Monday, October 10, 2022
We gathered for Externships 11 last weekend, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7 and 8, 2022, at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. The externships community has met for these vital conferences every other year since Externships 1, but this was the first in-person conference for four and half years. It was the first major, in-person, clinical conference in three years. As teachers, we know the deep value of intentional reflection, sharing, exchanging, and engaging in person, so the time together was inspiring, rejuvenating, and full of joy in the work.
Representing well over one hundred law schools, one hundred and eight professors and administrators gathered in person, and another fifty joined us online. Professors from Australia and a large delegation from law schools in the Philippines joined the conference to share, learn, and further develop their programs.
The substance of the conference was critical and important. Our high calling in externships is the formation of excellent, ethical lawyers and public citizens, so the plenary and concurrent sessions addressed practice, pedagogy, and professional formation. Several sessions specifically focused on implementing the new Section 303 standards from the ABA on cultural competence, bias, and racism. Experienced professors led sessions for new clinicians, and multiple professors presented scholarly works in progress for comment and critique.
The experience of the conference together was beautiful, a long awaited return for a rich, dedicated community. True to the values of externships and clinics, the conference raised $1200 for donations to Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County and Bet Tzedek, to support the field supervisors who support our students in critical public interest placements.
Personally, I am profoundly grateful for the collaboration, creativity, and hard work from the organizing committee and an all-hands effort from our teams at Pepperdine. These were good days that will make us better teachers, mentors, lawyers, and colleagues.