Thursday, April 16, 2015

2015 CLEA Award for Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers and Award for for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project

Via Prof. Anju Gupta (emphasis added):

The CLEA Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that Claudia Angelos, Clinical Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, is the recipient of the 2015 CLEA Award for Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers. The CLEA Board is equally thrilled to announce that the Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics are the recipients of the 2015 CLEA Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project for their work on civil rights and criminal justice abuses highlighted by the death of Michael Brown.

Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers:

    Claudia Angelos joined the faculty of New York University School of Law in 1980. She teaches lawyering and litigation and directs the Civil Rights Clinic, the Racial Justice Clinic, and the New York Civil Liberties Clinic at NYU Law. She is a national expert on prisoners’ rights and during her thirty-five years at NYU, she and her students have litigated more than 100 civil rights cases in the New York federal courts. Claudia has also been a long-time advocate for clinic education and has served in leadership positions on the boards of both CLEA and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). She has been “the guiding force in countless board meetings, committee meetings, conference calls and email loops” in both CLEA and SALT, her nominators noted in their letter of support, and “[d]ozens of comments, letters, briefs and notices have been drafted and issued with her participation and guidance.” They highlight in particular Claudia’s work on behalf of the clinical community in the American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation standards revision process. Claudia has, in the words of her nominators, be an “unflagging, zealous and skilled” advocate for clinicians, helping “lead the successful battle to reaffirm clinical status, to increase the minimum required skills credits, and to identify practical skills as a critical part of the learning outcomes to be expected of all students.” Over the last six years, Claudia has attended virtually every meeting of the ABA Standards Review Committee and many meetings of the Council on Legal Education, developing working relationships with members of the Committee and Council to inform and influence the deliberations. “While many challenges remain and we have not solved all our problems,” Claudia’s nominators conclude, "clinical education has come out of the comprehensive review in a much stronger position than we imagined at the beginning of the process. Claudia was the keystone and well deserves our recognition.”

Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project:

    Located in the heart of downtown St. Louis, the Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics are dedicated to advocating for the disadvantaged and the betterment of the community at large while providing unique and challenging experiential learning opportunities for students interested in public interest law. The Legal Clinics have provided pro bono legal services to the community for more than 41 years and currently provide legal services in six clinical programs (Civil Advocacy, Criminal Defense, Entrepreneurship and Community Development, Externships, Judicial Process Externship and Mediation) that house 10 practice areas.

   In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death, a few things were abundantly clear: their community would forever be changed, deep-seated issues of mistrust and injustice continue to roadblock regional growth and, if there was any community poised to effect change, it was the St. Louis legal community.

    Guided by the University’s social justice mission, the attorneys of the SLU LAW Legal Clinics wasted no time involving their clinical practice areas in the search for solutions. In fact, they have been involved in many of the issues Ferguson brought attention to long before they came under such a bright national spotlight. With a small staff of seven attorneys (Professors Amany Hacking, Brendan Roediger, Dana Malkus, John Ammann, Patricia Harrison, Patricia Lee, Susan McGraugh), one social worker (Lauren Choate), Professor of Practice (Steve Hanlon), two staff (Greta Henderson and LeAnn Upton) and many dedicated clinic students, the Legal Clinics found a variety of ways to engage students, faculty and the community during the 2014-2015 academic year.

    The related legal work and advocacy involved multiple responses on a variety of legal matters including: community outreach and education; national, state and local media awareness of civil rights and criminal law abuses; lawsuits in state and federal courts on municipal warrant and tear gassing abuses; testimony before the governor-appointed Ferguson Commission; municipal, legislative and executive testimony; and leading meetings and panel discussions at the law school and in the community in an effort to seek solutions. Together, these professors, as representatives of the Legal Clinics, continue to bring attention to vital issues, fight for those who seek justice but do not have the means to fight themselves and work towards real solutions for a just future, all while teaching and mentoring their students to do the same.

Both awards will be presented at the AALS luncheon at the Clinical Conference on Wednesday, May 6th. The Committee received an unusually large number of outstanding nominations this year. At Wednesday's luncheon, we will give honorable mention to some schools that had particularly impressive projects.

The CLEA Board acknowledges with gratitude the efforts of the CLEA Awards Committee:

Geneva Brown (Valparaiso)
Anju Gupta, Co-Chair (Rutgers-Newark)
Perry Moriearty, Co-Chair (Minnesota)
Kele Stewart (Miami)
Jane Stoever (Irvine)

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