpetrators’ access to firearms important. Practitioners and courts face hard realities when seeking to prevent intimate fatalities, including the gendered knowledge gap as to whether there are guns in the home, the ease of access to firearms in the United States, and implementation gaps that must be closed for laws to be effective. In proposing reforms, the Article posits legislative reforms and public health and pragmatic community solutions.
Jane K. Stoever, Access to Safety and Justice: Service of Process in Domestic Violence Cases, 94 Wash. L. Rev. 333 (2019), Every day, in courthouses across America, numerous domestic violence protection order cases are dismissed for lack of personal service, even though law enforcement is tasked under federal law with effectuating service. Service of process presents substantial access to justice and access to safety issues for domestic violence survivors who seek legal protection, as nearly 40% of petitioners for civil protection orders are unable to achieve personal service on those against whom they seek protection. In seeking to understand the law’s differential treatment of domestic violence, this Article explores the historic origins of the heightened notice and service requirements for domestic violence remedies and the ongoing race, class, and gender implications. In proposing expanded service methods that satisfy due process rights and address procedural justice, the Article examines both the respondent’s interests and the petitioner’s constitutionally protected right to a hearing on the merits.
Deborah Epstein, Loneliness and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Intimate Partner Violence Survivors, J. Fam. Violence (forthcoming, 2020), The covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the domestic violence survivor isolation trapping victims in their homes where they face the greatest danger. But survivors’ intensified loneliness has received far less attention. Although loneliness can be catalyzed by isolation, it is a distinct psychological phenomenon that is internal and subjective. Loneliness is acutely painful, inflicts health-related harms, and heightens vulnerability to violence. We suggest reforms to alleviate loneliness, and how these might be expanded after the pandemic.
Deborah Epstein, From Isolation to Connection: The Practices and Promise of Open Domestic Violence Shelter, 20 J. Interpersonal Violence 1 (2020), Advocates have begun to question two policies that define DV shelters: secret location and visitor access. Some are experimenting with the radical alternative of open shelter. We conducted a study finding that open shelters: promote physical safety; adopt a range of policies regarding location disclosure and visitor accessibility; face challenges, including the need to gain buy-in from multiple constituents; and improve survivor outcomes, including: decreased shame, improved advocacy relationships, increased service access, and deepened networks.
Michele E. Gilman, Chapter, The Difference in Being Poor in Red States versus Blue States, in Holes in the Safety Net: Federalism and Poverty (Ezra Rosser, ed., Cambridge Univ. Press, 2019), A person’s experience at the bottom of the economic ladder differs widely depending on where they live, and red state versus blue state policy differences are driving part of that geographic divergence. Red states generally have more punitive public benefits policies than blue states. This division is likely to widen in coming years as Republican politicians at the federal and state levels increasingly attach “behavior modification” requirements to governmental assistance, using federalism tools such as waivers to do so. This threatens to worsen poverty overall, but its impacts will likely be harsher in red states. This chapter traces the expansion of behavioral modification requirements, identifies its causes, and examines its geographical impacts.
Joseph Pileri, Essential but Excluded: Vending in the Time of Corona, Nw. Univ. L. Rev. Online Blog: NULR of Note (May 1, 2020), Street vending without a license is treated as a criminal offense in cities around the country. By criminalizing street vending, cities raise barriers to entry for vulnerable entrepreneurs, unduly burden those entrepreneurs most at risk, and detract from the vibrancy of communities. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitates rethinking these laws.
Edward W. De Barbieri, Excluding Disadvantaged Businesses, 28 Geo. Mason L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2021), Laws that subsidize small businesses frequently fail to reach owners most in need of governmental support. Lawmakers considering preferences for disadvantaged businesses ought to focus on the way the law excludes certain business owners.
Education and Schools
Emily Suski, The Title IX Paradox; Subverting Title IX, 108 Calif. L. Rev. 1147 (2020); 105 Minn. L. Rev. -- (forthcoming 2021), The Title IX Paradox critiques the federal courts' assessments of the actual notice standard in Title IX claims as creating an impossible paradox for survivors of sexual harassment and assault in school, particularly K-12 students. Subverting Title IX critiques the federal courts' assessments of the deliberate indifference standard as lacking in fidelity to the Supreme Court's explanation of the standard. Both articles argue the courts' evaluations undermine Title IX's central purpose.
Jane K. Stoever, Title IX, Esports, and #EToo, 89 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021), Our lives are largely online during COVID-19 and beyond, and gaming and esports—and corresponding technology-enabled abuse, sexual cyberviolence, and harassment—raise significant Title IX issues that colleges are not anticipating as they increasingly fund and sponsor esports and gaming. I address how colleges—motivated by Title IX mandates and inclusion principles—can affirmatively create responsible gaming initiatives with goals of violence prevention, player protection, and harm minimization.
Claire Raj, The Lost Promise of Disability Rights, 119 Mich. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2021), This paper discusses how recent Supreme Court interpretation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may have unjustly narrowed access to other important disability rights laws, namely Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Lauren E. Bartlett, Human Rights Guidance for Environmental Justice Attorneys, 98 Univ. Detroit Mercy L. Rev. 373 (2020), This article focuses on recent developments in environmental human rights law and provides practical guidance for environmental justice attorneys looking for additional advocacy tools. The article highlights examples of human rights language that can be used in briefs or in drafting legislation, human rights documents that can be used as evidence of ongoing harm and widespread problems, and human rights law that can be cited as persuasive authority, and more.
Ann Eisenberg, Transitions in Energy Communities, 12 Geo. Wash. J. Energy & Env’t L. __ (forthcoming 2021).
Christine E. Cerniglia, The Civil Self-Representation Crisis: The Need for More Data and Less Complacency, 3 Geo. J. Poverty L. & Pol'y 27 (Spring 2020), This Article analyzes self-represented litigants (SRLs) in the civil justice system. The increased number of filings by SRLs is often referred to as a crisis. There are several challenges that SRLs pose in individual courtrooms and to our civil justice system as a whole. Even with the recent trend of standardized self-help forms, SRLs have difficulty with procedural matters, articulating their cases sufficiently, and other formalities of the legal process. This in turn affects the overall efficiency of the system and deprives SRLs of their right to equal access to justice. The legal profession has not caught up with the rising numbers of SRLs, and very few procedures for uniform reporting exist in order to study and monitor the effect of SRLs nationwide. The civil justice system is especially lacking a national reporting mechanism to study the increase of SRLs; however, many continue to refer to this significant increase as a crisis while not having concrete numbers to understand the complexity of issues. This Article advocates for a systems approach to study the SRL crisis with all stakeholders at the table in order to effectuate much needed change.
Josh Gupta-Kagan, America's Hidden Foster Care System, 72 Stan. L. Rev. 841 (2020), This paper identifies and critiques the practice of child protection agencies causing changes in physical custody by demanding parents agree to let another adult care for their children under threat of a family court child abuse or neglect case. The article establishes how widespread the practice is, when it may be appropriate and when not, and offers a range of solutions to better regulate it.
Housing, Land-use, and Property
Judith Fox, The High Cost of Eviction: Struggling to Contain a Growing Social Problem, 41 Mitchell Hamlin L.J. Pub. Pol'y and Prac. (2020), Eviction, Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, has been remarkable in the way it has focused public attention on the issue. As important as the book has been –and it has been quite important-- Desmond’s tales were not new to those of us who have been working with low income tenants for years. This paper examines some of the suggested causes of our current, high eviction numbers and explores one alternative dispute intervention, coalition building with stakeholders to address deplorable rental conditions. Finally, it addresses a topic that was central to the symposium in which it was presented: the role of courts in the eviction crisis.
Michelle D. Layser, Edward W. De Barbieri, Andrew J. Greenlee, Tracy A. Kaye, & Blaine G. Saito, Mitigating Housing Instability During a Pandemic, __ Or. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 202_), Housing instability threatens to impair the United States’ policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic by undermining public health strategies such as social distancing. Additional rental assistance and mortgage payment assistance will be necessary to prevent the loss of housing that will ultimately exacerbate the public health crisis. We also recommend a new civil right to counsel in eviction cases and targeted place-based interventions to promote affordable housing development where it is needed most.
Linda Fisher & Judy Fox, Foreclosure Echo: How the Hardest Hit We’re Left Out of the Economic Recovery, (Cambridge Univ. Press 2019), Book analyzing the foreclosure crisis and what it portends for the future. We illustrate our points with many client stories.
Susan D. Bennett, Making the Second Pandemic: The Eviction Tsunami, Small Landlords, and the Preservation of "Naturally Occurring" Affordable Housing, 29 J. Affordable Housing & Cmty. Dev. L. 157 (2020), The “small landlord” is an actor in the affordable housing crisis, to which the predicted “tsunami” of pandemic-related evictions has brought fresh attention. “Mom and pop” owners of two to four-unit buildings constitute some 30% of below-market rental housing, the only housing stock available to the 75% of low-income renters who qualify for but cannot receive rental subsidies. I examine the expanding literature investigating the small landlord; and suggest localized interventions that might prop up this critical housing stock for the future.
Sarah Knuckey, Benjamin Hoffman, Jeremy Perelman, Gulika Reddy, Alejandra Ancheita & Meetali Jain, Power in Human Rights Advocate and Rightsholder Relationships: Critiques, Reforms, and Challenges, 33 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 1 (2020), This article seeks to contribute to improved practice and to deeper understanding of both the potential and limits of human rights advocates’ responses to critiques of how they objectify, displace, or disempower rightsholders. It examines: first, how common advocacy practices risk rightsholder disempowerment, and second, the many tactics advocates are developing to promote rightsholders at the center of advocacy and as agents of change, and the key challenges faced in seeking to do so.
IP, Technology, and Privacy
Michele Gilman, Poverty Lawgorithms: A Poverty Lawyer's Guide to Fighting Automated Decision-Making Harms on Low-Income Communities, Data & Society Research Institute (2020), This report is designed to help poverty lawyers and their clients resist the adverse impacts of data-centric technologies and to engage as stakeholders in the adoption and implementation of algorithmic systems. The report is organized by major practice area and includes links to helpful resources for deeper dives into specific issues that may arise in legal services representation and policy advocacy. The practice areas covered are consumer, family law, housing, public benefits, schools and education, and workers’ rights, as well as a final section on how immigration surveillance intersects with these practice areas.
Michele E. Gilman, Five Privacy Principles (from the GDPR) the United States Should Adopt to Advance Economic Justice, 52 Ariz. St. L.J. 368 (2020), Algorithmic profiling technologies are impeding the economic security of low-income people in the United States. Based on their digital profiles, low-income people are targeted for predatory marketing campaigns and financial products. At the same time, algorithmic decision-making can result in their exclusion from mainstream employment, housing, financial, health care, and educational opportunities. Government agencies are turning to algorithms to apportion social services, yet these algorithms lack transparency, leaving thousands of people adrift without state support and not knowing why. marginalized communities are also subject to disproportionately high levels of surveillance, including facial recognition technology and the use of predictive policing software. American privacy law is no bulwark against these profiling harms, instead placing the onus of protecting personal data on individuals while leaving government and businesses largely free to collect, analyze, share, and sell personal data. By contrast, in the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives EU residents numerous, enforceable rights to control their personal data. Spurred in part by the GDPR, Congress is debating whether to adopt comprehensive privacy legislation in the United States. This article contends that the GDPR contains several provisions that have the potential to limit digital discrimination against the poor, while enhancing their economic stability and mobility. It argues for the adoption of similar provisions in American law.
Vicki Phillips, Sea Change: The Rising Tide of Pro Bono Legal Services for the Creative Community, IP Theory: Vol. 9: Issue 1, Article 6 (2020), Despite the ubiquity of the internet economy and the increasing importance of the creative sector, pro bono legal services have not generally been available to those needing assistance in intellectual property, technology and related fields of the law. The creation of the earliest pro bono intellectual property law school clinics was revolutionary and the clinics were somewhat controversial in clinical legal education when they first arrived on the scene. Students interested in intellectual property, technology and related areas would finally enjoy an experiential opportunity long available to their classmates in other fields of law. Most importantly, the new clinics would be a resource for specialized pro bono legal advice to the many communities of creators and those hoping to enter the new internet economy but unable to access assistance in the traditional legal marketplace. This Article suggests that the rapid growth and success of the work taken on by the new IP clinic community and the community’s innovative collaboration with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is inspiring a rising tide in the availability of pro bono expert legal assistance for the creative community throughout the wider legal marketplace.
Labor and Employment
Annie Smith, The Underprosecution of Labor Trafficking, 72 S.C. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021), Most law enforcement efforts concerning human trafficking focus on sex trafficking. Labor trafficking remains a devastating yet under-prosecuted crime. This Article identifies causes of the ongoing failure to prosecute labor trafficking, including workplace exceptionalism, the labor trafficking eclipse, and maladaptive law enforcement strategies. It considers critiques of a carceral approach and argues for thoughtfully increasing appropriate labor trafficking prosecutions. Informed by insights of scholars, anti-trafficking advocates, survivors, and prosecutors, the Article proposes reforms to strategically increase prosecutions.
Llezlie Green, Erasing Race, 73 SMU L. Rev. F. 63 (2020), this essay considers the narratives that have informed the detachment of racial justice from the worker exploitation narrative and the distancing of economic justice from the civil rights narrative. It then contends that social movements, like the Fight for $15, can disrupt narrow understandings of low-wage worker exploitation and proffer more nuanced narratives that connect race, economic justice, and civil rights to a broader anti-subordination campaign that can more effectively protect the most vulnerable workers.
Llezlie L. Green, Outsourcing Discrimination, 55 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 915 (2020), This article explores racial discrimination against Black temporary workers, the problematic narratives that drive this bias, and the challenges to addressing it.
Law & Economics; Political Economy
Ann Eisenberg, Economic Regulation and Rural America, __ Wash. Univ. L. Rev. __ (2021).
Politics, Voting Rights
Jaime Lee, Working Title: Turning Protest into Reform: Creating Structural Power for Public Voice, __ Geo. Mason L. Rev. __ (forthcoming Spring 2021), Public input is necessary for effective and responsive government, but current structures for incorporating public input into governmental policy are not robust and are highly susceptible to abuse. This article proposes mechanisms for creating more meaningful, sustained dialogue between a government and the people who are most affected by a problem, with the ultimate goal of making government more responsive to the public’s needs.
Women and the Law
Deborah Epstein, Discounting Credibility: Doubting the Stories of Women Survivors of Sexual Harassment, 51 Seton Hall L. Rev. 1 (2020), Although federal and state laws prohibit sexual harassment on the job, extraordinarily high rates of gender-based workplace harassment still permeate every sector of the workforce. One factor lies at the heart of the problem: our reflexive inclination to discount the credibility of women, especially those recounting experiences of abuse by powerful men. We will not succeed in ending gender-based workplace discrimination until we understand and resist this tendency and begin to appropriately credit survivors’ stories.
Monday, November 9, 2020
Pivoting to Represent Nonprofits Confronting the Pandemic and Anti-Black Racism
During a typical semester in the Social Enterprise & Nonprofit Law Clinic (SENLC) at Georgetown Law, law students represent D.C.-area social enterprises and nonprofits working in a range of fields, including social services, education, and international development. During this atypical semester, SENLC students have not only pivoted to virtual representation, they have also sharpened the focus of their representations to serve organizational clients who are responsive to the converging COVID-19 pandemic and our national reckoning with anti-Black racism. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the racial wealth gap, disparities in access to capital for Black-owned businesses, as well as workplace and educational inequities between a professional workforce who can work remotely and a working class who cannot.
Recognizing that the pandemic is not only a public health crisis, but also an educational and economic crisis that has disproportionately impacted communities of color, and heeding our moral obligation to work to dismantle these inequities, this semester SENLC students are representing:
(1) A newly-formed Virginia nonprofit that is providing college- and master-level tutors to low-income K-12 students to enhance their online education during COVID-19 school closures. The nonprofit is in its pilot phase and is operating with the support of Senator Warner (D-VA) who hopes to champion it nationally under the AmeriCorps umbrella;
(2) A D.C. legal aid organization committed to saving the homes of D.C. residents through pro bono foreclosure legal defense;
(3) A Virginia nonprofit focused on educational equity by providing scholarships and social-emotional learning resources to low-income college students;
(4) A D.C. nonprofit whose mission is to empower, prepare, and advocate for Black women in the quantitative sciences, including economics, finance, and data sciences; and
(5) A D.C. nonprofit offering free home ownership workshops and financial resources for teachers and other employees of D.C. Public Schools, 70% of whom are people of color and 50% of whom are Black, to allow educators to live where they work and build intergenerational wealth.
SENLC students are representing these clients on grant funding, governance, contracts, liability protection, and compliance issues. The Clinic will continue to work with organizational clients confronting the economic and educational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-Black racism for the foreseeable future and has plans to work with mutual aid organizations and worker cooperatives in the spring semester.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
This is the season of annual reports from clinics across the country, and it's been inspiring to read about the great work happening from so many schools.
Here is our report from the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law Program of Clinical Education. Please click through to see details and stories from our nine clinics; robust, global externship program; practicums and pro bono initiatives; and faculty news on our practice, scholarship, service, and leadership. I love my partners and colleagues and our students. It's a rich honor to do this work, even in - maybe especially in - such a fraught year.
My introductory message:
2020 is an extraordinary year, a traumatic inflection point that has presented astonishing and unexpected challenges to everyone. The Legal Clinics at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law have risen to those challenges with vision, discipline, creativity, and patience to continue excellent teaching for our students and critical work for our clients.
Our nine clinics, two practicums, and extensive externship program have adapted, taking lessons that we learned from the Woolsey Fire and other interruptions, to advance and expand our work even during the pandemic. Our clinics practice across vast Los Angeles County in widely diverse practice areas among those in the greatest need and at the forefront of our most pressing issues. In a season of profound crisis, our students and faculty are doing remarkable work.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
By Melissa Toback Levin, Lewis Steel Racial Justice Fellow, New York Law School
The Racial Justice Project (“RJP”) is a legal advocacy organization housed in New York Law School dedicated to protecting the constitutional and civil rights of people who have been denied such rights on the basis of race, and to increasing public awareness of racism and racial injustice in, among other areas, the areas of education, employment, political participation, economic inequality, and criminal justice. The RJP’s work includes impact litigation, appellate advocacy, legislative advocacy, training, and public education. Professor Penelope Andrews and Professor Alvin Bragg co-direct the RJP; they are aided by post-graduate fellows and students in the Project’s work.
Recently, the RJP has been keenly focused on efforts to promote police transparency and accountability as well as efforts to end the criminalization of poverty. The following provides an overview of two RJP matters:
Carr v. de Blasio
In late August 2019, the RJP filed a petition on behalf of Eric Garner’s mother, sister, and police accountability advocates against the Mayor of New York City, the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) Police Commissioner, and other New York City officials. The petition was brought under Section 1109 of the New York City Charter, a “sunlight” provision which allows a judge to preside over a summary inquiry at which City employees and officers can be made to testify about violations or neglect of duties.
The respondents moved to dismiss the petition. On September 24, 2020, Justice Joan A. Madden granted the majority of the petition for a summary inquiry. The Court granted the petition for a summary inquiry with respect to alleged violations and neglect of duty in connection with: (1) the stop, arrest, and use of force against Mr. Garner; (2) the filing of false official documents concerning Mr. Garner's arrest; (3) the leaking of Mr. Garner's alleged arrest history and medical condition in the autopsy report; and (4) the alleged lack of medical care provided to Mr. Garner by police officers.
The respondents filed a notice of appeal and are seeking to invoke an automatic stay. If the inquiry proceeds, Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Police Commissioner O'Neill, among others with knowledge or information concerning the four areas of inquiry, will be required to testify and a transcript of their testimony will become a public record.
In addition to the lawsuit, the RJP submitted a Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) request to the NYPD and the Civilian Complaint Review Board (“CCRB”) relating to Mr. Garner’s arrest and death.
The lawsuit and FOIL request were part of a broader campaign to repeal New York State Civil Rights Law Section 50-a, which provided protections for police officer personnel records and had been interpreted in an overly broad manner. (The City had pointed to Section 50-a as a basis for the lack of key disclosures concerning Mr. Garner’s death.) In October 2019, New York Law School Professor Alvin Bragg testified at a hearing before the New York State Standing Committee on Codes on the repeal of Section 50-a on behalf of the RJP. On June 12, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an act to repeal Section 50-a into law. As a result, the public has access to police disciplinary records as they are considered “presumptively open for public inspection and copying” under New York’s Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”). One week after the law’s repeal, the City pledged to release all disciplinary records – this is now the subject of litigation brought by law enforcement unions, including the Police Benevolent Association.
Driving While Black and Latinx: Stops, Fines, Fees, and Unjust Debts
In February 2020, the RJP produced a report entitled “Driving While Black and Latinx: Stops, Fines, Fees, and Unjust Debts.” The report examines the disparate impact that a law which authorizes driver’s license suspensions for non-payments of traffic debt and nonappearances in traffic court has on communities of color. It notes that between January 2016 and April 2018 New York issued nearly 1.7 million driver’s license suspensions for traffic debt and highlights how the practice unduly targets and harms communities of color, forcing people to choose between, on one hand, stopping driving and not being able to get to work or, on the other hand, risking criminal charges by driving on a suspended license.
The report was utilized in a campaign to help secure the passage of the Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act, which passed both chambers and now awaits Governor Cuomo’s signature.
Monday, October 26, 2020
The Clinical Law Prof Blog is once again putting together a scholarship round-up so we can share and amplify the amazing work of our community. Please take a moment to complete the form below. Multiple submissions are welcome!
Sunday, September 20, 2020
The Clinical Law Review seeks applications for five vacancies on the Board of Editors. The Board urges you to think about whether you would be interested, and to think about others whom you would encourage to apply.
Members of the Board of Editors serve for a term of 6 years. The term of the new Board members will commence in January 2022. The primary role of the Board members is to edit articles for the Review. Because this is a peer-edited journal, the editing process is collaborative. Board members also serve as small group facilitators in the annual Clinical Law Review Workshop. There is at least one meeting per year of the Board, usually held at the annual Workshop.
Applicants should submit (1) a C.V. and (2) a statement explaining their interest in the position and highlighting relevant aspects of their experience. The Board seeks applications from people committed to the work of the Review and will prioritize applicants from underrepresented groups and applicants with diverse experiences in and approaches to clinical legal education. Applications must be received no later than January 31, 2021. Please e-mail them to CLRBoardApps2021@gmail.com.
The committee to select new Board members is always co-chaired by two current Board members whose term is expiring. We (Jeff Selbin & Jennifer Koh) will be serving this year as the co-chairs of the Selection Committee. The other members of the committee will be designated by the three organizations that sponsor the Clinical Law Review -- AALS, CLEA, and NYU -- each of which will designate two committee members.
We encourage you to contact us or other current or former Board members with any questions or for information about service on the Board. We and other Board members have found the experience to be very rewarding.
The other current members of the Board are: Muneer Ahmad, Sameer Ashar, Susan Bennett, Warren Binford, Marty Guggenheim, Margaret Johnson, Jen Lee, and Alex Scherr. The current members whose terms are ending, along with ours, are: Muneer, Susan, and Warren.
The current Editors-in-Chief are Phyllis Goldfarb, Randy Hertz, and Michael Pinard.
Those who previously served on the Board are: Jane Aiken, Amna Akbar; Tony Alfieri, Wendy Bach; Bev Balos, Margaret Martin Barry, Ben Barton, Juliet Brodie, Angela Burton, Stacy Caplow, Bob Dinerstein, Jon Dubin, Cecelia Espenoza, Keith Findley, Gay Gellhorn, Michele Gilman, Carolyn Grose, Peter Toll Hoffman, Jonathan Hyman, Peter Joy, Minna Kotkin, Deborah Maranville, Bridget McCormack, Binny Miller, Kim O’Leary, Ascanio Piomelli, Mae Quinn, Paul Reingold, Brenda Smith, Jim Stark, Paul Tremblay, Nina Tarr, Kim Thomas, Rod Uphoff, and Leah Wortham. The Emeritus Editors-in-Chief are Richard Boswell, Isabelle Gunning, and Kate Kruse. The late Steve Ellmann was a founding Editor-in-Chief of the Review.
We look forward to hearing from you. -- Jennifer Lee Koh & Jeff Selbin
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Sunday, August 23, 2020
Ohio State Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor
The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University is hiring a Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor to launch a new Immigration Clinic in January 2021. OSU is located in Columbus, Ohio, a thriving and growing city, named as “One of the 52 Places to Go in 2019,” by the New York Times.
This opportunity will offer the VAP the chance to build a clinic from the ground up, with the support of Moritz’s other clinical programs faculty. The Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor will have responsibility to develop the immigration clinic, including conducting an assessment of immigration law needs in central Ohio, building ties to community partners, and creating opportunities for the law students to contribute to these activities and earn course credit through participation in the immigration clinic. The Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor will teach up to 8 students per semester in a 4-credit course offering, with responsibility for course design, classroom instruction, and student conferences. The Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor will have autonomy over both clinical pedagogy and selection and handling of all cases; serve as counsel of record in all cases; and be the primary supervisor of the clinic students.
This is a one-year position, with hopes that the College will secure additional funding to continue the Clinic in the future. The position will begin late this calendar year in preparation to teach next January. The post is here: https://www.jobsatosu.com/postings/102958. Applicants can submit materials to Michelle Brown at email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed beginning September 1, 2020.
Friday, August 21, 2020
University of South Carolina Law Hiring Tenured or Tenure-Track Faculty
The University of South Carolina School of Law seeks to hire at least two entry-level or lateral faculty members. We have needs in business law, commercial law, professional responsibility, sales, or a criminal practice clinic; however, outstanding candidates from other areas will be considered and are encouraged to apply. The University of South Carolina School of Law is deeply committed to an inclusive community. We are particularly interested in candidates who will enrich the diversity of our faculty and welcome applications from women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, and others whose backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints would contribute to the diversity of our institution.
Candidates should have a juris doctorate or equivalent degree. Additionally, a successful applicant should have a record of excellence in academia or in practice, the potential to be an outstanding teacher, and demonstrable scholarly promise.
The University of South Carolina School of Law also invites applications for a non-tenure track faculty position of Graduate Program Director. The Graduate Program Director is responsible for all aspects of the School of Law’s non-J.D. graduate programs, including program oversight, marketing and recruitment, admissions, student affairs and career services. The Graduate Program Director’s initial responsibilities will focus upon implementation of a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) in Health Systems Law and a Health Care Compliance Certificate program. Candidates should have a juris doctorate or equivalent degree. Additionally, a successful applicant will have program development experience in instruction, admissions, student affairs, online course development, or related area in higher education; and experience supervising faculty and/or staff. Interested persons should apply by clicking the link for the position for which you are interested and complete the application by selecting “Apply for this Job” at the top of the page.
Assistant, Associate or Full Professor (Criminal Practice Clinic)—FAC00071PO20 http://uscjobs.sc.edu/postings/85944
Assistant, Associate or Full Professor (Business Law, Commercial Law, Sales)—FAC00072PO20 http://uscjobs.sc.edu/postings/85860
Assistant, Associate or Full Professor (Professional Responsibility, Other)—FAC00073PO20 http://uscjobs.sc.edu/postings/85947
Professor of Practice (Graduate Program Director)—FAC00074PO20 http://uscjobs.sc.edu/postings/85862
Although a formal application is required in order to be considered, candidates are welcome to contact the hiring committee with any questions regarding the application process at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of South Carolina does not discriminate in educational or employment opportunities on the basis of race, sex, gender, gender identity, transgender status, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, genetics, protected veteran status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Strategies for remote clinical supervision
A post by Emma Sokoloff-Rubin
Director of the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project and Lecturer in Law
Yale Law School
When Yale Law School, like schools across the country, sent students and faculty home virtually overnight, I worried about a lot of things. I worried about my students. I worried about people I loved getting sick, getting lonely, getting lost in so much change. I worried about ever getting any work done with my toddler underfoot. But I didn’t worry about the clinic I help run weathering the sudden change. I knew that the clinic would continue to work well with a remote supervision model, because we’ve been running it that way all along.
The San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project—SFALP for short—is by design a cross-country partnership. The clinic and its students are based in New Haven, and we partner with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. Because of the distance, we have found creative ways for students to build relationships with their supervisors, produce strong work product, and receive meaningful feedback with phone, video, and email as the primary means of communication.
Of course, the sudden shift to online teaching this spring changed things for us, too. We missed our in-person clinic seminar and social gatherings. While students have always worked remotely with the attorneys who supervise their legal work, they’re used to having mentors on campus as well. It takes a lot of effort from instructors and students alike to create via Zoom the kind of magic that happens in a classroom, and our clinic seminar is no exception. Like everyone else, we’re trying to face the sadness we feel about what we don’t get to do while also being creative about what we can. But we’re lucky, in a way, because we’ve been working all along with some of the limitations many clinics are facing for the first time.
Some background on our clinic: SFALP pairs students with lawyers from the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office to conceive, develop, and litigate cutting-edge public interest cases. The students work directly with deputy city attorneys through every stage of the process, from dreaming up new lawsuits to filing complaints, from motions practice to appeals. The clinic’s assignments are wide-ranging and fast-paced, and the attorneys rely on the students to produce top-notch work. The program has become a model for other city attorneys’ offices and law schools, with many of SFALP’s cases making national news.
I spent two years in SFALP as a student, and now I help run the clinic alongside Dean Heather Gerken, who founded it fourteen years ago. So I bring the perspective of both student and teacher, and I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t from both sides. I also get to build on the hard work of the thirteen clinical fellows who came before me and developed many of the strategies I describe here.
The main thing I’ve learned is that clarity surrounding expectations for students and supervisors matters more than ever when you’re operating remotely. Clear policies and expectations free students and supervisors alike to focus their energy on the substance of the collaboration – the relationships and the cases. In short, a well-organized clinic allows us to focus on the work. It also means that when things aren’t working, when the phone conversations are awkward or the memo misses the mark, we have a clear sense of what we have been doing and can better pinpoint areas that need change.
Of course, what works for us won’t work for all clinics. Because we’re essentially working with in-house counsel—the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, tasked with representing the city and county of San Francisco—we don’t need to navigate remote client interactions to the degree that many direct services clinics do. Likewise, we don’t face the unique responsibilities and tight deadlines that come with being an individual client’s only attorney. But like any clinic, and like many externship and internship programs, we aim to teach through practice and also produce meaningful work. Strong relationships between students and supervisors are at the heart of what makes that possible. Here are some of the structures and policies that have worked well for us when students and supervisors can’t be in the same room:
- Working group calls are sacred: Each semester, students are divided based on their interests into working groups, with each group focusing on one case or issue area. One group is always devoted to developing new case ideas. There are usually two to four students in a group, with two supervising deputy city attorneys. Most groups have an hour-long call every other week, and the group decides whether to use phone or video. Whenever possible, the calls are scheduled far in advance. This time is precious, and barring emergencies, students and attorneys are expected to attend each one. Attorneys make a real effort to get to know students during that time because it’s all they have.
- Clarify assignments in writing: After each call, students send a follow-up email within 24 hours summarizing their assignment to make sure everyone is on the same page. This allows supervisors to intervene early if the summary doesn’t reflect what they had in mind. Sometimes what the student heard is different from what the supervisor said, but just as often, students’ efforts to summarize their understanding of the assignment help supervisors clarify for themselves and for the students what they had in mind. The back-and-forth might clarify, for example, whether the supervisors envisioned a persuasive memo or a more neutral analysis of a potential claim; if they wanted a formal memo or a bullet-point list of key findings; if they’re interested in persuasive authority or just looking for binding precedent on a particular issue.
We also encourage students to call and email their supervisors with questions as they work, rather than waiting until the next working group call. It usually takes some prodding to get students to let go of concerns about bothering their supervisors and realize that the attorneys like hearing from them in between calls, and that asking questions allows the students to produce better work. We enlist returning students to emphasize that the supervisors really want to hear from students. In my experience, what usually works best is simply picking up the phone and calling a supervisor when a question arises. If that doesn’t work, the next step is to send an email and arrange a time to talk.
- Mentorship requires intention: We select supervisors who are invested in getting to know the students and mentor them, who are drawn to that and recognize it as part of what they are giving in exchange for having students collectively spend thousands of hours per semester helping to litigate and develop cases. Crucially, the supervising attorneys have the support of their supervisors, who recognize the time spent mentoring students as an essential part of the office’s work.
Until Covid hit, most students met their supervisors in person at least once over the course of their time in the clinic when we brought deputy city attorneys to campus to co-teach a class. (We ask new students to commit to two semesters in the clinic; some stay for as many as five.) We also asked the attorneys to hold one-on-one office hours on the day of their class, so as to deepen mentoring relationships with the students. We’re still figuring out how well the office hours system translates for remote guests.
We also do everything we can to communicate that mentoring between students is at the heart of the clinic’s work. At the start of the semester, we pair new clinic students with returning students for one-on-one coffee or Zoom conversations. When clinic application season rolls around, we encourage prospective students to reach out to students already in the clinic to learn more about the workload and clinic structure. And students in their third or fourth semester in the clinic often volunteer to share specific expertise with newer students, such as strategies for attacking thorny questions around standing when proposing new case ideas. We recognize the time students spend on these conversations as an essential contribution to the clinic and take care to highlight this mentoring work in our syllabus, in information sessions for prospective clinic applicants, and during clinic meetings.
This approach has a practical effect—busy students are more likely to make time for mentoring when they feel that the clinic values it—and also communicates an important lesson about law practice: building relationships and talking about cases and ideas counts as work and is part of what we are doing together. It’s all part of lawyering and learning.
- Clear structure for feedback: In most cases, students are required to submit memos 48 hours in advance of their working group call to allow supervisors time to read their memos thoroughly before the call. This fall, we plan to ask students to read their teammates’ work during the 48-hour period between memo deadline and working group call. Many students have already been doing this, but we realized we hadn’t yet concretized the practice as a policy. This is how a lot of our policies evolve, from an informal practice that we don’t want to lose as one generation of students graduates and the next gets to work.
In addition to oral feedback during working group calls, supervising attorneys automatically redline one of the first two assignments that students complete for a working group. Supervising attorneys will decide which assignment to redline unless students reach out with a preference. The redlines get emailed directly (and only) to the individual student. We call this the “quick edit,” designed to bolster the substantive feedback that attorneys regularly give students and provide an opportunity for students to remedy relevant legal writing or research issues early in the semester. Then there’s the “deep edit,” a more in-depth edit that students initiate by reaching out to a supervisor. The supervisor provides written feedback on one piece of work product, often including suggestions for further student research and written work, and schedules a one-on-one call with the student to discuss the edits.
I don’t mean to paint an overly rosy picture of remote supervision or suggest that we have it all figured out. Until the pandemic hit, Heather, the students, and I were together in New Haven and saw a lot of each other on a regular basis. Even this past spring, we had a couple of months of normalcy before the world seemed to change overnight. We worked with our student directors to host happy hours, organize small group conversations, and encourage informal collaboration and conversation in the clinic workroom. We hosted a community dinner at the start of the semester. This fall will be our first time starting off the semester without our usual community touchstones. We’re hoping to teach parts of the clinic seminar in person, but some students will opt to participate remotely for personal and public-health reasons. Instead of crowding around a single table in a small seminar room, we’ll be spaced 6+ feet apart in a room that usually seats 150 students. We’ll be masked, and probably nervous. It’s all so new.
We’re also still trying to figure out what kinds of social gatherings will work over Zoom and what will feel stilted and exhausting. We know it doesn’t work simply to move our typical in-person events online. But we also don’t want to skip them entirely. In April, I decided to skip our usual end-of-semester celebration rather than face trying to replicate it over Zoom. In retrospect, that was a mistake. The semester petered out without any sense of closure or celebration, and our 3Ls graduated without any clinic-specific farewell. I think we can do better this fall. We want to try more brown-bag lunch style chats with alumni, since Zoom makes it easy to bring in guests. Heather may teach an optional cooking class for the wannabe chefs among us. My toddler and her ukulele will probably make an appearance on screen. We’re looking around to see what others are doing to build community and what’s working for them. We’re enlisting students to help us figure out what online events are meaningful, and to find the sweet spot between too few events and too many.
None of this makes up for the pre-pandemic world we all wish we lived in. We’re all worried sick about so many things. But I think we’ll figure out together how to build community without our usual tools. If anything, the pandemic has heightened the desire we share with our students to use law to protect vulnerable consumers, promote civil rights, and create lasting change.