Friday, May 9, 2014

Southern Clinical Conference: Call for Proposals

Via Patty Roberts at William & Mary: 


Southern Clinical Conference : Call for Proposals

 “Assessment, Outcomes and the Value of Clinical Legal Education”

 Deadline for Proposals: June 20, 2014

 The Planning Committee for the 2014 Southern Clinical Conference invites you to submit proposals for this year’s conference, which will take place from Thursday evening, October 23 to mid-day Saturday, October 25 at the William & Mary Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia. Details on registration and lodging will follow soon.

 We invite you to submit proposals addressing “Assessment, Outcomes and the Value of Clinical Legal Education.” Clinical legal educators can and do serve as leaders in the current era of reform of law school curricula. Law schools must determine how to meet the American Bar Association’s mandate for an “outcome-measured” approach to legal education. The Best Practices Project will soon issue a major new addition to its recommendations for legal education. Law faculty across the country are seeking to integrate new approaches to teaching law students, under pressure to graduate ‘practice-ready’ lawyers in an era of declining enrollment

 At the heart of these reform efforts lie long-standing questions: How do we assess both our students and our pedagogy? What outcomes do we seek for our students and our schools? How can we measure those outcomes reliably and effectively? These questions lead to more fundamental ones: what value does clinical legal education have in the current reform movement? Are we cost effective, and on what measures? How do we best articulate the value of our work both for the education of lawyers and for the pursuit of social justice?

How do we retain our value in the current era of fiscal constraint?

 We invite proposals that address these and related questions. We encourage applicants to think broadly about the topic. For example, proposals might focus on:

New or updated research on the assessment of experiential and specifically clinical learning.

Workshops on how to influence the transition to an “outcome-measured” curriculum at your schools.

Best practices, novel concepts or just workable approaches for how to assess our students and the effectiveness of our experiential courses.

Critique of the reform movement itself: does the focus on pedagogy and outcomes help or hamper our pursuit of other values, including service and social justice?

Evaluation of different types of clinical design or method (including direct service, field placement and hybrid models) as vehicles for improving assessment, achieving outcomes, or encouraging social justice.

Discussions of how to describe and increase the “value” of clinics as line-items in a law school budget.

Appraisals of integrated or sequenced designs for experiential education as ways of accomplishing designated outcomes.

Descriptions of collaborations between faculty (clinical or otherwise) and other stakeholders in law schools that affect the value of clinical learning.

Assessments of changing bar admission requirements as they affect law school curricula by altering the traditional “bar passage” outcome.

Questioning whether regional differences cause different approaches to assessment, outcome measurement or valuing clinical education? Are these questions the same in the South as opposed to other regions?


We welcome proposals for concurrent sessions, plenaries, works-in-progress and workshops devoted to these themes. With sufficient interest, we expect to offer sessions devoted to scholarly works-in-progress, with commentary and support to both new and experienced scholars. (Proposals for works-in-progress need not be limited to the conference theme.) We expect to offer sessions of varying length, intermingled with plenary discussions and opportunities for free-form discussion and networking.



In general, the organizing committee will favor proposals that address the conference theme, are relevant to conference attendees, are well-defined and focused, are timely and important, and show care and thoughtfulness in development.

We value diversity, both in the composition of presenting teams, and in your topic’s presentation of diversity as a concern in your work. Diversity includes gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, geographical location, years of experience, type of school, type of program and other factors.



Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to Laurie Ciccone at no later than June 20, 2014.  Please contact her for the preferred cover sheet and template for proposals.

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