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. 


2021 Award:

The CLEA Awards Committee is thrilled to announce that Bob Kuehn, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Clinical Education at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, is the recipient of the 2021 CLEA Award for Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers. 

Bob Kuehn’s many contributions to clinical legal education and his tireless advocacy for and on behalf of clinical teachers makes him more than deserving of this award. Organizationally, Bob has been on the Board of CLEA, serving as its president in 2011; he is the co-founder and vice president of the Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education (CSALE); and he has served on several AALS committees advancing clinical education and the status of clinical faculty. Bob is also very well known for advocating for the protection of the academic freedom rights of clinical faculty through his work on the AALS Clinical Section’s Political Interference Group and many journal articles and essays. In addition, Bob has authored articles debunking myths about clinical legal education including empirical evidence that: taking clinical courses does not negatively affect bar exam outcomes; universal clinical legal education is feasible and affordable; and clinical education is not responsible for high law school tuition. Bob has also been an active participant in planning conferences and speaking at national and regional conferences, especially about CSALE data.  

For over thirty years, Bob has been dedicated to the field of clinical legal education through his teaching and service. Bob started teaching in the clinical legal education program at Tulane University School of Law in 1989, where he taught in and directed the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic until 1999. After visiting at the law schools of Washington University, University of Michigan, and University of Utah, Bob joined the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Law in 2001, where he was the Associate Dean for Skills Programs and taught both in-house clinical and externship courses. Bob then joined the faculty at Washington University School of Law in 2009, where he has taught in-house clinical and externship courses and has been the Associate Dean for Clinical Education.  

Through his work, Bob has made invaluable contributions advancing clinical pedagogy, teaching, and the implementation of effective clinic and externship courses. On almost every issue affecting clinical legal education, Bob has been a spokesperson through his organizational work, scholarship, and speaking. 


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)



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