CLEA's Report to ABA Council (Dec. '14)

13 Nov 2014 1:19 PM | Maritza Karmely



to the

Council of the American Bar Association

Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar

for its meeting on

December 5, 2014


The Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) is pleased to submit this report of its activities since it last reported to the Council in August 2014.

CLEA’s membership is comprised of over 1000 dues paying legal educators who teach students in a variety of real practice settings – from in-house clinics where students represent clients under our supervision; to externship placements where students work under the supervision of lawyers in-the-field with whom we collaborate closely to oversee our students’ learning experience; to an almost infinite variety of hybrids between the two.  Our members are at the forefront of responding to and planning for the on-going changes in legal education, particularly the relatively recent recognition of the importance and value of experiential education.  We are commited to the process of innovation in clinical legal education to best train law students for practice in the twenty-first century.  CLEA remains an important clearinghouse of information, communicating proposed regulatory changes and developments to our members, and providing a conduit through which these experienced educators can add to the national dialogue about the best practices in legal education.

Some highlights of CLEA’s activities since our last report include:

  • CLEA’s State Bar Initiatives Working Group provided written comments to the California Bar Association’s Task Force on Admission Regulation Reform which has been working to implement the requirement that all law students have 15 units of practice-based, experiential training; in part, we advocated that the 15 units be earned through credit-bearing law school courses so that California’s state-specific reform could incorporate by reference the national standards adopted by the ABA for experiential education;

  • CLEA continues to collaborate with the American Association of Law School’s (AALS) Clinical Section; for example, our Per Diem Committee is working with the AALS Conference Planning Committee to coordinate the selection and presentation of CLEA’s Per Diem Award to a local not-for-profit in Rancho Mirage, CA, where the May 2015 annual clinical conference will take place; likewise CLEA’s and AALS’s Newsletter Committees are coordinating to provide better coverage of news and new developments in our community;

  • Through its Conference Committee, CLEA continues to financially support regional clinical conferences and externship conferences.  Since August 2014, CLEA has given an average grant of $500.00 to the Southern Regional Clinical Conference, Externships 7 Conference, and the Northern California Clinical Conference;


  • CLEA’s Election Committee has successfully solicited nominations for candidates to be elected to the CLEA Board and Executive Committee, and worked to ensure that every Member receives an electronic ballot and is able to vote in our upcoming elections.


As always, we appreciate the opportunity to participate in the Council’s work as an affiliate and look forward to continued constructive engagement with the shared goal of improving legal education.


Donna H. Lee                                            Jenny Roberts

CUNY School of Law                                  American University, Washington College of Law

CLEA Co-President                                    CLEA Co-President


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