Clinical Law Prof Blog

Editor: Jeffrey R. Baker
Pepperdine University
School of Law

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Family Law Clinic Director VAP position at Penn State Law-University Park

We are hiring! The Family Law Clinic I direct here at Penn State Law needs a director while I move into the position of Penn State Law's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for at least 2 years, starting July 2019. This position is for a 2-year clinical law Visiting Assistant Professor role, which will be a perfect fit for someone--maybe you, dear reader! As you may know, we here at Penn State Law in University Park are also hiring for tenure-stream and legal-writing positions this year. This is great opportunity for someone planning to go onto the academic market to prepare and be mentored. It could also be a wonderful move for someone with experience in another clinic. I will be here the entire time, just down the street in our main building, and look forward to helping transition someone into this role. 

I encourage readers like you and our community members to apply. Please also feel free to share this opportunity with your networks.  Here’s the link to the position where those interested can learn more and apply:  I also include the position description here: 

Penn State Law, based in University Park, PA, is seeking to hire an experienced legal professional to serve as a visiting assistant professor of clinical law and director of the Family Law Clinic. The successful candidate will have a background in representing clients in family law matters, particularly in cases involving domestic and sexual violence, and supervising law students in clinical casework. The Clinic is an “in-house” clinic that functions as a small pro bono law firm representing low-income Pennsylvanians in a variety of family law matters, including divorce, custody, protection from abuse, child support and adoption. The director manages the Clinic’s direct legal services to clients, and supervises the law students who represent those clients. Situated at Penn State’s largest campus in University Park, Pennsylvania, the Family Law Clinic is an integral part of Penn State Law’s work as a land grant university serving rural Pennsylvanians while competing on a global scale with scholarship and public policy work. Examples of Family Law Clinic cases and projects include protective orders for victims of domestic violence, securing financial support and property for indigent clients in divorces, asserting custodial rights for parents, and conducting Brief Legal Advice workshops on family law issues. The Director is also responsible for teaching the weekly Clinic seminar class, including simulations and other skill-building exercises, doctrinal law instruction, and case rounds. The Director ensures the effective management of the Clinic year-round, including during summers and other academic year breaks, which may include supervising student work on client matters. In-depth knowledge of Pennsylvania family law and domestic violence required, with preference for those with experience in VAWA work and/or in certain other Clinic practice areas -- specifically, divorce economic relief, child custody and support, and campus sexual assault. The Director also manages Penn State Law’s Public Interest programs, which includes management of a large grant that partly funds the Clinic’s operations. The Public Interest programs job duties include collaborating with numerous student initiatives like the Family Law Society; Public Interest Law Fund and Alternative Spring Break; chairing the Public Interest Law Placements faculty committee; working with Career Services staff to maximize student matching with public interest opportunities; cultivating and publicizing pro bono opportunities for students; representing Penn State Law on public interest law boards and committees such as Student Legal Services, Mid-Penn Legal Services, the PA-IOLTA Board; and the AALS, ABA, and other national groups’ Public Interest/Pro Bono networks. Must have a desire to mentor, supervise and train law students in an “in-house” clinical program; a demonstrated passion for social justice and a commitment to working with low-income communities; excellent writing, communication and organizational skills; and the ability to work effectively within diverse stakeholder communities. The successful candidate will display excellent written and oral communication skills, demonstrated knowledge and experience with client-centered lawyering, and outstanding legal practice skills. We seek a candidate who is creative, curious and self-motivated with an ability to anticipate issues and follow-up independently; is an exceptional strategist who can thrive in a collaborative, collegial environment and enjoys thinking through complex legal issues; and exhibits professionalism, drive and tenacity. This position is a benefits eligible, fixed-term academic appointment beginning in Summer 2019 and funded for two years from date of hire. Starting rank is negotiable depending on the applicant’s experience. A J.D., admission to Pennsylvania Bar or eligibility to become a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and minimum four years of family law practice experience with substantial trial work preferred. Preferred start date is July 1, 2019. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled; only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.


November 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

HELP NEEDED FROM VOLUNTEER LAWYERS: The Pepperdine Disaster Relief Clinic and the Woolsey Fire

Dear Lawyers, Law Professors, Legal Clinics: 

We need your help. Today, I am officially launching the Disaster Relief Clinic to serve Malibu, the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Conejo Valley here in Southern California where the Woolsey Fire is still burning. 
Pepperdine students are displaced and scattered, and we are closed through Thanksgiving, when we are embarking on a massively ambitious, dense final week of school and finals, all while we try to be compassionate to the students. I do not want to put volunteering on their plate until we can launch the clinic course in January. 
So now, we need volunteer lawyers and clinical law profs. We're going to run an emergency, triaged VLP. I need lawyers and law profs to take cases by referral. 
Law profs, I hope that you can recruit students at your schools and clinics to work under your supervision to handle cases and questions as they arise. (I have no capacity to supervise other people's students; I'm sure you understand). 
Spread it far and wide. 
I will provide some training on FEMA matters soon, and I have some excellent, ready resources for fire responses in California for everyone who volunteers, thanks to FEMA, MoFo and Horwitz & Levy.  
Write me directly with questions, but please volunteer quickly. 
Thank you all, 

November 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Pepperdine, the Woolsey Fire, and the Disaster Relief Clinic

Dear Friends, 
Several of you have reached out as we endure fires in Southern California, and we are grateful.  Fires assailed Pepperdine Friday night, and it is still a dynamic situation around us. Many faculty and staff (including my family and me) live on campus, and our campus plan calls for us to shelter-in-place.  3500 of us sheltered in central buildings on campus, and our university’s planning and preparation was successful and effective.  Firefighters battled all night to defend us and our homes and university (and Malibu and beyond), and we emerge safe and sound.  All Pepperdine people and buildings are safe, even as we assess needs and grapple with immediate survival and recovery to come. 
While in shelter, we started planning to relaunch our Disaster Relief Clinic. We launched the Disaster Relief Clinic as a temporary project last year in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, then turned its practice to serve people affected by our neighbors hurt by the Thomas Fire in the spring semester. 
Now we are battered by the Woolsey Fire, but we have the resources and proximity to serve our neighborhood and region soon. The fires continue even today and will continue for days more. We will begin assessing needs and capacity between now and Thanksgiving and hope to have firmer plans by then.  Our campus is closed, and classes are cancelled until then, too. We will work in the meantime to make plans, connect our networks, and integrate systems. Then we will be able to share plans and needs and look forward to the generous, creative, and compassionate help that this community of clinicians and clinics always provide. 
Until then, thank you for your generosity, prayers, love, hope, and contributions to our wounded community. 

November 11, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Balsam and Reuter, Externship Assessment Project: An Empirical Study of Supervisor Evaluations of Extern Work Performance

From Professors Jodi S. Balsam & Margaret Reuter, their exciting, useful new paper:

Externship Assessment Project: An Empirical Study of Supervisor Evaluations of Extern Work Performance, 25 Clinical Law Review 1 (Fall 2018)

 The paper tells the story of a year’s worth of field supervisor evaluations of student externs to extract insights about the extern experience, especially regarding the variety, complexity, and responsibility levels of their work.  Using qualitative data analysis, we distilled the supervisor narratives in a comprehensive, uniform, and disciplined matter.  We overlaid those narratives with student demographic data to understand variations along class year, GPA, gender, and race.  The evaluations revealed that educational opportunities varied among different field placement settings and practice areas, in expected and some unexpected ways.  Our analysis seeks to describe extern performance and learning in a clear-eyed fashion and offer guidance for externship program design and assessment of programmatic and institutional learning outcomes.

November 6, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Book Announcement: Reimagining Clinical Legal Education

By request of the publisher, Hart Publishing, an announcement for the new book, Reimagining Clinical Legal Education.


Reimagining Clinical Legal Education

Edited by Linden Thomas, Steven Vaughan, Bharat Malkani and Theresa Lynch


Clinical Legal Education (CLE) can be defined in broad terms as the study of law through real, or simulated, casework. It enables students to experience the law in action and to reflect on those experiences. CLE offers an alternative learning experience to the traditional lecture/seminar method and allows participants to take the study of law beyond the lecture theatre and library. CLE has been a part of English law schools for several decades and is becoming an increasingly popular component of a number of programmes. It is also well established in North America, Australia and many other countries around the globe. In some law schools, CLE is credit-bearing; in others, it is an extracurricular activity. Some CLE schemes focus on social-welfare law, whilst others are commercially orientated. A number are run in conjunction with third-sector organisations and many are supported by private practice law firms. This edited collection brings together academics, lawyers, third-sector organisations and students to discuss the present experience and potential of CLE. As such, it will be of interest to a wide and diverse audience, both within and outside the UK.


Linden ThomasSteven Vaughan and Theresa Lynch are all researchers at the Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research (CEPLER) at the Law School, University of Birmingham.

Bharat Malkani is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University.



October 30, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 29, 2018

LawClinics@50: 50 Years of Clinical Legal Education at Georgia Law

This year marks the 50th anniversary of clinical legal education at the University of Georgia School of Law. We are celebrating this milestone with a series of events and collaborations, including CLEs, conferences, and awards.

As part of our LawClinics@50 celebration, we have entered into a partnership with the Online Platform of the Georgia Law Review. The clinical faculty will write a series of short articles addressing the past, present, and future of many of our individual clinic and externship courses.  The series starts with a reflection on 50 Years of Clinical and Experiential Learning at Georgia Law by current Associate Dean for Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning, Professor Ellie Lanier. Future articles will address our poverty, environmental, family violence, externship, veterans, criminal justice, and other courses.

I append below the flyer announcing this collaboration. Watch this space for links to each publication as it appears.

Alex Scherr

Director, Veterans Legal Clinic



Clinic Release

October 29, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Mid-Atlantic Clinicians' Writing Workshop Fall 2018 remaining sessions

The next session of the Mid-Atlantic Clinicians’ Writing Workshop is taking place at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law on Friday, October 27 at 9:30 am.  Lindsay Harris, Assistant Professor of Law, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, will present her paper entitled Withholding Protection.

The schedule for the remaining fall writing workshops is as follows:

At 10 am on November 16, Professors Medha Makhlouf of Penn State Dickinson Law and Tomar Pierson-Brown of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law will be presenting at Penn State Dickinson Law.

At 9:30 am on December 7, professors Nichole Tuchinda of Georgetown University Law Center, Saba Ahmed of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, and Kim Rolla of the University of Virginia School of Law will be presenting at Georgetown University Law Center.

Sessions of the Mid-Atlantic Clinicians’ Writing Workshop are open to all area clinicians.  For more information, please contact Katie Ladewski, Sherley Cruz, Andrew Budzinski, or Joe Pileri.

October 24, 2018 in Conferences and Meetings, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 22, 2018

Clinical Law Review: Applications to the Board of Editors

Via Prof. Wendy Bach:


The Clinical Law Review seeks applications for three 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 2020. Board meetings customarily are held twice a year: once at the annual Clinical Law Review Workshop at the end of September and once at the AALS Spring clinical workshop or conference. Board members are expected to attend meetings regularly. Policy matters for the Review and status of upcoming issues are discussed at these meetings. Throughout the year, Board members are asked to work with authors to edit articles. Board members also customarily serve as small group leaders in the Clinical Law Review Workshop.


Applicants should explain their interest in the position and should highlight the aspects of their experience that they believe are most relevant. The Board seeks applications from people committed to the work of the Review and strives to select people with diverse backgrounds and varying experiences in and approaches to clinical legal education. Applications and supporting resumes must be received no later than April 1, 2019. Please email them to me at with the subject line “Clinical Law Review Application.”


The committee to select new Board members is always chaired by a current Board member whose term is expiring. I will be serving this year as the chair of the Selection Committee. The other members of the committee have been designated by the three organizations that sponsor the Clinical Law Review -- AALS, CLEA, and NYU -- each of which designated two committee members.  This year’s committee consists of myself, Melanie Derousse, Marty Guggenheim, Randy Hertz, Praveen Kosuri and Danny Schaffzin.


I encourage you to contact me or other current or former Board members with any questions or for information about service on the Board. My fellow Board members and I have found it a very rewarding and informative way to continue the advancement of clinical legal education.


The members of the Board are: Muneer I. Ahmad, Amna A. Akbar, Sameer M. Ashar, Wendy A. Bach, Susan D. Bennett, Warren Binford, Martin Guggenheim, Jennifer Lee Koh, Jeffrey Selbin, and Kimberly A. Thomas.


The current Editors-in-Chief are Randy Hertz, Phyllis Goldfarb and Michael Pinard.


Those who previously served on the Board are: Jane Aiken, Tony Alfieri, Bev Balos, Margaret Martin Barry, Ben Barton, Juliet Brodie, Angela Burton, Stacy Caplow, Bob Dinerstein, Jon Dubin, Cecelia Espenoza, Keith A. 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, Rod Uphoff, and Leah Wortham.



October 22, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Call for Papers: 2019 Applied Legal Storytelling Conference

Sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute and CLEA, the Applied Legal Storytelling Conference brings together academics, judges, and practitioners:

The conference has previously convened in 2007 (London), 2009 (Portland), 2011 (Denver), 2013 (London), Seattle (2015), and Washington D.C. (2017). We are very excited to bring it back to the Mountain West (Boulder) in July 2019. Applied Legal Storytelling (AppLS) examines the use of stories—and of storytelling or narrative elements—in law practice, legal education, and the law. This definition is intentionally broad in order to allow people creativity in the way they think and present on the topic. Such topics may include: the ways in which fiction-writing techniques or narrative theory can inform legal storytelling; stories in the law, or law as stories; legal storytelling and metaphor; client story advocacy; legal storytelling and cognitive science; and ethical considerations in legal storytelling.

The conference is in Boulder, Colorado, July 9–11 2019. There are two deadlines for submitting proposals: January 21, 2019 (priority deadline) and March 11, 2019 (extended deadline).

Consider the full Call for Papers here: Applied Legal Storytelling 2019 CFP


October 17, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Pepperdine Appellate Clinic Director Nominated to the United States District Court

Our brilliant friend, colleague, and law partner in the clinics, Prof. Jeremy Rosen, director of Pepperdine's Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic, is nominated to the United States District Court for the Central District of California. He has led our clinic to great outcomes, including published opinions advancing civil rights for prisoners, hourly employees, and access to justice to for clients in forma pauperis in the Ninth Circuit. He will be a great judge.


Here is our press release:

Director of Pepperdine Law’s Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic, Jeremy B. Rosen, has been nominated by the President to serve as District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Rosen is a partner at the Los Angeles office of Horvitz & Levy LLP, where his practice focuses on appellate litigation. Under Rosen’s direction of the Appellate Advocacy Clinic, Pepperdine Law students have consistently won cases at the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Former Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge and Dean Emeritus Deanell Reece Tacha comments, “Jeremy Rosen is an outstanding choice for the U.S. District Court. I worked closely with him when we began the Ninth Circuit Appellate Clinic at Pepperdine Law. He is the model of intellectual, ethical, and professional excellence that characterizes the best judges in the nation. He will serve the Central District and the nation with distinction.”

Via The White House Nominations & Appointments announcement:

Jeremy B. Rosen of California, to serve as District Judge on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Jeremy Rosen is a partner in the Los Angeles, California, office of Horvitz & Levy LLP. His practice focuses on appellate litigation, primarily in the Ninth Circuit, California Supreme Court, and California Courts of Appeals. He specializes in First Amendment cases, with expertise in both the Speech and Religion Clauses, and is a California Bar Certified Appellate Specialist. Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Rosen clerked for Judge William Matthew Byrne, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and he later clerked for Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Rosen received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Cornell University and a J.D. and L.L.M., magna cum laude, from Duke University School of Law, where he served on the Duke Law Journal.

October 12, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The New Champions of the Presumption of Innocence?

Like many of you who were concerned about the confirmation and hasty swearing in of our newest Supreme Court Justice, I woke up this morning tempted to despair. As I caught up with the public statements of McConnell, Collins, and others, however, I realized that there’s no need to fear for the independence of the judiciary—especially as it relates to criminal justice reform and mass incarceration. Indeed, those of us who spend our days in prisons, jails, courtrooms, and classrooms—worried about the school to prison pipeline; implicit (and explicit) racial bias; institutionalization; and whether our indigent clients can ever get a fair shake in this country—now know for certain that we have new champions in our corner, new converts to our cause: Republican Senators!

Mitch McConnell, who for years has played a leadership role in the Senate, supporting, for example, the war on drugs, disparities between sentencing for crack cocaine and powder cocaine convictions, the federal death penalty, and limitation of federal habeas relief, has now proclaimed himself the Standard Bearer for the Presumption of Innocence! Mitch, welcome to the team! I would never have guessed that this was your pet issue! Criminal defense attorneys don’t judge, however; it’s never too late to start spending time with people of color just hoping they can get a jury of their peers to see them as human beings! As they say on The Price is Right (not a reference to your donor base)… Come On Down!

And Senator Susan Collins, dang girl! I’m totally borrowing from your statement in my next appeal challenging the sufficiency of the evidence of a criminal charge! This is good stuff:

...we will be ill served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be. We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy...

I literally couldn’t have said it better myself. I know it must have taken a good deal of principle to risk alienating your base, which—let’s be honest—has supported you more for your votes supporting, say, withholding federal funding from sanctuary cities and authorizing (and extending) the Patriot Act. But you did it!! You planted your feet and stood up for the little guy facing the awesome power of the federal government arrayed against him. Well, not quite—but close enough.

So this is just an educated guess, but I suspect our new Presumption of Innocence Champions are going to start with national bail reform. I mean, that’s kind of low-hanging fruit, so it only makes sense. Divorcing considerations of wealth from considerations of whether a (presumed innocent) defendant will show up for court is a no-brainer! First, it supports the new Republican cause celebre (sweet! political points scored!). Second, it saves money (which is Republicans’ second favorite thing!) related to the expense of housing presumed-innocent defendants as they await trial—some for as many as several years. Third, it keeps families together until there has been a definitive adjudication of guilt. That only makes sense for Senators Collins and McConnell. I can’t wait to stand with them on this!

The next steps in criminal justice reform are anyone’s guess, really, and the sky’s the limit! There are so many many many many opportunities in America to support the ideal of the presumption of innocence and protect those facing charges when “fairness is most in jeopardy,” according to Senator Collins. All I know is, I want in! I mean, I’ve been waiting my whole career for someone to listen to the voices crying out in the wilderness for true justice for those facing criminal accusations. Oh me of little faith.

October 7, 2018 in Books, Criminal Defense, Current Affairs, Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

JOBS: Gonzaga Federal Tax Clinic

Gonzaga School of Law seeks applicants for a three-quarter-time Lecturer in its Federal Tax Clinic, with flexibility to serve in other areas as needed by the clinical program, as well as the opportunity to teach doctrinal classes.  This position is dependent on a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant awarded from the IRS which  Gonzaga has been receiving for over 15 years. Gonzaga has a long standing clinical program which has served the low income Spokane community since 1975. Here is the link with more information on how to apply:

September 30, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

UDC Law's Immigration & Human Rights Clinic's Pro Se Asylum Filing Workshop with Human Rights First

I write to share with my experiential educator colleagues a fairly recent addition to our work in the Immigration & Human Rights Clinic work at the University of the District of Columbia’s David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law).  

On Friday September 28, we had the pleasure of partnering, for a second time, with non-profit Human Rights First(HRF). In Fall 2017, we worked with HRF to serve Central American families fleeing violence and seeking protection in the United States. Building on that success, we decided to do it again this year.

Clinic students and other UDC Law student volunteers met yesterday with 10 asylum-seeking families from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. These families were previous detained at one of the nation’s three family detention centers, but were released to pursue their asylum claims while living with family and friends in Maryland. The families are all currently in removal proceedings before the Baltimore immigration court.  None of the families have yet found legal representation for their asylum claims.

In an era of immigration court backlogs, the court in Baltimore, Maryland, has actually has seen the highest increase since the beginning of FY2017 -- a stunning 96% increase in the last year of individuals put into removal proceedings–- doubling the court’s caseload.  Increases have also been dramatic in Massachusetts, Georgia, and Florida. As a consequence, the access to counsel gap is severe and many individuals appearing in Baltimore lack legal representation. In the immigration context, although only around 37% of non-detained immigrants are represented, legal representation makes it five times more likelyan individual will be granted relief.

As a small step in trying to address the justice gap, yesterday UDC Law’s Immigration Clinic completed 17 asylum applications total for the 10 families– the families will file these with the court in just a few days. Many of these cases presented complex legal issues, including those past the one-year filing deadline for asylum. While our Clinic lacks the capacity to take on full representation for each of these families, we hope that our work will set them on the right path and enable them to more easily find pro bono or low bono representation for their future hearings.

This work not only benefitted the asylum-seeking families, but our students, requiring them to engage in:

  • Quick rapport building
  • Interviewing survivors of trauma
  • Fact investigation and information gathering
  • Credibility assessment and checking internal consistency with records from previous government interactions
  • Legal drafting and editing to ensure that each application made out a prima facie case for asylum, meeting all required legal elements.
  • Concise, direct writing to communicate a compelling narrative
  • Explaining legal standards in an accessible way
  • Wrestling with recently changed and evolving law, thanks to Attorney General Sessions in Matter of A-B-,for individuals fleeing domestic violence and gang targeting.
  • Address changing facts and emerging details – for example one team started the day thinking they were working with a mother and three teenagers with asylum claims based on the same facts, but as it turned out, one of the teenage boys had been persecuted based on his sexual orientation and another had been recruited by gangs and threatened with death. This team had to deal with very delicate family dynamics around the disclosure of sexual orientation status.

Participants in the workshop included 3L and 4L Immigration Clinic students, 2L students, including several who had served as Clinical Associates as 1Ls in their first year as part of UDC Law’s required community service, and two of whom who participated in our spring 2018 service-learning tripto Berks family detention center in Pennsylvania, an extended clinic student, 1L students, and a UDC 2018 graduate. Clinic Co-Directors Kristina Campbell and Lindsay Harris along with Clinical Instructor Saba Ahmed supervised students working for the day, along with HRF staff attorney Alexander Parcan and Legal Services Coordinator Sugeily Fernandez.  HRF’s two undergraduate interns and social worker were also on hand to assist.

92818 Pro Se Asylum Filing Workshop

Photo above -- Many of the Clinic students and other volunteer students for the day, fresh-faced and ready to work in the morning, along with Professors Campbell & Harris and HRF staff.

Volunteer students are invited to debrief what was an intense, challenging, and at times no doubt emotional day along with students enrolled in the Immigration Clinic during our clinic seminar

Clinicians interested in replicating this program should feel free to be in touch with Professor Lindsay M. Harris. While there are numerous logistical challenges and hurdles, we find this experience well worthwhile and have tips to share. In many ways the day is a preview of what it is like to work in faster-paced legal services setting, contrasted with many traditional law school clinic models where “law in slow motion” may be the norm.  The workshops also provides an opportunity to generate interest in Clinic work and for 1L and 2L students not yet in Clinic to gain hands on experience and insight into an area of law in which many seek to gain exposure. 

We are grateful to UDC Law staff and faculty for their support of this program.

September 29, 2018 in Clinic Students and Graduates, Clinic Victories, Current Affairs, Immigration, New Clinical Programs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 28, 2018

"Advice and Consent" and the Senate's Standards of Evidence

Today, Senator Jeff Flake has said that he is torn and uncertain, beset with doubts, but that without "corroborating evidence" (which is available but which the Judiciary Committee has ignored, alas) he simply cannot vote to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. Politically, that's a position, but it's not a legally necessary position. It's a standard he is adopting voluntarily to justify his vote, not reluctantly simply because he has to.
The Constitution requires the Senate to give "advice and consent" to a President's nominee. That's the standard, and it's not much. It's whatever the Senate decides it is, and it is, at its heart, political. In criminal cases, prosecutors must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. In civil cases, plaintiffs must prove their cases to a preponderance of evidence. In other cases, claimants must prove their cases with clear and convincing evidence.
None of those are the standard for the Senate. If they were, we would have seen a trial yesterday, instead of a brutal sham where one witness was interrogated by a prosecutor with fulsome answers and another witness shouted interruptions, evaded straight answers, and railed hysterically against political enemies. It was not a legal proceeding. It was a political proceeding orchestrated for a particular outcome, and that is as the Senate's controlling party designed it, as it is allowed to do by the Constitution.
Turning back to Sen. Flake, surely all of the Senators are imagining the standard that will justify their preferred positions, because they can. Who among us wouldn't choose the standard by which we would be judged?
Here are some other permissible standards. It may be that the credibility of one witness so outweighs the other that the Senate decides to believe her instead of him. In this case, Dr. Ford was imminently credible, expert, and forthcoming; Judge Kavanaugh was evasive, petulant, hysterical, and imprudent. That's enough to oppose his nomination simply by weighing their credibility (which is actually enough under the preponderance standard).
It may be that conscience is a sufficient standard of evidence. Ensuring that Supreme Court Justices assume their seats without lingering questions of character, integrity, trust, substance abuse, and violence is enough to oppose a nomination, especially when there are plenty of other conservative options.
In may be that the legitimacy of the Court, independent of the facts of this case, is a sufficient standard. Bald, brutal, partisanship and a profoundly flawed nominee will mark the Court as unreliable for a generation or more. At its heart, the Court only has its legitimacy, its credibility. The rule of law depends on that reliability, so if a nominee reveals himself to be a furious partisan operative, that is enough to oppose his nomination.
Of course, the Senate can also consent to whomever a President sends to them, even if it is merely to assure a partisan victory in the short term, even if there are plenty of other options. The Senate can do that under the Constitution.
Whether the People can abide it is another question we have yet to answer. Whether we can tolerate it as a Republic is an open question.

September 28, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee from Law Professors with Expertise in Gender Violence

More than 250 law professors, including many clinical law professors, submitted this letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee today to address the Kavanaugh hearings. These are law professors with expertise, experience, and scholarship addressing in sexual assault and harassment, gender-based violence, and the law related to these epidemic forces in the U.S.  See the complete letter and all the signers here, including several of the writers for this blog and me.  

Dear Senators,

We write as law professors who have significant experience teaching, researching, and writing about issues of gender violence and representing gender violence survivors in family, civil, and criminal courts. We write to express our profound concern about the plans for evaluating the allegations of Judge Kavanaugh’s sexual misconduct that have been announced to date, especially in light of recently emerging claims. The Senate should seek to review all available evidence, including witness testimony relating to all of the allegations raised, in order to evaluate both the competing accounts of underlying events and the nominee’s reflection on those accounts. The allegations should be fully and sensitively investigated by experts who are trained in trauma-informed interviewing techniques before the hearing is held. In this instance, as Dr. Ford has requested, the investigation should be performed by the FBI. There should be no rush in undertaking this important task. All those concerned both with the gravity of the allegations and the integrity of the Court and our systems of governance should prioritize investigation over politics. Particularly given the most recent information about additional allegations, it is incumbent upon the Committee to delay the hearings and a vote until a thorough investigation of all allegations is completed.


The Senate’s approach to the allegations raised by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, and now, Julie Swetnick, is deeply troubling. Public statements prejudging the credibility of witnesses and the outcome of the proceedings reflect the very type of biases that have no place in any investigation and that run counter to the purpose of these hearings. The attacks on the witnesses’ credibility and integrity are reminiscent of outdated and discredited stereotypes that defy best practices developed through decades of research about fair and effective treatment of sexual violence survivors. Both criminal law and psychological research on the impact of trauma roundly reject the idea that sexual violence is restricted to forced sexual intercourse. Similarly, legislatures and courts have rejected for decades the outdated notion that allegations must be corroborated in order to be credible. In this matter, however, corroborating witnesses do exist, and the exclusion of these witnesses demonstrates that the process is not designed to assess the truth of the allegations.


The Committee’s process undermines the very laws that Congress has claimed credit for passing. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), initially enacted nearly 25 years ago, aims to recognize the importance of upholding the dignity and safety of those who come forward to report that they were victims of sexual misconduct. Best practices reinforce the importance of fair process and meaningful justice for gender violence survivors. The rush to a hearing and a vote, without investigation, mirrors the miscarriage of justice in many domestic violence cases, where cases typically are rushed through what can best be described as “perfunctory justice.”


We are additionally concerned about the selection of a prosecutor to question Dr. Ford. Questioning by a prosecutor fuels misguided ideas that the allegations raised should be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That standard of proof has no place here, since the liberty and equitable issues at stake in criminal cases are not at issue. We would expect the Committee to conduct its own questioning, as it has done with other nominees and throughout this process.


This is neither a criminal trial nor a civil proceeding. The focus should be on the nominee’s intellect, demeanor, judicial temperament and moral conduct. Senators should be concerned with the nominee’s judgment, insight, and capacity for reflection on the impact of a person’s behavior on others. Senators should assess how the nominee engages with complex and emotionally charged social issues, such as those that may come before the court. All of these issues are implicated by the allegations made by Dr. Ford, Ms. Ramirez, and Ms. Swetnick, and the Senate should have a full understanding of the events underlying those allegations before it determines whether Judge Kavanaugh should be elevated to the Supreme Court.

September 27, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

CLEA's Teaching Justice Webinar Series

Via Profs. Laila Hlass and Allison Korn:


As part of CLEA’s Best Practices Committee, [we] are thrilled to help launch a “Teaching Justice Webinar Series,” slated to begin this fall. 


Registration is now open for the hour-long webinar "Shifting Power through Transformative Lawyering in Community Economic Development" on September 26th, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30pm CT/ 1:30pm MT/12:30pm PT, presented by Renee Hatcher Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Business Enterprise Law Clinic at The John Marshall Law School along with Alicia Alvarez (Michigan Law), Dorcas Gilmore (U of Maryland Law), and Susan Bennett (American University – WCL). 


Registration is limited, and you must sign up beforehand, using this link:


We are very excited about this series, which aims to highlight new experiential approaches to teaching justice in the classroom. Each session will draw on the wisdom of the current resistance movement and examine its intersections with criminal justice, immigration policy, racial justice, and economic justice, among other issues.  This series will explore the theory behind experiential faculty’s decision-making processes during a politically fraught era, asking the question, “How do we show up as lawyers and teachers?” Presenters also hope to develop a shared vocabulary and a deeper understanding of what it means to be a lawyer, whether we consider ourselves movement lawyers, rebellious lawyers, or transformative lawyers. 


Later this semester, we’ll hear from Annie Lai, Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic. Annie will present on Teaching Justice in the Context of Immigrants’ Rights on December 6th, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. ET


The series will continue into 2019 with presentations from Deborah Archer, Associate Professor of Clinical Law and Director of the Civil Rights Clinic at NYU School of Law, and Eve Hanan, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic at UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law.  More details to follow, posted on the CLEA Website. Please share far and wide! 

September 18, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 14, 2018

CLEA Programs for New Clinicians at Regional and National Conferences

From the chairs of CLEA's New Clinicians Committee, Profs. Wendy Vaughn and Christine Cerniglia:


We hope this new school year is well underway and you are feeling connected to a clinical community.  This year many of the regional clinical conferences offer an opportunity for new clinicians to gather, learn and connect to the larger clinical community.  


It is not too late to register for a regional conference and to attend programming dedicated for new clinicians. (If you are questioning whether you qualify as a new clinician, please know all are welcome who would like to learn more about clinical teaching). For more information about a regional conference near you, please see


Also, save the date for the exciting  one-day CLEA New Clinician’s Conference on Saturday, May 4th in San Francisco.  More information forthcoming at:


Last, if you have not registered to become a CLEA member, please take a moment to visit the CLEA membership webpage:


We hope to see you at a regional conference and in San Francisco!


  • Midwest Conference

    • When: The conference is Oct 5-6 2018

    • Where:   Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana

    • What: New clinicians programming scheduled on Friday, October 5th from noon to 4p.m.

    • How to register:


  • New England Clinical Conference

    • When: October 12th (one day only)

    • Where: Roger Williams School of Law

    • What: New clinicians programming scheduled for a morning discussion from 8:00a.m. to 9:00a.m. and a post-conference debrief/reflection session from 5:00p.m. to 6:30p.m.  While all are welcome to attend, those with under 5 years of clinical teaching experience are strongly encouraged to do so.

    • How to register:



  • Northwest Clinical Conference

    • When: October 19-21, 2018

    • Where: Sunriver Resort, Sunriver Oregon hosted by University of Oregon School of Law.

    • What: New Clinicians programming is part of this conference.

    • How to register: see registration circulated via clinic listserve.   


  • New Clinicians Conference hosted by CLEA  in San Francisco, Saturday, May 4th 2019.



September 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Call for Papers: ABA Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law

Via Prof. Tim Iglesias:

ABA Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law 

Call for Papers


Sustainability in Affordable Housing, Fair Housing & Community Development


Abstracts due October 15, 2018

Drafts due January 1, 2019

The Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law (the Journal) invites articles and essays on the theme of sustainability in affordable housing, fair housing and community development. Contributions could explore sustainability from environmental, economic, social or political perspectives and address topics ranging from green building and disaster preparedness/response to affordable housing preservation to funding for local fair housing organizations. Articles and essays could analyze new issues, tell success stories and draw lessons, or explore problems and propose legal and policy recommendations. The Journal welcomes essays (typically 2,500–6,200 words) or articles (typically 7,000-10,000 words). 

In addition, the Journal welcomes articles and essays on any of the Journal’s traditional subjects: affordable housing, fair housing and community/economic development. Topics could include important developments in the field; federal, state, local and/or private funding sources; statutes, policies or regulations; and empirical studies.

The Journal is the nation’s only law journal dedicated to affordable housing and community development law.  The Journal educates readers and provides a forum for discussion and resolution of problems in these fields by publishing articles from distinguished law professors, policy advocates and practitioners.

Interested authors are encouraged to send an abstract describing their proposals to the Journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Tim Iglesias, at by October 15, 2018. Submissions of final articles and essays are due by January 1, 2019. The Journal also accepts submissions on a rolling basis. Please do not hesitate to contact the Editor with any questions.

September 12, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Nominations: 2019 William Pincus Award for Outstanding Service and Commitment to Clinical Legal Education

Via Prof. JoNel Newman on the LawClinic listserv:

The Awards Committee for the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education is soliciting nominations through Friday, October 5th for the 2019 William Pincus Award for Outstanding Service and Commitment to Clinical Legal Education. The Award, which the Section presents at the January AALS annual meeting, honors one or more individuals or institutions of clinical legal education for (1) service, (2) scholarship, (3) program design and implementation, or (4) other activity beneficial to clinical education or to the advancement of justice.
NOMINATIONS GUIDELINES: To ensure that the Awards Committee has uniformity in what it is considering in support of each candidate, the Committee requests that nominations adhere to the following guidelines:

1. To nominate someone, send the name of the nominee and all supporting materials (as outlined below) to JoNel Newman at by Friday, October 5, 2018.  Please note the limits on  supporting material outlined below.  All materials are required, unless otherwise noted. 
i. nominating statement setting forth why the Section should honor the individual, specifically referencing the award criteria listed above.  (no more than 5 pages in length);
ii. nominee’s resume;
iii. a list of scholarship, but not copies of the scholarship (do not include if scholarship is listed in nominee’s resume); 
iv. letters or emails in support of nominee (no more than 5 and no letter or e-mail should be more than four single-spaced pages long, exclusive of signatures, which may be multiple); and
v. other supporting materials (optional and no more than 5 pages total)
The nomination and supporting materials must be submitted via e-mail either in Word or pdf files.   Hard copies of supporting materials will not be accepted. Please note that a single pdf attachment for each nominee is greatly appreciated.
2. Members of the clinical community who have nominated a person or institution previously are encouraged to re-nominate that person or institution for this year's award. The selection of one nominee over other nominees should not be viewed as dispositive for future awards and a person or institution not selected one year might be selected the next. A list of prior awardees appears below.
3. The Committee's deliberations are assisted immensely by a variety of voices speaking about a particular nominee. Nominators are strongly encouraged to seek letters in support of the nominee from colleagues or community members who have been impacted by the nominee’s work. Such letters may also include letters of support from students whom the candidate has supervised in a clinical setting.

The nominating deadline is Friday, October 5, 2018.  Please send nomination packages via email to JoNel Newman at

Thank you!

The Awards Committee
Kinda Abdus-Saboor (Georgia State)
Jon Dubin (Rutgers)
JoNel Newman (Miami), Chair
Claire Raj (South Carolina)
Laura Rovner (Denver)

Prior Pincus Award Recipients:

1981 David Barnhizer (Cleveland State)

1982 Hon. Neil Smith (D. IA)

1983 William Greenhalgh (Georgetown)

1984 Robert McKay

1985 Dean Hill Rivkin (Tenn.)

1986 Tony Amsterdam (NYU)

1987 Gary Bellow (Harvard)

1988 William Pincus

1989 Gary Palm (Chicago)

1990 Bea Moulton (Hastings)

1991 Sue Bryant (CUNY)

1992 Elliott Milstein (American)

1993 Roy Stuckey (S. Carolina)

1994 Harriet Rabb (Columbia)

1995 Clinical Law Review

1996 Wally Mlyniec (Georgetown)

1997 Edgar Cahn (DC School of Law) and Jean Cahn (Antioch, posthumously)

1998 Steve Wizner (Yale)

1999 Katherine Shelton Broderick (U.D.C. School of Law)

2000 E. Clinton Bamberger (U. of Maryland, Emeritus)

2001 Peter A. Joy (Washington U. at St. Louis)

2002 Louise Trubek (Wisconsin) and Bernida Reagan (East Bay Community Law Center/Boalt Hall)

2003 Sandy Ogilvy (Catholic)

2004 Randy Hertz (NYU)

2005 J. Michael Norwood (New Mexico)

2006 David Binder (UCLA)

2007 Anthony V. Alfieri (Miami)

2008 John Elson (Northwestern)

2009 Margaret Martin Barry (Catholic)

2010 Robert Dinerstein (American)

2011 Christine Zuni Cruz (New Mexico)

2012 Robert Kuehn (Washington U. at St. Louis)

2013 Philip Schrag (Georgetown)

2014 Jeanne Charn (Harvard)

2015 Ann Shalleck (American)

2016 Bryan Adamson (Seattle)

2017 Thomas Geraghty (Northwestern) and Frank Askin (Rutgers)

2018 Carol Izumi (UC Hastings)

September 10, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 7, 2018

AALS Clinical Section Mentoring Program

Via Prof. Jodi Balsam:


Dear Clinical/Externship Friends and Colleagues,

Happy new semester!


And the new semester is a great time to consider participating in the Helping Hand Mentoring and Peer-Matching Program offered by the AALS Clinical Section’s Membership, Outreach, & Training Committee (apologies for cross-posting):


The program offers assistance to new faculty who are transitioning to clinical teaching and supports clinicians at any level of professional development who are at a transition point.  Please consider signing up to participate as either a mentor or mentee.  We welcome everyone, even if you’ve participated before.  WE ESPECIALLY NEED MENTORS—if you’ve ever benefited from this program as a mentee, please volunteer as a mentor!  If a mentor is not available, we also offer a peer-match for clinicians who are interested in that resource.  We will seek to make matches according to your preferences including practice area, geographic proximity (if desired), and teaching and scholarship interests. 

Application to Request a Mentor or Peer Match:


Application to Serve as a Mentor:


We hope to continue getting a good response so new clinicians may connect with mentors and enjoy this aspect of our mutually supportive community.  Please forward this to any colleagues who you think might enjoy the mentoring program. 


Please contact us if you need any assistance with the process.  Once you submit your form, a member of the Membership, Outreach, & Training Committee will follow up with additional information regarding your pairing (assuming enough participants have signed up). 


Thank you!


The CLE Section Membership, Outreach, & Training Committee

Jodi Balsam (Brooklyn) Co-chair

Katy Ramsey (Memphis) Co-chair

Kate Elengold (UNC)

Lauren Aronson (Louisiana State)

Sabrina Balgamwalla (North Dakota)

Yael Cannon (New Mexico)


September 7, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)