News Blog

CLEA news blog: you can use your news aggregator to monitor the latest on the CLEA website.

  • 27 Apr 2021 12:41 PM | Anonymous

    The Spring 2021 CLEA Newsletter is out now and filled with announcements, updates, celebrations, and articles of interest to our wonderful clinical community. Enjoy and best wishes for the end of the semester. 

    Click here to download the newsletter!

  • 22 Apr 2021 12:04 PM | Michael Murphy (Administrator)

    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. CLEA is equally thrilled to announce that the Irwin County Detention Center Project (a collaboration of six schools’ clinics) is the recipient of the 2021 CLEA Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project. 

    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. 

    Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project: 

    The Irwin County Detention Center Project addresses the welfare and legal rights of women detained by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement at the Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Georgia. These women were subjected to non-consensual, medically unindicated, or invasive gynecological procedures at ICDC, many of which amounted to sexual assaults. They suffered severe retaliation when they tried to speak out about these procedures, including actual or attempted accelerated deportation.  

    A group of six law school clinicians and clinics formed to help these women: Professors Sabi Ardalan (Harvard Law School); Jason Cade (University of Georgia School of Law); Fatma Marouf (Texas A&M School of Law); Elora Mukherjee (Columbia Law School); Clare Norins (University of Georgia School of Law); and Sarah Sherman-Stokes (Boston University School of Law). Aware of the magnitude of the challenge, they elicited collaborators that included non-profits, private firms, legislative advocates, and community organizers.  

    The Project’s advocacy includes a federal class action on behalf of 14 of the women and others similarly situated, immigration proceedings, administrative complaints, and legislative advocacy. The clinics have won stays of deportation for most of the plaintiffs. The Project’s efforts have resulted in the release of nearly all 80 women in ICDC, as well as over 200 men. The work has generated national media coverage and elicited a crucial intervention from 100 members of Congress. Overcoming barriers of geography, access, and the pandemic, the clinics’ work exemplifies the use of multi-faceted strategy and collaborative practice to address a shocking injustice. 

    Honorable Mentions

    The CLEA Awards Committee received numerous outstanding nominations and determined that the following nominations merited an honorable mention. 

    University of Alabama Domestic Violence Clinic 

    Between 2017 and 2020, the University of Alabama School of Law Domestic Violence (DV) Clinic, under the supervision of Professor Courtney Cross, represented Geneva Cooley, an elderly survivor of domestic violence, who had been sentenced to life without parole for drug trafficking in 2002. As a result of the DV Clinic’s advocacy, Ms. Cooley was resentenced from life without parole to life with the possibility of parole in 2019. The case was the first of its kind and paved the way for several other prisoners to be released. Following resentencing, the DV Clinic successfully represented Ms. Cooley at her parole hearing, and she was released to a transitional home in Alabama. Though Ms. Cooley lived in Alabama, her entire family lived in New York. Through a collaboration with St. John Law School’s Consumer Justice for the Elderly Clinic, Ms. Cooley was able to regain ownership of a family property in New York City and finally returned home to New York in Fall 2020. 

    University of Detroit Mercy Federal  Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic  

    The University of Detroit Mercy Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic provides limited scope representation to low-income non-prisoner pro se litigants who have civil cases pending or to be filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division. The Clinic operates under Administrative Order of the Court, and prior to its opening on January 18, 2018, low-income pro se litigants were without free legal assistance options. The Clinic has assisted over 500 individuals and provided more than 10,000 hours of free legal services to date. The Clinic is housed at the Eastern District’s courthouse in downtown Detroit but has operated remotely since March 2020, due to the Court’s pandemic restrictions.  

    Duke Law School’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic 

    Duke Law School’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic helped secure the release of Ronnie Long, who had spent 44 years in North Carolina prisons for a rape he did not commit. The State convicted Mr. Long by suppressing favorable evidence, including results of tests on evidence from the crime scene that did not implicate him, evidence that ultimately exonerated him. Numerous students worked with clinic faculty on the case over the course of five years, culminating in a hearing before the entire Fourth Circuit that was argued virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The case attracted significant national and regional media attention and helped to further highlight the many persistent injustices of our system of criminal law, particularly those suffered by Black men. Mr. Long was the ninth client exonerated through the work of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic since it was founded in 2008. 

    Florida State University College of Law Forced Child Labor Project

    In response to the UN declaring 2021 the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor, Florida State University College of Law created the Forced Child Labor Project, which advocates against forced child labor in international supply chains. The goal of the Project is two-fold: 1) to educate the legal community of the pervasive practice of forced child labor in goods we consume; and 2) to enforce Section 307 of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 which prohibits the importation into the United States of forced child labor goods. Please view: Cocoa and Valentine’s Day Video:

    University of Nebraska College of Law Tenant Assistance Project 

    The Tenants Assistance Project (TAP) was developed to change and improve the representation paradigm that exists in landlord-tenant cases. Since the Project began a year ago, more than 60 Lincoln-area attorneys and several dozen senior-certified law students from the University of Nebraska College of Law have ensured that every tenant that appears for an eviction hearing and seeks assistance is provided legal representation. Law students Alan Dugger, Tessa Lengeling, Sarah O’Neill, and Amy Sonnenfeld have all made significant contributions to the Project, and in doing so have helped many low-income families in the Lincoln community. 

    West Virginia University College of Law Immigration Clinic 

    The West Virginia University College of Law Immigration Clinic is fighting to represent and empower a long-underserved immigrant population. There is only one other full-time immigration practitioner for a statewide community of 30,000 foreign-born residents and their families, so the Immigration Clinic is bridging the gap through a uniquely holistic legal practice, community education and resources, and systemic advocacy. The clinic is also working to build a local immigration bar from the group up, by facilitating attorney mentorship, developing a CLE certificate program, and recruiting law students who will commit to local immigration practice. 

    The 2021 CLEA Awards will be presented at the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education on Friday, April 30, 12:00-1:00 Eastern. We look forward to celebrating our clinical community! 

    The CLEA
     Awards Committee

    • Anju Gupta (Rutgers-Newark)
    • D’lorah Hughes (Irvine) 
    • Praveen Kosuri (Pennsylvania)
    • Perry Moriearty (Minnesota)
    • Kele Stewart, Co-Chair (Miami)
    • Jane Stoever, Co-Chair (Irvine) 

  • 21 Apr 2021 5:25 PM | Michael Murphy (Administrator)

    CLEA Statement of Anti-Racist Legal Education

    Nearly a year has passed since historic events and protests, domestically and internationally, brought renewed attention to racial justice and the discriminatory and racist practices ever present in our social structures. The Black Lives Matter protests called attention to the unjust and disproportionate treatment of Black and Brown individuals by law enforcement and other institutions. More recently, violent attacks have roiled Asian communities, which have already been the targets of violence and hateful rhetoric since the COVID-19 pandemic began. And publicized incidents at various institutions of higher learning have demonstrated the failure of these institutions to protect students from racism, even within the walls of academia. As law schools and faculties reflect on how to advance racial justice and equality, the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) calls upon law school administrations and faculties, including experiential faculty, to play an active role in reforming our institutions and transforming our communities to be anti-racist.

    An anti-racist curriculum is essential to disrupting and undoing racism in all its forms. Experiential courses are a critical component of any effective anti-racist curriculum, as such courses often allow for individualized student engagement, via legal work in local and marginalized communities, in order to promote social change and access to justice.

    But experiential faculty should not rest on traditional notions of clinical and externship pedagogy. We encourage experiential faculty to actively implement principles of anti-racist education into their teaching. As recent events have made clear, students from marginalized backgrounds have long been considered less qualified and competent than their peers by some faculty, including law faculty. Such treatment creates an inequitable and hostile educational environment that can impede students’ ability to learn and succeed. As experiential faculty, we are particularly concerned with how racist and biased views from faculty members can negatively affect student performance in experiential courses. The elimination of biases and the perception of biases in grading and assessment is particularly important in experiential courses, which do not generally employ blind or anonymous grading. Experiential faculty must therefore create an intellectual environment that promotes a climate of equity and inclusivity for all students.

    CLEA also encourages law schools to treat their experiential faculty equitably in terms of pay, job security, and status, as those faculty members are often disproportionately women and racial minorities. Inequalities between faculty members communicate to students, whether implicitly or explicitly, the relative value of those faculty. Moreover, even as women and racial minorities tend to be overrepresented in experiential faculties as compared to non-experiential faculties, law schools must do more to increase the diversity in their experiential faculties. As a recent essay by the CLEA Faculty Equity & Inclusion Committee demonstrates, the racial diversity of clinical faculty has remained stagnant in recent decades. The need for diverse faculties in experiential education is self-evident. Demographics matter, and any lack of diversity in experiential faculty negatively affects students, clients, and communities alike. CLEA has led efforts to diversify clinical and externship faculties and will continue that work in upcoming programming at the 2021 AALS Clinical Conference, in materials developed with the AALS Clinical Section Policy Committee, and in legal scholarship. We look forward to continuing this work alongside our colleagues in the coming months and years through specific recommendations aimed at improving the dismal demographical data that our research has identified.

    Law schools should take proactive steps to ensure that their faculty members work to eliminate biases and racism in their teaching and should support their students of color, who inevitably face disparate treatment and shoulder the burdens of responding to such incidents. They should also prioritize hiring faculty members that reflect the communities they serve in their experiential programs and treat those faculty members equitably. Despite the recent attention given to anti-racist initiatives, law schools have much work to do in their quest to develop a more equitable, just, and inclusive discipline and profession. CLEA looks forward to working with its members and other members of legal academia to further these goals.

    This statement was drafted and approved by the CLEA Faculty Equity & Inclusion Committee and approved by the CLEA Board of Directors.

    Click here for a PDF of this statement

  • 12 Apr 2021 6:17 PM | Anonymous

    The CLEA Awards Committee is once again soliciting nominations for its student awards. Beginning this year, in addition to the CLEA Outstanding Clinic Student or Outstanding Clinic Team Award, schools can honor students with the CLEA Outstanding Externship Student Award. The 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 awards are given annually at the completion of the academic year. 

    Criteria for the CLEA Outstanding Clinic Student or Team Award (One Award Per School) and the CLEA Outstanding Externship Student Award (One Award Per School)

    For the clinic award, each school must select one student OR one team enrolled in a law school clinic course. A team may be recognized if students work together as a team and it would be impossible or unfair to single out one team member for recognition. Schools may select one student or one team, but may not submit more than one nomination for the clinic award. For the externship award, each school may select one student enrolled in an externship course. 

    The criteria for the Clinic Student/Team and Externship Awards are:

    • Excellence in the field work component of the clinic/externship course determined by the quality of the student’s or team’s performance in assisting or representing individual or organizational clients or in undertaking advocacy or policy reform projects;
    • Excellence in the seminar component of the clinic course or externship determined by the quality of the student’s or team’s thoughtfulness and self-reflection in exploring the legal, ethical, strategic, and other pertinent issues raised in the particular clinic or externship;
    • For the Team award, the ability of the students to engage in effective collaboration; and
    • The nature and extent of the student’s or team’s contribution to the clinical community at the law school, legal community, or broader community, if relevant.

    Nomination & Selection Process:

    Each law school may nominate one clinic award recipient and one externship award recipient. The full-time clinical faculty at each law school with faculty who are members of CLEA are asked to nominate a single student or a team of students from their law school for the clinic award and a single student for the externship award. Recipient students must graduate during or after the academic year in which the award is given. Each school then submits the nominations to the CLEA Awards Committee. 

    The nomination deadline is May 31, 2021Please send nominations to the CLEA Awards Committee via this form(

    In the form, the clinical faculty of each school will be asked to: 

    • Indicate whether you would like to give the Clinic Student award or the Clinic Team award. 
      • For the Clinic Student award and the Externship Student Award:indicate the name of the student as you would like it to appear on the certificate.
      • For the Clinic Team award, indicate the names of the students as you would like them to appear on the certificate, separated by commas, or indicate the name of the team as you would like it to appear on the certificate. We appreciate formatting your response to this question in a manner that can easily be copied and pasted into the certificate. 
    • Indicate the name of the law school as you would like it to appear on the certificate.   
    • Provide a brief statement (no more than 250 words) of the reasons why each student or team meets the criteria for the award. 

    The CLEA Awards Committee will issue an electronic certificate, and the clinical faculty can print and present the award at the law school’s graduation ceremony or at some other appropriate time, including remotely, as determined by the clinical faculty. Note that, even for the Clinic Team award, each school will receive one electronic certificate (of which multiple copies can be printed for presentation to the students). Certificates will be issued on a rolling basis (please allow up to one week to receive the electronic certificate).

    If you have photographs of the award recipients receiving the certificates, please feel free to send pictures for posting on the CLEA website to the CLEA Communications Committee at

  • 01 Mar 2021 3:39 PM | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to announce that registration for the 2021 Virtual New Clinicians Conference is now OPEN! Please visit the conference website to register and learn more about the incredible programming of this entirely free conference that will be held online between May 17 - May 20th, 2021. 

  • 11 Feb 2021 3:54 PM | Michael Murphy (Administrator)

    CLEA's Best Practices in Pedagogy is pleased to announce the next session it its "Teaching Justice" webinar series. 

    Kicking the series off for 2021 will be Deborah Archer (NYU School of Law) and Kele Stewart (University of Miami School of Law) presenting Lawyering Across Silos for Community Equity on February 25, 2021, at 1pm EST/ 12pm CST/11am MST/10am PST. 

    Please register here:

    As ever, the goal for these sessions is to highlight new approaches to teaching justice in the classroom, drawing on the wisdom of current resistance movements.

    And - please mark your calendars for the following session in March:

    Teaching Justice through Abolition
    March 15, 2021
    12pm EST/11am CST/10am MST/9am PST, Alexis Hoag (Columbia Law School) 

    If you'd like to view past sessions, you can find them here:

  • 04 Feb 2021 6:23 PM | Jeff Baker (Administrator)

    We are excited to share that CLEA will again offer a FREE Virtual New Clinicians Conference on May 17-20, 2021.

    Like last year's conference, which brought together more than 250 attendees, the 2021 CLEA Virtual New Clinicians Conference will convene over four days. Each day's program will begin at 11:00 a.m. Eastern and conclude at 1:30 or 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Our varied conference format will include live and asynchronous webinar programming, concurrent sessions, and facilitated small group discussions. We also expect to offer some fun networking opportunities, including an evening social event during the week of the conference. Session topics will include:

    Foundations of Clinical Teaching: An Overview of Best Practices

    Racial Justice in the Classroom and in Practice

    Technology Innovations in Clinical Teaching and Practice

    Teaching Movement Lawyering

    Clinical Teaching and Practice During Crisis

    Pedagogy Deep-Dive: Clinic Design

    Pedagogy Deep-Dive: Externship Design

    Plus: Case Rounds, Supervision, and More!

    We will be back in touch later this month to share a detailed schedule and information for how you can register to attend the 2021 CLEA Virtual New Clinicians Conference. For now, please SAVE THE DATES (May 17-20, 2021) and do not hesitate to contact us or any of the CLEA New Clinicians Committee members identified below with questions.

    We look forward to “seeing” you in May for the 2021 CLEA Virtual New Clinicians!

    Best wishes,

    Lisa Martin and Danny Schaffzin

    On behalf of the CLEA New Clinicians Committee:

    Lisa Martin (University of South Carolina) (Co-Chair)

    Danny Schaffzin (University of Memphis) (Co-Chair)

    Jeff Baker (Pepperdine)

    Kathryn Banks (Washington University in St. Louis)

    Lauren Bartlett (St. Louis University)

    Christine Cerniglia (Stetson)

    Crisanne Hazen (Harvard)

    Rachael Kohl (Michigan)

    Praveen Kosuri (Penn)

    C. Benjie Louis (Hofstra)

    Nickole Miller (University of Baltimore)

    Sue Schechter (Berkeley)

    Shonda Sibley (Temple University)

    Anita Sinha (American University)

    Kele Stewart (Miami)

    Wendy Vaughn (Northern Illinois University)

  • 19 Jan 2021 10:49 AM | Anonymous

    2021 CLEA New Clinicians Virtual Conference

    May 17th - 20th, 2021

    Stay tuned for more details!

  • 03 Jan 2021 4:38 PM | Michael Murphy (Administrator)

    Please see over forty pages of new CLEA news in our CLEA Newsletter Winter 2020-2021. We hope everyone has a safe and smooth start to the new semester!

  • 09 Nov 2020 1:43 PM | Jeff Baker (Administrator)

    By Prof. Alicia Plerhoples

    Pivoting to Represent Nonprofits Confronting the Pandemic and Anti-Black Racism

    During a typical semester in the Social Enterprise & Nonprofit Law Clinic (SENLC) at Georgetown Law, law students represent D.C.-area social enterprises and nonprofits working in a range of fields, including social services, education, and international development. During this atypical semester, SENLC students have not only pivoted to virtual representation, they have also sharpened the focus of their representations to serve organizational clients who are responsive to the converging COVID-19 pandemic and our national reckoning with anti-Black racism. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the racial wealth gap, disparities in access to capital for Black-owned businesses, as well as workplace and educational inequities between a professional workforce who can work remotely and a working class who cannot.

    Recognizing that the pandemic is not only a public health crisis, but also an educational and economic crisis that has disproportionately impacted communities of color, and heeding our moral obligation to work to dismantle these inequities, this semester SENLC students are representing:

    (1) A newly-formed Virginia nonprofit that is providing college- and master-level tutors to low-income K-12 students to enhance their online education during COVID-19 school closures. The nonprofit is in its pilot phase and is operating with the support of Senator Warner (D-VA) who hopes to champion it nationally under the AmeriCorps umbrella;

     (2) A D.C. legal aid organization committed to saving the homes of D.C. residents through pro bono foreclosure legal defense;

    (3) A Virginia nonprofit focused on educational equity by providing scholarships and social-emotional learning resources to low-income college students;

    (4) A D.C. nonprofit whose mission is to empower, prepare, and advocate for Black women in the quantitative sciences, including economics, finance, and data sciences; and

    (5) A D.C. nonprofit offering free home ownership workshops and financial resources for teachers and other employees of D.C. Public Schools, 70% of whom are people of color and 50% of whom are Black, to allow educators to live where they work and build intergenerational wealth.

    SENLC students are representing these clients on grant funding, governance, contracts, liability protection, and compliance issues. The Clinic will continue to work with organizational clients confronting the economic and educational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-Black racism for the foreseeable future and has plans to work with mutual aid organizations and worker cooperatives in the spring semester.


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