Tuesday, March 31, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter: Law Clinic, Field Placements and Clinician Responses in Sanford, Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland and Our Communities

#BlackLivesMatter Program at the AALS Clinical Conference

Inside and outside of the classroom, many of us in the clinical and field placement communities have long been on the frontlines of the struggle for racial, social, political, and economic justice. However, the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others (of all genders) reinforced the idea that as educators, lawyers, and activists, our work matters now more than ever. The goal of this session will be to highlight some of the work being done to address issues tragically brought to light by these incidents, and to identify concrete ways in which members of our communities may collaborate to address issues such as carceral debt, police militarization, racial profiling, grand jury reform, citizen activism, and our teaching methods, to name just a few.

Join us on Tuesday, May 5, 5:45 p.m.-7:15 p.m. as we convene a panel of clinical and field placement professors to discuss their work in Sanford, Ferguson, Staten Island and Cleveland. From there, we will invite audience members to discuss their work in advance of small group sessions. Although the conference promises robust discussions surrounding race and racial justice pedagogy and methods, we invite participants to share their teaching approaches here as well. In those small group sessions, participants will identify projects, action items, or initiatives ripe for collaboration between clinics and/or between clinics and home communities. In this program, we also want to expand our conversations and collaborations as they involve the consequences of police and government actions against other minority, women and/or transgendered groups. The ultimate goal is to invite participants who successfully realize their collaborative goals to present their works at next year’s Clinical Conference.

The coordinators will send be sending out calls for a) a one-sentence description of work you have done that relates or responds to the deaths of Mr. Martin, Mr. Brown, Mr. Garner., or Mr. Rice, b) lesson plans surrounding the same, and/or c) copies of op-ed pieces. We will visually display your descriptions and work, and hope to feature your lesson plans and op-ed pieces [with the appropriate legal clearances] in an electronic compilation, available to members of the Clinical and Placement communities. More to follow.
Coordinators
Bryan Adamson, Seattle University School of Law, Consumer Protection Clinic
Russell C. Gabriel, University of Georgia School of Law, Criminal Defense Clinic
Sunita Patel, American University, Washington College of Law, Civil Advocacy Clinic
Robin Walker-Sterling, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Criminal Defense Clinic

March 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Call for Writers: 2015-2016

As we approach the first anniversary of launching the Clinical Law Prof Blog, we are seeking new voices and writers.  We seek writers who are involved with clinical legal education, either as faculty, fellows or staff attorneys, from clinics, externships or pro bono programs.  We seek writers who will commit to post at least once per month during the school year, for at least one year.    

Posts can be event notices and job postings, program updates, long form reflections on teaching, advocacy for clinical education, scholarly notes on substantive law, interviews, poetry, fiction, or comments on current events. 

On the blog, the Facebook group and Twitter presence, we aim to create a vibrant platform for clinical law teachers to exchange ideas and to promote our work.  We do not compete with the listserv or other sites but seek to supplement and strengthen our rich community.  We hope to promote curious, civil, witty and useful writing for our enterprise of clinical legal education.  

If you are interested in joining the project, please let me know by email, by May 4. 

Thanks for reading and supporting the blog. 

March 30, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 23, 2015

UALR's New Experiential Learning Requirement

Via Prof. Kelly Browe Olson on the LawClinic listserv:

I am thrilled to announce that at our most recent faculty meeting the [University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law] faculty in attendance unanimously passed a proposal that creates a new Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR).  This requirement will ensure that starting with the entering class in the Fall of 2015, every full and part-time student will participate in either a law school clinic, externship, or practicum in order to graduate. In order to ensure our part-time students have opportunities to work with clients, Professor Kelly Terry crafted three new distance learning practica.

There are three components to the ELR. In addition to a clinic, externship or practicum, the students must take a five-credit hour Lawyering Skills sequence and one of our newly developed one credit upper-level legal research courses. This means, at a minimum, the students will have nine hours of experiential learning when they graduate. 

In drafting the ELR proposal we relied heavily on materials from the Best Practices for Legal Education and the 2013-14 Survey of Applied Legal Education, from the Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education. The clinicians at Bowen appreciate the support of our clinical colleagues who assisted in the development of the proposal, the non-clinical faculty at Bowen and we are grateful for the leadership of Dean Michael Schwartz and Associate Dean Terri Beiner.

March 23, 2015 in Clinic News, Teaching and Pedagogy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

14th Annual Transactional Clinical Conference: Teaching and Writing Methods of the Transactional Clinician

Via Prof. Alicia Plerhoples

14TH ANNUAL TRANSACTIONAL CLINICAL CONFERENCE 

Teaching and Writing Methods of the Transactional Clinician

 This year’s conference theme is “Teaching and Writing Methods of the Transactional Clinician.” 

Conference Date & Location

Friday, April 24, 2015
University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law (host)
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, MO (host partner & location)

This year’s Transactional Clinical Conference will be held on Friday, April 24, 2015.  The Pre-Conference Dinner will be held on Thursday, April 23. We hope to see you at both!

 

 

Conference Schedule

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pre-Conference Dinner

Time: 6:00pm

Location: University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 5108 Cherry Street, Kansas City, MO 64110

Friday, April 24, 2015

 

Conference

Time: 8:00am – 4:30pm

Location: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation,

4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110

 

 

*Shuttle buses will run to/from hotel to/from dinner on the 23rd and to/from the conference on the 24th

8:00am – 8:30am

Breakfast

8:30am

Opening Remarks

8:45am – 10:15am

Nuts & Bolts Teaching Plenary

Description: Panelists will work through a pre-arranged hypothetical and present their teaching approaches to the audience. The hypothetical involves clients who ask a transactional clinic for help in facilitating their plans to combat the lack of nutritious food choices and availability in low-income neighborhoods. The clients’ plan includes both commercial and non-commercial activities. The panelists will draw from their varied experiences in entrepreneurship, social justice, and critical legal theory to present their substantive analysis of the hypothetical as well as the pedagogical methods they would use to teach students how to represent the hypothetical clients.

Presenters:Alina Ball (UC Hastings), Jennifer Fan (UW), & Lynnise Pantin (NYSL)

10:15am – 10:30am

Break

10:30am – 11:30am

Nuts & Bolts of Client & Transaction Management

Description: Presentations on teaching students how to (i) build a personal brand, present confidently, and manage client and community relationships, and (ii) manage projects, time, and clients in a corporate practice.

Presenters:Geetha Rao Sant (Wash U), Michelle Sonu (Stanford)

Nuts & Bolts of Collaboration & Interviewing

Description: Presentations on (i) helping students develop effective collaboration skills and (ii) teaching client interviewing using the “fishbowl class client” method.

Presenters: Dana Malkus (St. Louis), Susan R. Jones & Alice Hamilton Evert (GW)

 

11:30am – 12:30pm

Lunch

Presentation (12:10pm-12:30pm):John Cummins of iLINC, a consortium of European law school clinics that support European information, communication, and technology start-ups.

12:30pm – 12:45pm

Break

12:45pm – 1:45pm

Nuts & Bolts of Client Counseling

Description: Presentations on teaching students client counseling through practice simulations. Student learning objectives for counseling include (i) understanding the client’s perspective / frame, (ii) effectively communicating risks, benefits, and uncertainty, and (iii) mastering verbal and presentation skills.

Presenters: Priya Baskaran (Georgetown), Naveen Thomas (NYU)

Nuts & Bolts of Client Communication

Description:  Interactive discussion on teaching students (i) oral communication and public speaking skills, and (ii) how to compose client-centered emails, manage ethical issues that arise through email correspondence, and manage client relationships through email correspondence.

Presenters: Frances Martinez & Heather Way (Texas), Jeff Ward (Duke)

Scholarship: Why, What, Where, and How?

Description:This moderated panel will focus on publication of scholarship by transactional law clinicians. Panelists will discuss: (i) what type of scholarship to write; (ii) writing strategies; (iii) where to publish and what audiences to reach; (iv) how scholarship impacts tenure and promotion; and (v) topical areas of growth in scholarship written by transactional clinicians.

Panelists:Jim Kelly (Notre Dame), Dana Thompson (Michigan), Susan R. Jones (GW), Paul Tremblay (BC)

Moderator:Tony Luppino (UMKC)

1:45pm – 2:00pm

Break

2:00pm – 3:00pm

Nuts & Bolts of Drafting Organizational Documents

Description:  Presentations on teaching (i) limited liability company formation and drafting operating agreements, and (ii) drafting organizational documents for nonprofit and for-profit ventures.

Presenters: Katherine Moyer & Mindy Wittkop (Oregon), Jim Kelly (Notre Dame)

 

Nuts & Bolts of Contract Drafting and Managing Future Risks

Description:Presentations on (i) telling science fiction stories as a technique to draft contracts and consider future risks, and (ii) introducing contract drafting and other transactional skills into a non-clinical business associations course.

Presenters: Michael Haber (Hofstra), Constance Wagner (St. Louis)

 

Nuts & Bolts of Engaging Communities

Description:  Presentations on (i) the four stages of the community building process and teaching community building skills, and  (ii) teaching client-lawyering in the context of a rural land use clinic where clients’ preferences often differ from students’ values.

Presenters: Paula Williams (Tennessee), Katherine Garvey (WVU)

3:00pm – 3:15pm

Break

3:15pm – 4:30pm

Pen & Paper Workshop

Description:Presenters will share their works-in-progress. The format of the panel will consist of “rocket panels” during which each presenter will give his or her elevator pitch, speaking for no more than 10 minutes. The presenters will then engage in Q&A and receive feedback from the audience. Draft papers will be distributed prior to the conference, and it is recommended but not required that audience participants read the papers prior to the panel.

Papers:

-          Patience Crowder (Denver), Contracting for Complexity: Collective Impact Agreements and Regional Equity

-          Edward De Barbieri (Brooklyn), Community Benefits Agreements in Land Use and Economic Development Approvals

-          Seletha R. Butler (Georgia Institute of Tech), Conceptualize Governing with the Ethic of Care and Justice  

March 19, 2015 in Conferences and Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Igniting Law Teaching 2015 this Friday in D.C.

I am so excited to be boarding a plane in the morning to participate in LegalED's Igniting Law Teaching 2015 on Friday, March 20, 2015, at American University Washington College of Law.  CALI is a co-sponsor of the event. Live viewing will be available by webcast or, if you are in the region, join us in person by registering here: Registration.

The conference will feature talks by 35 law school academics and practitioners from the US, Canada and England – including several clinicians -- in a TEDx-styled conference to share ideas on teaching methodologies.  LegalED’s Teaching Pedagogy video collection includes many of the talks from last year’s conference, which have been viewed collectively more than 5000 times.

 The panels for this year include: Law Teaching for the 21st Century, Applying Learning Theory to Legal Education, The Art and Craft of Law Teaching, Using Technological Tools for Legal Education, and Pathways to Practice.

The Igniting Law Teaching conference is unlike other gatherings of law professors.  Here, talks will be styled as TEDx Talks, with each speaker on stage alone, giving a well scripted and performed talk about an aspect of law school pedagogy.  In the end, we will create a collection of short videos on law school-related pedagogy that will inspire innovation and experimentation by law professors around the country, and the world, to bring more active learning and practical skills training into the law school curriculum.  The videos will be available for viewing by the larger academic community on LegalED, a website developed by a community of law professors interested in using online technologies to facilitate more active, problem-based learning in the classroom, in addition to better assessment and feedback.

I hope you can join us on March 20th, either live or virtually

March 18, 2015 in Conferences and Meetings, Teaching and Pedagogy, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Teaching Pro Bono and Reclaiming the Virtue of Public Citizenship

The State Bar of California has approved new admission rules that require applicants to perform 50 hours of pro bono and to complete 15 academic units of experiential courses.  (These rules are pending before the California Supreme Court and the State Assembly before they are finally in effect.) 

Some critics have leveled extraordinary indictments of the new rules.  For example, like Prof. John O. McGinnis of Northwestern here and like the commenters on Paul Caron’s blog here, these critics variously declare that these requirements (1) are protectionist rent seeking from the guild, (2) are schemes for leftist, socialist ideological indoctrination, (3) are too expensive, (4) are only useful to students interested in litigation or public interest, (5) are slavery or involuntary servitude, (6) are ineffective to address access to justice, and (7) are unconstitutional.  

At the heart of these complaints is a flawed conception of the policies.  That flawed conception flows from an impoverished perception of the profession and a diminished view of lawyers’ roles as public citizens. 

To hear these complaints from conservative voices is puzzling, because the call for pro bono is a call for a basic good: access to justice and the expansion of the Rule of Law through the ancient institution of the bar, provided privately and locally by citizens in their own communities.   This is wholly consistent with the Catholic social teachings of subsidiarity and its Calvinist cousin, sphere sovereignty.  It is a conservative virtue that civil society ought to respond to these needs rather than leaving them to government preemption, but here are critics calling the bar’s policies some kind of shady, redistributive scheme. 

For centuries, our profession has embraced its calling for pro bono work, as its deepest cultural and social obligation.   Pro bono draws the marginalized into the Rule of Law and the justice system, to expand republican order and to extinguish self-help, vigilantism and anarchy.  Lawyers should instill trust in the system, thereby promoting the credibility of its institutions and working to ensure that the institutions of law and order sustain themselves by including everyone in the land.  If lawyers live up their reputation as cynical, mercenary parasites, bent on lucre and avarice, then the Rule of Law fails when the people opt out.   These moral and social obligations appear in every lawyer’s oath upon admission to the bar, in various forms.

In California, lawyers swear “to faithfully discharge the duties of an attorney and counsel at law,” which includes the duty “[n]ever to reject, for any consideration personal to himself or herself, the cause of the defenseless or the oppressed.”  Calif. Business and Professions Code §6068 (h).  

In 2005, the Supreme Court of Mississippi, my home and the bar of my first admission (and no liberal bastion), imposed aspirational rules and mandatory reporting of pro bono when it adopted a new rule that “[e]ach member of the Mississippi Bar . . . should (1) render pro bono legal services to the poor and (2) participate, to the extent possible, in other pro bono service activities that directly relate to the legal needs of the poor.”  Miss. R. Prof. Conduct 6.1.   The Court provided this comment: 

Every lawyer, regardless of professional prominence or professional work load, has a responsibility to provide legal services to those unable to pay, and personal involvement in the problems of the disadvantaged can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a lawyer. All lawyers are urged to provide a minimum of 20 hours of pro bono services to the poor annually. Pro bono legal service to the poor is an integral and particular part of a lawyer's pro bono public service responsibility. As our society has become one in which rights and responsibilities are increasingly defined in legal terms, access to legal services has become of critical importance. This is true for all people, be they rich, poor, or of moderate means. However, because the legal problems of the poor often involve areas of basic need, their inability to obtain legal services can have dire consequences. The vast unmet legal needs of the poor in Mississippi have been recognized by the Supreme Court of Mississippi. The Supreme Court has further recognized the necessity of finding a solution to the problem of providing the poor greater access to legal service and the unique role of lawyers in our adversarial system of representing and defending persons against the actions and conduct of governmental entities, individuals, and non-governmental entities. As an officer of the court, each member of The Mississippi Bar in good standing has a professional responsibility to provide pro bono legal service to the poor.

 The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, in the Preamble, call us “public citizens.”  Public does not mean governmental.  Public refers to what we do together within our social order to take care of each other.   It’s not socialism.  It’s human decency necessary to sustain the republic.  

Now the critics may say that these merely are aspirational, not mandatory, obligations and that no authority on earth can compel someone to be moral, generous or charitable against their will.   Perhaps this is so, and perhaps this is why pro bono is not mandatory anywhere for licensed lawyers.  But if pro bono service is a central virtue of the profession – and it is – then it is wholly appropriate for law schools and the bar to make it mandatory for students entering the profession, to teach them how, to inculcate the virtue and value of our vocation, to transmit our common,  cultural norms, and to prepare them to do it well.  

Simply, it is the role of law schools to teach and train lawyers, and we legal educators are remiss if we do not teach our students the virtues of our profession and train them how to do exercise them.   We make law students do things against their will and inclination all the time, every day, because we have decided somewhere along the way that they need to know it.   We force them to take torts, contracts and property.   We force them to write long memos and briefs.  We require them to endure relentless reading assignments.  We subject them to stressful exams, and we cold call them to test their critical skills under pressure.   We do all of these things, and more, to prepare them to be lawyers.  We make them take a bar exam.  We erect barriers to the profession for good reasons. Why would we not require them to render service to the poor so that they learn about the great calling of lawyers and so that they learn how to do it well? 

(Remember, these students are not free-lancing on a street corner.  All of the pro bono required by the California and New York rules must be supervised by licensed attorneys who bear the professional responsibility for the client they engage, either in full or limited-scope representation.  The only real criticism here is that 50 hours is not enough.) 

Pro bono requirements are not slavery; they are pedagogical assignments to teach and show students how to be good lawyers.  Pro bono is as essential to our profession as are zealous advocacy and confidentiality.   It is fundamental to our work.  It also gives the students more experience with lawyers and client, more contacts in the bar, resume enhancement, perspective on the application of law, practice interviewing and counseling, a deeper understanding of professional responsibility, and good stories to tell.      

Some critics proclaim that pro bono programs or law school clinics are inherently liberal or politically ideological.  These critics either lack exposure to enough programs or lack imagination to see how these programs can be empowering to the communities they serve, regardless of politics.  Schools across the political spectrum - from Berkeley to St. Thomas, from Harvard to Pepperdine, from Vanderbilt to Faulkner, from American to Notre Dame - have clinics and programs committed to the professional formation of students, as lawyers of integrity, compassion, humanity and hope, led by teachers of diverse convictions and causes.  

Although my politics have evolved, primarily for reasons of faith, I was reared a conservative in conservative communities.  My people taught me that caring for the poor was indeed an obligation, just not the obligation of the government, that people should learn to fish for themselves to escape the “welfare mentality.”   In these new pro bono requirements, we see an effort to equip lawyers to take up the cause of the oppressed and the poor, the fatherless and the widow, the least of these, as a social and moral obligation of a privileged profession.  These pro bono requirements will promote better outcomes, better access to justice, and better service to clients, which will lead to less dependence, more stability, and more virtue in the commonweal. 

These are not just traditional poverty law, litigation or legal aid cases either.  Just this week, I have approved a pro bono project in the legal department of a nonprofit film studio producing films for children's education for a student interested in entertainment and corporate work. I have approved a pro bono project for students conducting research for international human rights policies and law reform efforts in south Asia.   Lawyers are doing great work in every field of practice, and our students will learn from them. 

Indeed, the call for pro bono is a call for a community of local professionals to take care of our neighbors as a mark of civil society, to address our neighbors within the system of law and to not render them up to the state (and to call the state to account).  To prepare law students to do this work, so integral to the profession, is a rising tide to lift all ships. This effect is multiplied as law students become lawyers who know the responsibility of pro bono and have experience in the field.

California’s new rules are good and worthy.  They may be disruptive to old models of legal education, but that disruption is righteous and useful.  The requirement for pro bono will promote and sustain the profession as class after class of law students better understand the public virtue of the profession.  The requirements will promote access to justice by expanding and improving the capacity of pro bono lawyers to do more with law student help, then preparing those students to take on the work themselves when they enter their rich practices.        

March 18, 2015 in Current Affairs, Teaching and Pedagogy | Permalink | Comments (4)

2015 New Clinicians Conference: May 4, Rancho Mirage, California

 The Clinical Legal Education Association Announces

2015 New Clinicians Conference

Monday, May 4, 2015

Westin Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage, California


CLEA’s biennial New Clinicians Conference (NCC) will take place May 4th at the Westin Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage, California, also the location of the 2015 AALS Clinical Conference.

The full-day NCC program will begin with breakfast at 8 AM and will include multiple plenary and facilitated small group sessions, as well as break-out sessions.  The last session will conclude no later than 5 PM.

Thanks to the generous financial support provided by UCLA School of Law, Pepperdine School of Law, and the authors of Transforming the Education of Lawyers, The Theory and Practice of Clinical Pedagogy – Sue Bryant, Elliott Milstein, and Ann Shalleck – the NCC registration fee this year is only $50.

 

REGISTRATION INFORMATION:

Registration for the NCC is separate from the AALS Clinical Conference.  The $50 registration fee includes a one-year CLEA membership, CLEA’s New Clinicians Handbook, a full day of programs, and meals (breakfast, lunch, and mid-afternoon snack).

Online Registration

The registration form can be completed on the CLEA website at:

http://www.cleaweb.org/event-1859303

Credit cards may be used through a PayPal link found on the website.

Payment by Check:

If you prefer to pay the $50 registration fee by check, please register first on the CLEA website and then mail your check (payable to “Clinical Legal Education Association”) to:

 
Professor Beth Schwartz

Fordham University School of Law

150 West 62nd St. Room 9-102

New York, NY 10023



If you have any questions, please contact:  Benjie Louis (c.benjie.louis@hofstra.edu) or Beth Schwartz (bschwartz@law.fordham.edu

March 18, 2015 in Conferences and Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

CLEA Newsletter Spring '15: Call for items (Due April 15)

On behalf of the CLEA Newsletter committee, I am happy to announce that it is once again time to send information for the CLEA Newsletter.  We invite you to submit your creative writing and shorter articles on clinical andragogy and social justice topics.  We also welcome your good news: promotions, moves, new experiential teachers, retirements, publications, and awards.  Hyperlinks are welcome.  Please keep your clinician news items as short as possible (50 word limit per news item), and longer submissions are subject to editing by the newsletter.
 
As a reminder, CLEA no longer publishes law school press releases or clinical program news, in part to avoid duplicating information published in the AALS Clinical Section Newsletter.  We have already heard from clinicians with interesting projects, and we hope that you will consider allowing CLEA to feature your writing.  The deadline for submissions for the Spring 2015 Newsletter is Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Please e-mail them to me at tcooper@law.ua.edu, and please contact me with any questions.

Thanks, and best wishes,
 
CLEA Newsletter Committee
Tanya Asim Cooper, D’lorah Hughes & Kate Kruse

March 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)