Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Via the LawClinic listserv:
Assistant Clinical Professor - Coordinator of Skills and Experiential Learning - College of Law
Responsibilities include teaching and managing all educational tasks necessary to institute and maintain an innovative skills curriculum for all law students; to oversee, manage the academic externship program to include teaching each semester; and to expand experiential practice-based learning experiences for law students.
This position requires: a JD degree from an ABA-accredited law school; substantial experience, including a minimum of 5 years practice and/or teaching experience at an accredited law school; being licensed to practice law in Louisiana; and demonstrated commitment to social justice and working with low income people; a long-term commitment to teaching law students to maintain strong academic credentials and practice experience. Strong preference will be given to candidates with experience with planning, organizing and administering lawyering skills curriculum and experiential learning.
Send resume, writing sample and references with letter of application to:
Associate Director of Clinic
Stuart H. Smith Clinic & Center for Social Justice
Loyola University College of Law
504 Broadway Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118
Loyola is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.
Deadline for application is May 1st.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Once again, a Republican led administration is seeking to end federal funding for legal services for the poor by eliminating the Legal Services Corporation (LSC). LSC, founded in 1974, is an important funding source of legal services programs for the poor in the United States.
It is not new for those of us who have been working as legal advocates for the poor in various capacities. If at all possible, law schools (not just the clinical programs and externship programs) should denounce this effort by the current President and speak out in support of equal justice and access for all.
Previously, under the administration of Ronald Reagan, Republicans sought to ‘zero’ out the funding of the Legal Services Corporation. The effort failed and LSC lived to struggle on, terribly underfunded, but yet alive somehow amidst a wave of extreme right wing politics. Ronald Reagan and his cohorts persisted over and years and they pressed on again and again trying to cut the program.
Virginia Knapland, a managing attorney at Westchester Legal Services in the 1980's criticized Reagan's efforts at the time and asserted that if LSC was totally cut, “the courtroom doors will be closed to the poor.” Later in the mid 1980's when Reagan again tried to cut the agency completely, law student, James Cott opined in the Christian Science Monitor that “our democracy can only function if our legal system is available to all citizens, not merely those who can afford private legal services.”
Most of the programs that LSC funded back then survived but barely. They also became so overburdened with regulations and bureaucracy many had to remake themselves. They did not want their work to become meaningless because of the absurdity of our politics.
I was a Staff Attorney at the Neighborhood Legal Services Program (NLSP) in the early 1990’s when again a GOP led effort sought to end LSC's funding. Newt Gingrich led that nasty effort and it resulted in a 56 percent cut to our funding. Several of our offices had to be closed and many attorneys and paralegals had to be let go. I would have been one of those attorneys but so many people at NLSP decided to retire and move on, a number of us were able to retain our positions.
The sojourn of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program in Washington is a perfect example of the callous governing that has gone on at time since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980 in regards to legal services for the poor funding by taxpayers. NLSP once had 11 offices in the city, scattered throughout the city, and had become one of the model programs for advocacy and change in the U.S. regarding the rights of poor people. After the attacks, it had only two offices. In particular, NLSP was at the forefront of changing the nation's landlord-tenant laws to respect and recognize the rights of not just tenants able to afford legal counsel but poor tenants often living in substandard housing. NLSP remains in operation today but is remarkably different as a result of the various attacks over the years by Republican administrations.
Yet to put it all in perspective, even with the many offices NLSP had been operating with LSC funding at various times, both before and after the cuts, it still did not reach the many poor people in the city who needed a lawyer in a divorce, or landlord-tenant dispute, or small claims matter, or a simple workmen’s compensation claim. The LSC funding, to use a terrible, overused metaphor was a drop in the bucket of what is actually needed and that can be afforded.
That is why to cut LSC, without a replacement program, is an act of political cowardice. It doesn’t save the government much money at all and if it does happen, it will likely cost the court systems across the country much more in time and money in trying to handle the confusion created by a decision which is devoid of real thought and deliberation.
It is hoped that law schools will speak our forcibly on this issue and the deans of the law schools will use their influence to once again stop another misguided Republican effort to end federal funding for legal services for the poor.
Saturday, March 18, 2017
Opening Plenary, AALS Clinical Conference – Request for Action Items: What Are You Doing in These Tumultuous Times?
This year's AALS clinical conference happens in early May, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Be a part of the opening plenary session by sharing your work! From the organizers:
We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education. We write with regard to the conference’s opening plenary session, entitled Pushing On and Pushing Through in Tumultuous Times. The conference theme is Serving the Client in Tumultuous Times: Fostering Responsibility to Individuals, Communities, and Society in Clinical Legal Education. As part of the plenary, we would like to hear from you regarding action steps you have taken or plan to take―in response to today’s tumultuous times—during this academic year or action planning this summer with respect to teaching, lawyering, scholarship and/or service. How have these times caused/forced/led/inspired you to change what you have done, what you are doing, and/or what do you plan to do? Please send us a couple of sentences or a paragraph detailing your steps by Friday, March 31, to email@example.com, with the subject line: “Faculty Motivation for Opening Plenary.”
In addition, please ask your students to create brief videos or take photos that we might show during the opening plenary or perhaps at other times throughout the conference or on the conference website in which they address one of the following questions: 1) What have you been doing this academic year to address injustice?; 2) How have you been making a difference this academic year, inside or outside of law school?; and/or 3) In 2017, what motivates you most to become a lawyer? Responses can be sent in a short video format (e.g., less than one-minute iPhone video clip) or on a photo with cue card, as shown in this video of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGxjIBEZvx0, and on the right side of the page here, http://theopedproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=868&Itemid=154. Other examples could include photos or short videos of students meeting with client communities, providing access to legal assistance in new venues such as airports, or meeting with local legislators. Each submission must include the student’s name, law school and year in law school. Submissions may include audio. Please send high-resolution photos and high-definition cellphone videos. Submissions are due by Friday, March 31, and should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line: “Student Motivation for Opening Plenary.”
We cannot promise to include all submissions in our opening plenary program. We know we will gain inspiration from all of them.
Opening Plenary Presenters:
Craig B. Futterman, The University of Chicago, The Law School
Bill O. Hing, University of San Francisco School of Law
Susan R. Jones, The George Washington University Law School
Moderator: Michael Pinard, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Planning Committee for AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education:
Luz E. Herrera, Texas A&M University School of Law
Margaret M. Jackson, University of North Dakota School of Law
Lydia Johnson, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law
Paul Radvany, Fordham University School of Law
Alexander Scherr, University of Georgia School of Law
Robin Walker Sterling, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Carol Suzuki, University of New Mexico School of Law, Chair
Send questions to:
Carol M. Suzuki
Professor of Law
University of New Mexico School of Law
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
The National Jurist magazine has released its rankings for law schools' programs for practical training. National Jurist bases its rankings on data reported to the ABA for opportunities available to students in clinics, externships, simulation courses, interscholastic advocacy competitions, and other factors, like pro bono requirements. These are the top 20 schools for practical training according to these rankings:
- Northeastern University
- University of St. Thomas - Minnesota
- Yale Law School
- University of Arizona
- Pepperdine University
- University of California - Irvine
- Valparaiso University
- University of Wisconsin
- University of Denver
- University of Colorado
- Northwestern University
- University of Utah
- University of Cincinnati
- Cardozo School of Law
- Golden Gate University
- Liberty University
- Washington & Lee University
- Pacific McGeorge School of Law
- Brigham Young University
- University of Mississippi
U.S. News has released its annual rankings in higher education, including for law schools and clinical programs. U.S. News bases its rankings of clinical programs on peer-reputation voting. This year, these are the top 20 clinical programs according to these rankings:
- Georgetown University
- American University
- New York University
- Yale University
- University of the District of Columbia
- University of Maryland
- Washington University in St. Louis
- University of Michigan
- Stanford University
- Northwestern University
- University of Balitmore
- University of Denver
- University of New Mexico
- University of California - Irvine
- University of California - Berkeley
- Suffolk University
- Seattle University
- Harvard University
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
"Full Citizenship Project for Law Faculty" was launched on International Women's Day by the Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD). The initiative is intended to correct gender and other disparities among U.S. law faculty. The decision to launch the project on International Women's Day is based on the fact that women are significantly underrepresented in tenured and tenure-track positions on law school faculties (only 36 percent are women) and over-represented on legal writing (70 percent) and clinical faculties (63 percent). Moreover, as status and salaries decrease with a position, the representation of women increases.
Those who support integrated and diverse law school faculties recognize that equality and security contribute to robust and innovative teaching. Second- and tertiary-class status takes its toll on faculty morale both inside and outside the classroom. Those who share the concern that women faculty members should not be relegated to subordinate positions with regard to security of position and academic freedom are encouraged to sign the Full Citizenship Statement, which can be found here. The signature campaign will end on Equal Pay Day, April 4, which is the day that women have to continue working into the new year to make the same amount of income as men did the prior year. The results of the Full Citizenship Project for Law Faculty will be reported to AALS, the ABA, and the American Law Deans Association.