Monday, December 5, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at UDC

Via Prof. Lindsay Harris

Dear Community,

We are so proud to share with you our annual newsletter for the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law’s Clinical Program. As one of only six HBCUs in the country, this year, we celebrate 50 years of UDC Law’s commitment to access and excellence.

Below you will read and hear about the work of our seven in-house Clinics. Some highlights include welcoming three new tenured or tenure-track faculty members this Fall, the re-launch of our Criminal Law and Tax Clinics, along with the wins and client perspectives from our Immigration and Human Rights Clinic. You’ll read about our General Practice Clinic Co-Directors being recognized with teaching and service awards and a new annual community summit organized by our Youth Justice Clinic. Our Legislation Clinic students and faculty advocated for change on the local and international stage and students in our Community Development Law Clinic saw their transactional work as transformational, human work. We are united in continuing to provide life-saving legal services to the most vulnerable members of the broader D.C. community while providing rigorous training to our students.

Through our continued partnership with the Government Accountability Project, we offer the unique Whistleblower Protection Clinic, and we launched a new partnership with Rising for Justice this year to offer a Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic. Through it all – at 50 years – we remain steadfastly committed to community and dedicated to practicing law, promoting justice and changing lives.

Read the full report here. 

December 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 2, 2022

Fogel, Hoopes and Liu on Law Clerk Selection and Diversity

This is interesting clinic-adjacent scholarship, a study by Jeremy Fogel (Berkeley), Mary Hoopes (Pepperdine), and Justice Goodwin Liu on diversity in federal judicial clerkships. 

Here's the abstract for the paper on SSRN

Judicial clerkships are key positions of responsibility and coveted opportunities for career advancement. Commentators have noted that the demographics of law clerks do not align with the student population by law school, socioeconomic background, gender, race, or ethnicity, and that ideological matching is prevalent between judges and their clerks. But extant studies draw on limited data and offer little visibility into how judges actually select clerks. For this study, we conducted in-depth individual interviews with fifty active judges of the federal courts of appeals to learn how they approach law clerk selection and diversity. Our sample, though not fully representative of the judiciary, includes judges from all circuits, appointed by Presidents of both parties, with average tenure of fourteen years. The confidential interviews, which drew in part upon the peer relationship that two of us have with fellow judges, yielded rich and candid insights not captured by prior surveys.

This Article reports our findings, among them: (1) With few exceptions, appellate judges hire clerks as an “ensemble” and assign positive value to diversity, although judges vary significantly in the dimensions of diversity they seek. (2) Most judges disclaim any interest in ideological alignment when hiring clerks; we situate this finding in the context of factors that contribute to ideological segmentation of the clerkship market. (3) Republican appointees, compared to Democratic appointees, more often identified socioeconomic diversity as the primary dimension of diversity they seek. (4) Judges who graduated from law schools outside the U.S. News & World Report top twenty are significantly more likely than other judges to hire clerks from schools outside the top twenty. (5) Almost all judges in our sample consider gender in clerkship hiring, and many have specific goals for gender balance. Republican appointees reported more difficulty drawing women into their applicant pool than Democratic appointees. (6) Most judges in our sample assign positive value to racial diversity and consider race to some degree in evaluating applicants, although it is important to note that some judges believe strongly that such consideration is inappropriate. (7) Many judges who view racial diversity positively nonetheless reported difficulty hiring Black and Hispanic clerks. The judges with the most robust records of minority hiring are those who make affirmative efforts to draw minority candidates into their applicant pool or place greater emphasis on indicators of talent besides grades and law school rank, or do both. (8) Black judges are particularly successful in hiring Black clerks; we estimate that Black judges, who comprised less than one-eighth of active circuit judges during our study, accounted for more than half of the Black clerks hired each year in the federal courts of appeals.

These findings have implications for judicial selection; in short, diversity among judges affects diversity among clerks. Further, one of our most consistent findings is that judges do not discuss clerk hiring or diversity with each other. This silence reflects norms of judicial culture that foster collegiality and mutual deference while tending to inhibit peer-to-peer discussion of how judges select their clerks. Yet many judges want to hire more diverse clerks and would like to learn from their colleagues’ practices. We propose measures to increase transparency, facilitate peer exchange, and increase judges’ capacity to achieve their hiring objectives, whatever they may be.

 

December 2, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at Denver University Sturm College of Law

Via Prof. Kevin Lynch

Greetings from Denver! It has been quite a year for our clinical program, including a $300,000 settlement for one of our clients, precedent-setting developments on language access for water pollution permits, and a visit last April by Professor Sameer Ashar—our most recent Hartje Clinical Scholar in Residence. We are also thrilled to welcome two new visitors in our Criminal Defense and Immigration Law and Policy clinics, as well as three new fellows in our Christopher N. Lasch Clinical Teaching Fellowship program. Our externship program continues to raise the bar, this year hitting a record of over 40% paid externships. Finally, I’m excited to take the reins as our Clinical Director after Patience Crowder led us through the challenges and opportunities of the past few years. We’re excited to share what we’ve been up to with all of you.

Download the 2022 Denver Law Clinical Update here.

December 1, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Difficult Decisions on Voting in US News Rankings of Clinical Programs

The ballots for US News rankings have arrived. I am a voter for the Law Specialty Clinical Training category in my role as associate dean for clinical education. In this season of upheaval and controversy around US News rankings, I am mindful of their profound deficiencies and the complex, conflicted decisions they present to those of us who object to their hegemonic distortions in legal education. Here I wrestle with some of the ethical quandaries pressing on voters in the specialty categories, at least mine.

(In full disclosure, I am not writing on behalf of Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, where I work, or the Clinical Legal Education Association, where I sit on the board.)

The main US News law school rankings are flawed in many important ways, but I am focusing on the specialty rankings. These depend entirely on peer reputation with essentially no guidance at all for assessing programs. The ballot lists every ABA-accredited law school and asks voters to score each school on a 5 – 1 scale: Outstanding (5), Strong (4), Good (3), Adequate (2), Marginal (1), plus a “no answer” category. The ballot does not define these terms. Here are the only instructions and sole guidance for voters:

Please review the entire list of law schools before rating individual programs. Identify the law schools you are familiar with, and then rate the overall academic quality of their clinical training courses or programs. In making your choices consider all elements that contribute to a program's academic excellence, the depth and breadth of the program, faculty research and publication record, etc. Rate programs on a scale of outstanding (5) to marginal (1). If you are not familiar with a school’s faculty, programs and graduates, please mark “No answer.”

For these and all other specialty rankings, US News does not obtain publicly available data or seek more information from law schools. It could inquire about the number of programs at a school, seats in clinics and externships relative to the student body, the rank and status of clinical faculty, curriculum requirements, and the like. We provide this sort of data to the ABA, CSALE, and other rankings already. But US News determines its rankings for these programs exclusively on peer reputation which voters may base on deliberate investigation, general familiarity, proximity, vibes, or last year’s peer reputation rankings.

So these rankings are not reliable indicators of much, but they exert a gravitational pull on law schools and all our programs. To date, a dozen schools have declared that they are not participating in US News rankings (although their statements are not clear what participation means and whether they will decline to vote in addition to refusing to provide data). Other schools have affirmatively announced they are remaining. The schools who have left are mostly schools with enough market power to move without much risk and that may exert enough pressure to make US News change its ways. Other schools are not competitive in US News rankings and may rightly feel some liberty to ignore them and manifest their values in other ways. For many schools in the middle, the best option now seems to be to stay in the US News morass and urge it to improve.

For the specialty voters at the schools who remain, the option to refuse may not be available. Unless our schools have withdrawn, those of us who vote in specialty rankings may object, but we likely have an obligation to our schools to participate despite the flaws. Personally, I would scrap the entire racket or strip it of its dispositive influence, but I have a duty to my school if it designates me to vote. I also have a duty to counterparts in clinical education at other schools to vote well, honestly, and diligently. My real, moral objection to the entire enterprise compounds the tension. These are common conflicts.

For many in this position, if they refused to vote while their school participates, their schools could merely replace them. Individual conscientious objection likely could harm their school and their careers without effecting much influence. Collective action is key to improve or discard the rankings (even if there might be some risk of anti-trust exposure, however slight).

For years, CLEA has addressed this with a statement that criticizes the regime and offers guidelines for voters. (I’ve helped draft some versions of this statement for CLEA.) Here is the most recent version from 2021:

CLEA, through its Board of Directors, urges those ranking clinical programs to focus on factors that promote the principles for which CLEA advocates, namely the increased presence of clinical education (law clinics and externships) in law school curricula, security of position for clinical faculty, and diversity and equity. In evaluating clinical programs, CLEA urges voters to consider: 1) the number of law clinic and externship slots available relative to the student population at a school; 2) the breadth and quality of clinical curricular offerings available to students; 3) the school's security of position, academic freedom, and governance rights for faculty who teach clinics or externships; and 4) the extent to which the school has committed to pursuing racial justice in its clinical program through its course offerings, impact on the community, and demonstrated commitment to diversity and equity in hiring and promotion of clinical faculty. 

CLEA urges voters to score only those programs for which they have sufficient information to make informed decisions. It urges voters to choose the “No Answer” option when they have insufficient information to assess a particular clinical program.

Last, CLEA also urges those who receive ballots to consult their clinical colleagues for their views to increase the range of informed opinions reflected in the balloting.

These are material, valid factors to consider when evaluating the quality of a program, but they are not binding. There is no way to ensure that the results of US News reflect these standards, but our community hopes that they do.

We should not cede to US News the role to define standards for evaluating clinical programs, but US News could look to publicly available data or look to experts in these fields to establish sound standards and objectives. This would help the academy, the clinical movement, and US News itself.  

Until it does, I continue to struggle over whether and how to participate. In light of the systemic realities and the conflicting interests among our various institutions and obligations, perhaps the best we can do is to organize among ourselves to improve the results, to vote with honesty and diligence, and to continue to advocate for a better way. This runs of the risk of complicity, and perhaps it is insufficient to dislodge the pernicious effects of the rankings. But if our schools have not withdrawn, opting out as individual voters likely does not advance the reforms we need. Even if only one voter votes (and maybe if no voter votes), US News will still rank our programs; rankings are the product it sells.

For now, clinical colleagues at schools that have withdrawn almost certainly will not vote, and that will create distortions of its own, however admirable and needed. Some may refuse to vote even if their schools have not withdrawn, running risks to their schools and themselves, on principle, and denying the rankings their careful insights. Others, like me, will again vote under protest, applying the CLEA guidelines and doing our homework to vote as well as we can, relying on this vibrant, smart, good community to do the same.

The results will be even more suspect next year. Perhaps this will prompt US News to improve its methods or make the rankings less relevant to everyone.

November 30, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 21, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at WashU

Via Prof. Sarah Narkiewicz:

We are proud to share news about the amazing work that WashULaw’s Clinical Education Program has done over the past year, in St. Louis and beyond. Each of our eighteen clinics and externships provides an opportunity for students to gain invaluable real-world experience and mentorship under the supervision of outstanding professors and attorneys. Our students do vital work in the community and make a real difference in the lives of their clients. As 2022 comes to a close, and as we approach our 50th anniversary as a leader in clinical education, we look forward to even brighter things to come.

Download the 2022 WashU Clinic Program Report here.

November 21, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trial Manual 7 for the Defense of Criminal Cases (2022) by Anthony G. Amsterdam and Randy Hertz

Via Prof. Randy Hertz

A recently published new edition of Tony Amsterdam’s and Randy Hertz’s Trial Manual 7 for the Defense of Criminal Cases is available for free downloading in PDF form by lawyers in public defender offices, nonprofit legal services offices, and those whose criminal-defense practice is predominantly pro bono. The free copy of the PDF version of the Trial Manual can be downloaded from the American Law Institute’s website by filling out a form at https://www.ali.org/trial-manual/

 

The Manual is a guidebook for criminal defense lawyers at the trial level. It covers the information a defense attorney has to know, and the strategic factors s/he should consider, at each of the stages of the criminal trial process. It is organized for easy access by practitioners who need ideas and information quickly in order to jump-start their work at any given stage.

 

The Manual begins with an overview of criminal procedure and then focuses on the issues a defense attorney is likely to confront, and the steps s/he will need to take, at the early stages of a criminal case, including: the first steps to be taken to locate, contact and protect a client who has been arrested or summoned or who fears s/he is wanted for arrest; arguing for bail or other forms of pretrial release; conducting the initial client interview; developing a theory of the case; dealing with police and prosecutors; planning and overseeing the defense investigation; conducting the preliminary hearing; grand jury practice; challenging indictments and informations; obtaining discovery; filing motions; seeking diversion; and plea bargaining. It also addresses the additional considerations that may arise when representing a client who is mentally ill or intellectually disabled.

 

The Manual next conducts an in-depth examination of the pretrial motions that defense attorneys commonly litigate in criminal cases. This includes lengthy chapters on suppression of tangible evidence, statements of the defendant, and identification testimony. These chapters provide detailed information about federal constitutional doctrines and a large number of state constitutional rulings that confer heightened protections. The chapters also provide suggestions for framing suppression arguments and conducting suppression hearings effectively.

 

The Manual then discusses the immediate run-up to trial: issues relating to the timing of pretrial and trial proceedings; interlocutory review of pretrial rulings; and the concrete steps that counsel will need to take to prepare for trial.

 

Moving on to the trial stage, the Manual discusses the decision to elect or waive jury trial; jury selection procedures and challenges before and at trial; general characteristics of trials; opening statements; evidentiary issues and objections at the trial of guilt or innocence; techniques and tactics for handling prosecution and defense witnesses; trial motions; closing arguments; requests for jury instructions and objections to the court’s instructions; and jury deliberations. Issues, procedures, and strategies unique to bench trials are discussed in tandem with the parallel aspects of jury-trial practice.

 

Finally, the Manual discusses posttrial motions and sentencing and concludes with a short summary of appellate and postconviction procedures and a précis of the first steps to be taken in connection with them.

 

The structure and presentation of material are designed to facilitate the conversion of text into defense motions and other types of briefing. Three of the documents in the text are available for direct downloading from the ALI website: section 2.5’s flow-chart of procedures in summary, misdemeanor, and felony cases; section 4.5’s questionnaire for obtaining information pertinent to bail from the client; and section 6.15’s checklist for interviewing the client. The bail questionnaire and the interview list are in Word format that can be edited and thus customized to an individual user’s practice and/or turned into a form for use in taking notes in real time during client interviews.

November 21, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at UC Hastings

Via Prof. Gail Silverstein

UC Hastings Law’s clinical and experiential faculty continue to expand and improve opportunities for students to engage with community legal needs and develop legal skills, all while bringing timely scholarly insights to the profession.

 
 
 
 
 

Many changes are afoot in the pro bono sphere. An expanded pro bono program is a key focus of our new Center for Social Justice, which is being directed by both Professor Brittany Glidden and Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and Clinical Professor of Law Gail Silverstein. The pro bono program also hired its first full-time director, Allison Wang. The program had a robust year last year with students performing 7905 hours of pro bono service in 112 separate projects. UC Hastings also diversified and expanded its pro bono spring break programs, offering five different opportunities. Students provided civil legal services in rural New York and provided direct services to clients seeking asylum in Tijuana, Mexico, El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona. Richard Boswell, who directs the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, designed a new course to prepare some of the students—teaching them to counsel and prepare clients for credible fear interviews. A student-led organization, Hastings-to-Haiti, partnered with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, and made national news when Legal Director Blaine Bookey and students successfully represented a Ukrainian family who was being denied entry to the United States. The incident has been cited in the increased pressure on the government to end Title 42 restrictions. 

In our Clinical Programs, over 160 students engaged in vital legal work, logging over 48,000 hours. Using a modest billing rate of $130 per hour, that totals over 6.2 million dollars of legal services provided by our clinic and externship students this year. 

 
 
 
 
 

The Clinical Program responded to the continuing pandemic with flexible protocols to service our clients’ and students’ holistic needs. To highlight just one example: Our Refugee and Human Rights Clinic (RHRC), directed by Karen Musalo and Christine Natoli, has represented their clients who are seeking asylum with a mix of both remote and in person representation tailored to the specific needs of each individual. The RHRC has continued to service hard-to-reach populations, including an indigenous Guatemalan woman who speaks the Mayan dialect, Mam. The Clinic maintained its human rights docket by developing creative ways to connect with in-country sources over Zoom. Clinic leaders are excited to return to more in-person engagement this academic year, traveling with a group of students to Honduras to meet with government officials and civil society organizations to gather information on climate and environmental drivers of migration, as well as a range of other human rights issues.

 
 
 
 
 

In addition to their clinical teaching and advocacy, clinical professors published a diverse range of influential scholarly publications.

Alina Ball, Director of the Social Enterprise and Economic Empowerment Clinic, published Transactional Community Lawyering in Temple Law Review. The article defines and explores the intentional application of community lawyering theory into a distinctly transactional practice. 

Kate Bloch, Director of the Criminal Practice Clinic, published Untangling Right from Wrong in Insanity Law: of Dogs, Wolves, & God in the Hastings Law Journal. The article argues that the U.S. Supreme Court’s broad-brush approach in its 2020 majority and dissenting opinions in Kahler v. Kansas risks exacerbating confusion about wrongfulness in legal insanity doctrine.  

Karen Musalo, Director of the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, recently published numerous items, including: Deploring the Violence, Abandoning the Victim in Just Security and an article in the Fordham International Law Journal, The Legal and Moral Responsibility to Protect.

Ascanio Piomelli was invited by the California Supreme Court Historical Society to write about his Community Group Advocacy and Social-Change Lawyering Clinic for a special section on Legal History in the Making: Innovative Experiential Learning Programs in California Law Schools. The article, Toward a Broader Vision of Lawyering, appears in California Legal History.

Amy Spivey, Director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, and Manoj Visnawathan, Director of the Business Tax Practicum, jointly wrote a paper, Practical Considerations in Starting and Operating an Academic Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic that will be coming out soon in The Tax Lawyer.

Yvonne Troya, Director of our Medical Legal Partnership for Seniors Clinic, published Exercising Control or Giving It Up? What Elder Law Attorneys Should Know about Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) Journal. This article explores the loss of control which a prospective resident may face when joining an entrance-fee Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). 

 

November 17, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at Cornell Law

Via Prof. Beth Lyon

In what the Economist calls “the era of predictable unpredictability,” clinic students, staff, and faculty are adjusting to postpandemic practice while standing by clients who are fighting for their fundamental rights.

This spring, the Labor Law Clinic  successfully concluded a case invoking a new law protecting New Yorkers from discrimination on the grounds of gender identity, helping their transgender client litigate and settle their workplace discrimination claim. The 1L Immigration Law and Advocacy Clinic concluded the second of two long trials, helping their clients — a mother and young child — win permanent protection in the United States with a novel legal argument. After the First Amendment Clinic and co-counsel intervened in a federal court case brought by a news outlet, the Court unsealed the records of a wrongful death settlement brought by the estate of a woman who took her own life in her prison cell against a county prison and its healthcare contractor.

As we all reexamine our assumptions about stability, Gender Justice Clinic students and faculty presented a workshop explaining the legal implications of the overturn of Roe v. Wade and future paths for advocacy. We were grateful to take a step back and celebrate when the Clinical Legal Education Association honored Cornell with one of its annual awards, recognizing generations of faculty, students, and partners for litigation, research, and teaching confronting capital punishment in the United States and around the world.

The Economist article referenced above pronounced that as the pandemic wanes, “everything is up for revision,” but one thing never changes: every day in the clinic our clients, partners, and students inspire us with their courage, ingenuity, and hard work.

You can read about these and many other clinic activities in this issue of our clinical newsletter.

Walk gently,

Beth

Cornell Update. 11.15.22

 

November 15, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 11, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at Suffolk Law

Via Prof. Sarah R. Boonin

Read Clinical Program News from Suffolk Law report here with Associate Dean Boonin's welcome note: 

We are excited to highlight some of the ways that Suffolk Law’s clinical programs are providing students with rich clinical experiences, while meeting emerging community needs and leveraging technology to help solve pressing access to justice issues.

Some highlights include our Transactional Clinic, which helped a non-profit create a Sharia-compliant micro-loan program to assist African refugees; our Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples Clinic, which earned a victory for indigenous Guatemalans after a ten-year battle to win the right to access broadcast media; and our Legal Innovation & Technology Lab, which was recognized for its groundbreaking work providing pro se litigants with digital access to essential court processes. Of course, we have new colleagues to welcome and promotions to celebrate, too!

We’re also thrilled to be hiring two visiting clinical professors–one to help us build out a new Environmental Law Clinic, and another to help us develop a Legislative Policy and Practice Clinic. Please consider joining us for a year–or help us spread the word! Details below.

We wish you all a productive fall semester and are overjoyed to be seeing many of you in San Francisco this spring!

Sincerely,
Sarah Boonin

November 11, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Program Update from the Refugee Law Clinic at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Via Prof. Kristina Campbell

Kristina Campbell (UDC) is visiting this year at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law to launch the law school's new in-house Refugee Law Clinic. Clinic students will assist the refugee and immigrant community in Utah with filing applications for asylum and other humanitarian forms of protection. The inaugural semester of the Clinic will be in Spring 2023.

 

November 9, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Program at UConn Law

Via Prof. Jessica Rubin

The University of Connecticut proudly announces the following developments in our clinical programs, expanding UConn Law’s involvement in our communities and opportunities for our students:

New Clinics

Housing and Eviction Defense Clinic – UConn School of Law launched a Housing and Eviction Defense Clinic that will provide representation and legal advocacy to tenants. Supported by a grant from the Connecticut Fair Housing Center and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the clinic will serve low-income tenants who are facing the threat of eviction. Pictured below are new clinic faculty members Catharine Freeman, Director, and Alex West, Associate Director.  

UConn Update 11.8.22

Disability Rights Clinic – UConn School of Law joined forces with Disability Rights Connecticut to offer a clinic providing legal advocacy for people with disabilities. Students participating in the new Disability Rights Clinic help clients with legal problems involving housing, education, employment, health care, and other issues. Students work under the supervision of Deborah Dorfman, executive director of Disability Rights Connecticut, and other lawyers on the agency’s staff.

New Clinicians

Rachel Reeves joined the law school as an assistant clinical professor of law and director of field placement and pro bono programs. She is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, where she directed the field placement program for seven years. Reeves also led the Rural Practice Fellowship, a collaborative project within and outside Maine Law that works toward alleviating the widening justice gap in Maine’s rural communities.

 

Diana R. Blank is a visiting assistant clinical professor appointed to a three-year term as the William R. Davis Clinical Teaching Fellow, joining Professor Jon Bauer in the Asylum and Human Rights Clinic. She is a graduate of Yale Law School. Blank previously served as a staff attorney for the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, specializing in family law and immigration law, and as a visiting clinical lecturer in law at the Yale Law School, where she co-founded and co-taught the Legal Assistance Immigrant Rights Clinic.

 

Catharine Freeman joined the law school as a visiting assistant clinical professor to serve as the Director of UConn’s new Housing and Eviction Defense Clinic. Freeman has had a long career as a housing lawyer for Connecticut Legal Services and brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and community involvement.   

 

Alex West joined the law school as a visiting assistant clinical professor to serve as the Associate Director of UConn’s new Housing and Eviction Defense Clinic. West was most recently a lawyer with SouthCoast Fair Housing, and an adjunct professor teaching Mental Health Law at New England Law School. West is a long-time advocate for fair housing laws, policies, and services.

Promotions

Jessica Rubin, Clinical Professor and Director of UConn’s Animal Law Clinic, became UConn’s Associate Dean for Experiential Education in July 2022.  Rubin succeeds Jennifer Mailly. 

Retirements

Jennifer Mailly, former Associate Dean for Experiential Education and Director of Field Placements, retired and is now Clinical Professor Emerita, continuing to teach Civil Procedure and mentor students.

Barbara McGrath retired after 22 years directing the Connecticut Urban Legal Initiative, a nonprofit legal transactional clinic. McGrath educated law students and provided legal services to nonprofit groups. She also served as founder and Executive Director of a statewide public-private partnership, the Community Economic Development Fund.

November 8, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 7, 2022

Program Update from the Clinical Legal Education Program at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law

In this season of updates, I'm proud to share our program report for the Pepperdine Caruso School of Law clinics, externships, practicum courses, and grant-funded stipend programs for public interest placements.  
 
Please read it here.
 
The report includes updates about our new director of externships and pro bono (Prof. Tori Votino), the relaunched Public Interest Law Practicum and redesigned Therapeutic Justice Practicum, the new Religious Liberty Clinic (with Profs. Eric Rassbach and Michael Helfand), and updates on our eight other clinics and the externship program. 
 
Here's an excerpt from my report: 
 
In our programs, everything is pedagogy; every client, matter, task, and conversation is an opportunity to teach and learn. Our students and faculty serve clients from Skid Row to the Ninth Circuit, from state courts to the IRS, from the US to four other continents, through litigation, mediation, transactions and every step of client-centered advice, counsel, and advocacy. I invite you to read stories from the Legal Aid Clinic, Mediation Clinic, Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic, Community Justice Clinic, Restoration and Justice Clinic, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Faith and Family Mediation Clinic, Startup Law Clinic, and the Religious Liberty Clinic. You can also learn more about the Public Interest Law Practicum, the Therapeutic Justice Clinic, and our expansive Externship Program.

Each of our clinics offers a unique scope and style of practice, affording students incomparable experience to develop as professionals and serve clients and communities in great need. Through our clinics, practicums, and expansive externship program, we ensure students thrive in practice during law school and advance access to justice locally, nationally, and globally.

November 7, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 10, 2022

Externships 11: Final Reflections and Gratitude

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. 

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October 10, 2022 in Conferences and Meetings | Permalink | Comments (1)

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,

Ascanio Piomelli, COMMUNITY GROUP ADVOCACY AND SOCIAL LAWYERING CLINC, UC Hastings College of the 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.

October 2, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 26, 2022

Nominations for the CLEA Board of Directors – Due Oct. 1, 2022

The CLEA Elections Committee -Crystal Grant (Duke), Lauren Bartlett (SLU), Shobha Lakshmi Mahadev (Northwestern), and June Tai (Iowa)) is soliciting nominations through October 1, 2022, of individuals to serve on the CLEA Board starting in January 2023. This year, there are several Board positions open. All positions require a three-year commitment. I am attaching a memo which sets forth the activities and responsibilities of CLEA Board members in more detail. Current CLEA members are invited to nominate themselves or other CLEA members as candidates for one of these open positions. The committee also encourages "new clinicians" (defined as clinicians with fewer than 6 years of experience) to self-identify as such as they run for the CLEA Board. Our Bylaws create a process for candidates identified as "new clinicians," to ensure that, if the existing Board lacks new clinician representation, the identified "new clinician" candidate who receives the greatest number of votes will be assured a place on the Board. 

 Read more about the board and its responsibilities here.

The Committee strongly encourages CLEA members to nominate individuals from groups that are currently underrepresented within the leadership of various clinical institutions, including CLEA, the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education, and the Clinical Law Review. The nomination process is simple. Nominate yourself or someone else by contacting the chair of the CLEA Elections Committee, Crystal Grant at crystal.grant@law.duke.edu. If you are nominating yourself, please include a paragraph or two about why you are running and a link to your faculty profile, which will be included with the election materials to be sent later in the fall. If you are nominating another CLEA member, there is no need to include such a paragraph; the name alone will suffice, and the Elections Committee will contact the nominee for further information. If you have less than six years of clinical teaching experience and wish to be identified as a "new clinician" candidate, or if you want to nominate a candidate for the "new clinician" category, please indicate that as well. 

Now that school is back in session, it’s a great time to check whether your school has renewed your CLEA school bundle membership for the 2022-23 school year (or, if you don’t have a school membership, if you have renewed your individual membership), especially because you must be a current CLEA member in order to vote, as well as to run for the board. You can check your membership status at cleaweb.org. Those who have not renewed by Sept. 30 will be considered lapsed and ineligible to vote or serve. 

Although the process of nomination is easy, our Bylaws set a strict deadline for receiving nominations. All nominations must be received by October 1, 2022. If you have questions about the CLEA Elections process, please feel free to contact committee chair Crystal Grant at crystal.grant@law.duke.edu

August 26, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Northwest Clinical Law Conference, Oct. 21-23, 2022

via Paul Holland

Register by September 9 for the 24th Annual Northwest Clinical Law Conference, October 21-23, 2022

Hosted by Seattle University School of Law at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort in Leavenworth, Washington

The clinicians from the Pacific Northwest are excited to be gathering again after these years of undesired separation, and we welcome colleagues from all parts to join us.

Our location, Sleeping Lady, in Leavenworth, Washington, is a fabulous place for gathering, reflecting, dining, and simply breathing in glorious cool fall mountain air.

Our program will address topics such as Standard 303, emerging from COVID, and other timely and/or perennial matters.

The registration fee includes lodging at Sleeping Lady on Friday and Saturday nights, and meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch.

Please contact Paul Holland at Seattle University (hollandp@seattleu.edu) for the registration form or use the form at the link below.

There is a relatively short turnaround time (September 9) so that we may confirm these valuable rooms in advance.

Click to Download 2022 NW Clinical Conference Registration Form

August 25, 2022 in Conferences and Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Midwest Clinical Conference - Oct. 28-30, 2022

Via Prof. Nickole Miller:

Register for the Midwest Clinical Conference (October 28-30, 2022)

Drake University Law School is pleased to announce the in-person return of the Midwest Clinical Conference planned for October 28-30, 2022 at the Neal and Bea Smith Law Center in Des Moines, Iowa. This year’s theme is Honoring the Past, Evaluating the Present, Shaping the Future, which will allow attendees to celebrate the development and progress of clinical pedagogy in the law school curriculum while preparing for the next generation of experiential education.

The Planning Committee invites proposals for Concurrent Sessions (60-minute sessions) and Teaching Spotlights (20-minute presentations highlighting innovative or successful teaching strategies or ideas) that expand on the conference theme. The Planning Committee also invites authors to submit works-in-progress or incubator ideas and conference attendees to serve as commentators for the WIP sessions.

Deadline for proposal submissions is 12 p.m. Central Time September 1, 2022 at this website under “Request for Proposals.”

Additional conference information and registration is available at this site.

Please direct any questions to Suzie Pritchett, Director of Clinics and Experiential Education, suzan.pritchett@drake.edu. We look forward to seeing you this fall!

August 24, 2022 in Conferences and Meetings | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 5, 2022

Very Important Updates and Changes re Externships 11, Oct. 7-8 at Pepperdine

The Externships 11 Organizing Committee shares this important update about the conference on October 7-8, 2022, in Los Angeles. Pepperdine and UCLA had been planning to host the conference together, but because of some leadership and staff departures, UCLA has decided that it will not co-host the conference. Pepperdine will continue, and we are shifting our plans now.

Externships 11 now will be two full days, Friday, Oct. 7, and Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, on campus at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in Malibu. The organizing committee will reach out to all the speakers to confirm the schedule. Registration continues through this Pepperdine site. (We're updating it as quickly as possible.) To accommodate this change, if necessary, speakers may appear by video, although we earnestly hope everyone will still attend in person. We will continue to offer online video access for people to attend sessions if they cannot attend in person, and remote attendees still need to register for the conference. 

We are working on lodging and transportation options and guidance. This may be our biggest challenge. We currently have blocks of rooms available at the Villa Graziadio hotel on Pepperdine's campus and a block of rooms at the Hilton in Woodland Hills (about 16 miles away). We are working on providing shuttle service from the Woodland Hills Hilton and campus for both days of the conference. These are a total of about 60 rooms, so please register and book them soon! If we exhaust those blocks, later folks will need to secure their own lodging and provide their own transportation, and we will provide suggestions in Malibu, Santa Monica, and the Conejo Valley.  (Please do not book rooms at the Luxe; those plans have changed. It's not close enough or accessible for shuttles to Pepperdine. If you have booked there, you'll likely need to change plans.)

We're grateful for everyone's patience, understanding, and participation, in the spirit of scrappy, creative, resilient, and adaptive clinicians in this vibrant community. We are eager and excited to host the conference at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in Malibu, and we are confident that it will be an excellent conference. It may be a little harder to get here, but it will be worth it. In addition to excellent, timely content, we're working on building community through food, sunsets, beaches, mountains, and friendship.

The organizing committee has been responsive, creative, and committed to the conference. We are grateful to and for them. Please reach out to any of them or me with questions or ideas.

August 5, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

CLEA Outstanding Student Award: Albany's Rebecca LaPoint

CLEA Outstanding Clinical Student or Team Award: Rebecca LaPoint in Albany Law's Justice Center: 

Rebecca represented an asylum-seeker from Afghanistan who fled Taliban rule and could not return due to the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021. She was tireless in her thorough research, trauma-informed in her client interviewing and counseling, and excelled in spite of every challenge that the case presented. Her contributions in class were incredibly impactful, her reflections were searching and sincere, and we have no doubt she will be a tremendous addition to the bar.

June 22, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Externships 11: RFP Deadline: June 17, 2022

The Externships 11 conference will be October 7-9, 2022, at UCLA and Pepperdine Caruso School of Law. 

The Request for Proposals deadline is Friday, June 17. See this form for more information and to submit your proposal for the conference. 

See this page for more information about registration and programming. 

June 14, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (0)