Wednesday, February 22, 2023

CLEA Accepting Nominations for 2023 Awards

The CLEA Awards Committee is once again soliciting nominations for two awards that are given annually. This year’s awards will be presented during the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in San Francisco, and we look forward to this opportunity to recognize and celebrate our clinical community’s valuable and inspiring work. Please read this email carefully, as the CLEA Board recently adopted new criteria for the Award for Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers.

The awards are:

1. Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers; and
2. Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project.

Nominations should be in the form of a letter of no more than three single-spaced pages. Each nomination should be endorsed by at least three individuals. At least one of those individuals must be a full-time clinical faculty member at a law school and a member of CLEA. The other two individuals need not be CLEA members, nor clinical law professors. The nominating letter should clearly indicate which of the nominators are CLEA members. Letters of support in addition to the nomination letter are also welcome, and the letters of support may come from CLEA members or non-members. The letters of support must be submitted in the same email and pdf as the nominating letter (but need not fit within the three-page limit). Please find below the criteria for each award.

The nomination deadline for both awards is Friday, March 31. Please send nominations via email to [email protected] with the subject line: CLEA Awards. All materials should be submitted as a single PDF.



This award recognizes an individual who has served as a voice for clinical teachers and who has contributed to the advancement of experiential legal education. The criteria for the award are: commitment to the field of experiential legal education; advancement of the field (e.g., by working within organizations that affect the contours of legal education, by writing and speaking about the field, or by serving as a spokesperson for the field in the litigation, legislative, administrative, political, or other arenas); commitment to advancing clinical pedagogy, teaching, and the design and implementation of effective clinic or externship courses; and fostering a spirit of community (e.g., by planning or leading conferences or initiatives). Clinical teachers include individuals who teach in-house clinics, externships, hybrid courses, and other forms of experience-based law courses.

Individuals who currently are, or at any time during this academic year were, CLEA Board members or Executive Committee members are not eligible to receive the award this year.

Prior recipients of the award are:

2002 Mark Heyrmann (Chicago) and Liz Ryan Cole (Vermont)
2003 Nancy Cook and Robert Seibel (then at Cornell)
2004 Paul Tremblay (Boston College)
2005 Jay Pottenger (Yale)
2006 Margaret Martin Barry (Catholic)
2007 Roy Stuckey (South Carolina)
2008 Karen Tokarz (Washington University in St. Louis)
2009 Ann Shalleck (American)
2010 Jane Barett (Maryland)
2011 Deborah Epstein (Georgetown)
2012 Phyllis Goldfarb (George Washington)

2014 Jon Dubin (Rutgers)

2015 Claudia Angelos (NYU)

2016 Gary Palm (posthumously)

2017 Elliott Milstein (American)

2019 Stephen J. Ellmann (posthumously)

2021 Robert Kuehn

2022 Sheila Bedi (Northwestern) and Ian Weinstein (Fordham)


CLEA established this award to honor and recognize a case or project that truly contributes to the public good. The award may be given to an individual law student or law students in a clinical program or to a clinic or clinical program.

The criteria for the award are:

The case or project either:
effectively calls attention to and/or significantly redresses a high priority need of underserved or low-income residents or communities; or
makes a notable or meaningful contribution to the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties, human rights, legal services for the underrepresented, environmental protection, or consumer protection; and
The case or project has been carried out in conformity with the highest standards of professional conduct and competence; and
The case or project serves as an inspiring model for engaging in legal work under challenging conditions in furtherance of the common good.


As of last year, schools have two student award nomination opportunities through CLEA. First, schools have the option to decide between the CLEA Outstanding Clinic Student or Outstanding Clinic Team Award. Second, schools can honor a student with the CLEA Outstanding Externship Student Award. The recent addition of the externship-focused award recognizes the valuable work for justice that law students do through externships and provides schools the opportunity to nominate an outstanding and self-reflective externship student for CLEA’s recognition. The call for nominations for the student awards will be sent separately in the coming weeks, and it will include further details on the nomination process for those awards. Schools will receive their certificates electronically on a rolling basis, and generally within one week of submitting a nomination.


The CLEA Awards Committee

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