Tuesday, November 27, 2018

University of Georgia Clinics: Clinics@50 Celebration: First Article

The Georgia Law Review Online has published the first in a series of articles about the University of Georgia School of Law's clinical programs. Entitled Towards a Jurisprudence (and Pedagogy) of Access: a Reflection on 25 Years of the Public Interest Practicum, the article traces the history, context, and theory of a 25-year-old experiment in access to justice pedagogy, the Public Interest Practicum. This piece represents the start of a year-long exploration of the history and impact of UGA Law's clinical programs since we first started representing clients 50 years ago.

November 27, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Student Writing Competition: 2019 ABA Forum of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law Annual Student Legal Writing Competition

Via Prof. Tim Iglesias:

I am writing to ask you to encourage your students to participate in the 2019 ABA Forum of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law annual Student Legal Writing Competition.

The competition is open to current law students writing on a question of significance in affordable housing, fair housing or community development law. The winning entry will be awarded a prize of $1,000, up to $1000 in expenses to attend the Forum’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., and publication of the article in the Forum’s Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law. The deadline for submission of entries is March 8, 2019, and the winner will be announced by April 7, 2019. Please refer to the attached official rules for further details.

Professors who teach property law, land use law, local government law, real estate transactions, environmental law, civil rights law, poverty law and related courses and clinics are in an ideal position to encourage students to participate in the competition. Each year, many of the entries appear to have been prepared initially for seminars.

Please support the Forum’s Student Legal Writing Competition by encouraging your students to submit entries. If you have any questions, please contact me at iglesias@usfca.edu.

Download 2019_writing_competition_guidelines

November 24, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Big Change In The U.S. News Law School Specialty Rankings (Including Clinical Programs)

Via Dean Paul Caron at the Tax Prof Blog:


U.S. News Report is making a dramatic change in their ranking of nine law school specialty programs (Clinical Training, Dispute Resolution, Environmental, Health Care, Intellectual Property, International, Legal Writing, Tax, Trial Advocacy).  Since their inception, the specialty ranking ballots have asked professors teaching in those areas to identify up to a given number (currently 15) of law schools having the top programs in the area.  This year, the ballots give faculty the opportunity to rank all 200 law schools on a 1-5 scale, the approach used in the overall peer reputation survey....


Read more detail from U.S. News on these changes here.



November 20, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 19, 2018

Legal Interviewing & Language Access Film Project -- Videos & Teacher's Guide for Use in Teaching Client Interviewing

Laila Hlass at Tulane University Law School and Lindsay Harris at the University of the District of Columbia Law are pleased to share two videos we developed with the support of a Carol Lavin Bernick Faculty Grant from Tulane to teach students about legal interviewing and language access. For a description of this project and links to the videos, please check out this webpage. Our videos can be found on this youtube channel, including a short introduction video explaining briefly how the videos can be used. These videos could be used  in a variety of experiential learning settings, including in clinic seminars, within externships or practicums, or in preparation for intensive alternative Spring Break experiences. Although the interviews in the videos relate to immigration law, we believe the interviewing issues are intersectional across all issue areas. 
In our first video, Interviewing Victor: The Initial Meeting, two law students Lisa and Max interview a teenage asylum-seeker in removal proceedings, raising a number of issues relating to initial client interviewing, including: Road mapping and organization of the interview; Building rapport; Confidentiality; Role description, including representation at later stages, and explaining the arc of case; Verbal and nonverbal cues; Tone; Answering client questions or ethical issues that are difficult and unexpected; Recording the interview and seeking permission; Taking notes; Form of questions; Word choice; Approaches to sensitive topics and response to client’s distress; Client-centered lawyering; and Working with a co-interviewer.
In the second video, Josefina: Using an Interpreter,  the same two law students work with interpreters to interview a monolingual Spanish-speaking client seeking a U visa as a victim of a crime in the United States. This video raises questions regarding: Using third person; Pacing of speech; Summarization and expansion of interpretation; Challenges when one student speaks the client’s language but partner does not; Confidentiality; Use of interested parties, such as family members; Approaches to changing interpreters; and Use of common language words where the interpreter doesn’t know the intended meaning.
We have developed a teaching guide with suggestions about how to use the videos in class (where students can yell "stop" to pause for an in-class discussion of the choices the fictitious clinic students are making), or as an out of class assignment with prompts. We are happy to share this teaching guide and just ask you email us to request it and let us know for which law school course you are considering using the film. The videos run about 20 minutes, but are in "chapters," (saved as "playlists" on youtube) so you can fast-forward to highlight the issues you'd like to in class. The teacher's guide also includes exercises to suggest how to "flip the classroom" and have the students watch the videos outside of class time and either reflect in writing or discuss in class, or both. 
We hope you find these videos useful and for experiential educators who plan to be at the AALS Clinical Conference in San Francisco in May 2019, we'll be presenting during a concurrent session with a few teachers who have already committed to using these videos in the Spring to share benefits and challenges of teaching these subjects with the videos, and hope to see you there!
To request a copy of the teacher's guide, please send an email to lhlass@tulane.edu and lindsay.harris@udc.edu with the name of the course in which you are considering using the videos. 

November 19, 2018 in Film, Immigration, Teaching and Pedagogy, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Family Law Clinic Director VAP position at Penn State Law-University Park

We are hiring! The Family Law Clinic I direct here at Penn State Law needs a director while I move into the position of Penn State Law's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for at least 2 years, starting July 2019. This position is for a 2-year clinical law Visiting Assistant Professor role, which will be a perfect fit for someone--maybe you, dear reader! As you may know, we here at Penn State Law in University Park are also hiring for tenure-stream and legal-writing positions this year. This is great opportunity for someone planning to go onto the academic market to prepare and be mentored. It could also be a wonderful move for someone with experience in another clinic. I will be here the entire time, just down the street in our main building, and look forward to helping transition someone into this role. 

I encourage readers like you and our community members to apply. Please also feel free to share this opportunity with your networks.  Here’s the link to the position where those interested can learn more and apply: https://psu.jobs/job/83909.  I also include the position description here: 

Penn State Law, based in University Park, PA, is seeking to hire an experienced legal professional to serve as a visiting assistant professor of clinical law and director of the Family Law Clinic. The successful candidate will have a background in representing clients in family law matters, particularly in cases involving domestic and sexual violence, and supervising law students in clinical casework. The Clinic is an “in-house” clinic that functions as a small pro bono law firm representing low-income Pennsylvanians in a variety of family law matters, including divorce, custody, protection from abuse, child support and adoption. The director manages the Clinic’s direct legal services to clients, and supervises the law students who represent those clients. Situated at Penn State’s largest campus in University Park, Pennsylvania, the Family Law Clinic is an integral part of Penn State Law’s work as a land grant university serving rural Pennsylvanians while competing on a global scale with scholarship and public policy work. Examples of Family Law Clinic cases and projects include protective orders for victims of domestic violence, securing financial support and property for indigent clients in divorces, asserting custodial rights for parents, and conducting Brief Legal Advice workshops on family law issues. The Director is also responsible for teaching the weekly Clinic seminar class, including simulations and other skill-building exercises, doctrinal law instruction, and case rounds. The Director ensures the effective management of the Clinic year-round, including during summers and other academic year breaks, which may include supervising student work on client matters. In-depth knowledge of Pennsylvania family law and domestic violence required, with preference for those with experience in VAWA work and/or in certain other Clinic practice areas -- specifically, divorce economic relief, child custody and support, and campus sexual assault. The Director also manages Penn State Law’s Public Interest programs, which includes management of a large grant that partly funds the Clinic’s operations. The Public Interest programs job duties include collaborating with numerous student initiatives like the Family Law Society; Public Interest Law Fund and Alternative Spring Break; chairing the Public Interest Law Placements faculty committee; working with Career Services staff to maximize student matching with public interest opportunities; cultivating and publicizing pro bono opportunities for students; representing Penn State Law on public interest law boards and committees such as Student Legal Services, Mid-Penn Legal Services, the PA-IOLTA Board; and the AALS, ABA, and other national groups’ Public Interest/Pro Bono networks. Must have a desire to mentor, supervise and train law students in an “in-house” clinical program; a demonstrated passion for social justice and a commitment to working with low-income communities; excellent writing, communication and organizational skills; and the ability to work effectively within diverse stakeholder communities. The successful candidate will display excellent written and oral communication skills, demonstrated knowledge and experience with client-centered lawyering, and outstanding legal practice skills. We seek a candidate who is creative, curious and self-motivated with an ability to anticipate issues and follow-up independently; is an exceptional strategist who can thrive in a collaborative, collegial environment and enjoys thinking through complex legal issues; and exhibits professionalism, drive and tenacity. This position is a benefits eligible, fixed-term academic appointment beginning in Summer 2019 and funded for two years from date of hire. Starting rank is negotiable depending on the applicant’s experience. A J.D., admission to Pennsylvania Bar or eligibility to become a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and minimum four years of family law practice experience with substantial trial work preferred. Preferred start date is July 1, 2019. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled; only those candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.


November 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

HELP NEEDED FROM VOLUNTEER LAWYERS: The Pepperdine Disaster Relief Clinic and the Woolsey Fire

Dear Lawyers, Law Professors, Legal Clinics: 

We need your help. Today, I am officially launching the Disaster Relief Clinic to serve Malibu, the Santa Monica Mountains, and the Conejo Valley here in Southern California where the Woolsey Fire is still burning. 
Pepperdine students are displaced and scattered, and we are closed through Thanksgiving, when we are embarking on a massively ambitious, dense final week of school and finals, all while we try to be compassionate to the students. I do not want to put volunteering on their plate until we can launch the clinic course in January. 
So now, we need volunteer lawyers and clinical law profs. We're going to run an emergency, triaged VLP. I need lawyers and law profs to take cases by referral. 
Law profs, I hope that you can recruit students at your schools and clinics to work under your supervision to handle cases and questions as they arise. (I have no capacity to supervise other people's students; I'm sure you understand). 
Spread it far and wide. 
I will provide some training on FEMA matters soon, and I have some excellent, ready resources for fire responses in California for everyone who volunteers, thanks to FEMA, MoFo and Horwitz & Levy.  
Write me directly with questions, but please volunteer quickly. 
Thank you all, 

November 14, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Pepperdine, the Woolsey Fire, and the Disaster Relief Clinic

Dear Friends, 
Several of you have reached out as we endure fires in Southern California, and we are grateful.  Fires assailed Pepperdine Friday night, and it is still a dynamic situation around us. Many faculty and staff (including my family and me) live on campus, and our campus plan calls for us to shelter-in-place.  3500 of us sheltered in central buildings on campus, and our university’s planning and preparation was successful and effective.  Firefighters battled all night to defend us and our homes and university (and Malibu and beyond), and we emerge safe and sound.  All Pepperdine people and buildings are safe, even as we assess needs and grapple with immediate survival and recovery to come. 
While in shelter, we started planning to relaunch our Disaster Relief Clinic. We launched the Disaster Relief Clinic as a temporary project last year in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, then turned its practice to serve people affected by our neighbors hurt by the Thomas Fire in the spring semester. 
Now we are battered by the Woolsey Fire, but we have the resources and proximity to serve our neighborhood and region soon. The fires continue even today and will continue for days more. We will begin assessing needs and capacity between now and Thanksgiving and hope to have firmer plans by then.  Our campus is closed, and classes are cancelled until then, too. We will work in the meantime to make plans, connect our networks, and integrate systems. Then we will be able to share plans and needs and look forward to the generous, creative, and compassionate help that this community of clinicians and clinics always provide. 
Until then, thank you for your generosity, prayers, love, hope, and contributions to our wounded community. 

November 11, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Balsam and Reuter, Externship Assessment Project: An Empirical Study of Supervisor Evaluations of Extern Work Performance

From Professors Jodi S. Balsam & Margaret Reuter, their exciting, useful new paper:

Externship Assessment Project: An Empirical Study of Supervisor Evaluations of Extern Work Performance, 25 Clinical Law Review 1 (Fall 2018)

 The paper tells the story of a year’s worth of field supervisor evaluations of student externs to extract insights about the extern experience, especially regarding the variety, complexity, and responsibility levels of their work.  Using qualitative data analysis, we distilled the supervisor narratives in a comprehensive, uniform, and disciplined matter.  We overlaid those narratives with student demographic data to understand variations along class year, GPA, gender, and race.  The evaluations revealed that educational opportunities varied among different field placement settings and practice areas, in expected and some unexpected ways.  Our analysis seeks to describe extern performance and learning in a clear-eyed fashion and offer guidance for externship program design and assessment of programmatic and institutional learning outcomes.

November 6, 2018 | Permalink | Comments (0)