Tuesday, August 12, 2014
It's a GREAT day for clinical law
Yesterday, the ABA House of Delegates voted to approve a number of law school reforms, including one that would require students to “take a minimum of six hours in a legal clinic or other ‘experiential’ environment,” the National Law Journal reports. Kudos to Kate Kruse and Claudia Angelos, who have led this charge for positive change on behalf of the Clinical Legal Education Association or CLEA, whose mission is “to advocate for clinical legal education.” In their most recent update for the spring 2014 CLEA newsletter (p. 3-4), they recount the history behind “the most sweeping changes to the ABA Standards to come in the area of law school curriculum” and CLEA’s petition to the ABA that, compared to numerous other professions to require practical training, “the law lagged far behind.” Of course, as Bob Kuehn writes in the fall 2013 CLEA newsletter (p. 6), several “states are stepping into the breach to address the lack of adequate practice-based training in law school” by requiring new candidates for admission to their bar to have prior experiential education. Even though, as Kruse and Angelos note, “implementation of the 6-credit experiential education requirement will go into effect three years after enactment,” this is a great day for experiential law; congrats to all.