CLEA Award to
an Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers
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.
CLEA is now accepting nominations for this award for 2023!
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 the award is Friday, March 31. Please send nominations via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: CLEA Awards. All materials should be submitted as a single PDF.
The CLEA Awards Committee is thrilled to announce that Ian Weinstein (Professor of Law at Fordham Law School) and Sheila Bedi (Clinical Law Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law) are recipients of the CLEA Award for Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers.
Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers: Ian Weinstein
Ian Weinstein, Professor of Law at Fordham Law School, has enthusiastically advocated for clinics since he was a clinic student and fellow at New York University and Georgetown. At Fordham, he helped Jim Cohen and others build a robust program under the visionary leadership of then Dean John Feerick. For more than 35 years, he has been devoted to his students, has fought passionately for his clients, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with his colleagues to advance our work.
Long a leader at Fordham, in 2009 Ian joined the CLEA Executive Committee and worked with Claudia Angelos, Kate Kruse, Robert Kuehn and many others to oppose the weakening of key rules supporting clinical faculty and to support the expansion of experiential education. Clinical legal education needed a defense lawyer on the team, and he stepped up.
Ian is also a co-convenor of the Stephen Ellmann Clinical Theory Workshop series with Deborah Archer, Donna Lee, and Richard Marsico. They continue Steve’s commitment to supporting clinical scholarship and fostering community. Ian’s scholarship includes work on client counseling and clinical pedagogy as well as criminal law and access to justice. Starting from the experiences of clients and students, he foregrounds a central aspiration of clinical legal education – the pursuit of social justice by intentional lawyering. Although he may play the contrarian and cynic, Ian’s unabashed faith in his students, his colleagues, and the clinical method is contagious.
Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers: Sheila Bedi
Sheila Bedi, Clinical Law Professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, is the founder of the Community Justice and Civil Rights Clinic, which concentrates on developing and executing legal strategies that target racism and violence in our criminal justice systems. Her work focuses on ensuring that federal litigation strategies are responsive to and driven by the communities most affected by over-policing, mass imprisonment, and other forms of repression and social control.
Sheila’s work founding the Boyd-Barnett Fellowship Program, a first-of-its-kind program that allows organizers to take classes with law students, has created a platform for students to learn about how clinics can help build power in local communities. Sheila models client-centered movement lawyering as she works hard to reimagine and further clinical education and make clinics relevant to and responsive to the needs of Chicago’s Black and brown communities.
Sheila regularly delivers presentations about her innovative approach to legal education, advancing the role of clinicians and clinical education, including at law schools in Chicago and at clinical and other conferences. She also unites litigators and clinicians to address prisoners’ rights. She is a deeply committed mentor to younger clinicians and clinicians-to-be, particularly women of color. Sheila’s scholarship also reflects her values and her work; she is a co-author of the only casebook on the Law of Incarceration and has published in multiple journals.
Congratulations, Sheila and Ian!
Prior award recipients:
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 U. in St. Louis)
2009 Ann Shalleck (American)
2010 Jane Barett (Maryland)
2011 Deborah Epstein (Georgetown)
2012 Phyllis Goldfarb (George Washington)
2014 Jon C. Dubin (Rutgers-Newark)
2015 Claudia Angelos (NYU)
2016 Gary Palm (posthumously)
2017 Elliott Milstein (American)
2019 Stephen Ellmann (posthumously)
2021 Robert Kuehn
2022 Sheila Bedi (Northwestern) and Ian Weinstein (Fordham)