Sunday, October 2, 2022

California Legal History Journal on Legal Clinics and Experiential Learning

California Legal History, the Journal of the California Supreme Court Historical Society, and its editor, Selma Moidel Smith, have devoted its Volume 17 to the history of experiential learning and clinical legal education in California. 

Smith writes about a report she presented in 1948, shortly after she joined the bar: 

I made the case for the public benefit to be gained from well-prepared new lawyers at a time when “the vast majority of them have not seen the inside of a courtroom, have never prepared pleadings, have never seen many of the legal documents they pretend to know how to draw, and know absolutely nothing about the orderly presentation of a case.” I urged that the law student should have “as many opportunities as possible to deal with a live flesh-and-blood client. He should learn how to get the facts, how to gain the confidence of his client, and how to recognize when his client is withholding the facts.”

She devotes this, her final issue at the age of 103, to the future of legal education and the profession in California, with a celebration of clinics in California law schools. The volume includes articles from clinical law professors about their clinics, practices and pedagogies: 

Jeffrey R. Baker, THE COMMUNITY JUSTICE CLINIC: Pepperdine Caruso School of Law,

Lara Bazelon, RACIAL JUSTICE CLINIC: University of San Francisco School of Law,

Kurt Eggert, ELDER LAW CLINIC: Chapman University Fowler School of Law Alona Cortese Elder Law Center,

Haley Fagan & Tori Porell, FOSTER EDUCATION PROGRAM: UC Berkeley School of Law,

Carrie Hempel & Robert Solomon, COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CLINIC: UC Irvine School of Law,

Joseph Kaatz, ENERGY LAW AND POLICY CLINIC: University of San Diego School of Law,

Robert D. Mullaney, AOKI WATER JUSTICE CLINIC: UC Davis School of Law,

Art Neill, NEW MEDIA RIGHTS’ INTERNET & MEDIA LAW CLINIC: California Western School of Law,

Clare Pastore, ACCESS TO JUSTICE PR ACTICUM: University of Southern California Gould School of Law,


Hina B. Shah, WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS CLINIC: Golden Gate University School of Law,

Lauren van Schilfgaarde & Patricia Sekaquaptewa, TRIBAL LEGAL DEVELOPMENT CLINIC: UCLA School of Law.

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