News Blog

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

  • 04 May 2019 10:48 AM | Lauren Bartlett (Administrator)

    We hope to see many of you in San Francisco for the AALS Clinical Conference in May 2019.  As you make your arrangements for the Conference, we hope that you will calendar and consider joining us for the following CLEA activities:

    -  The biennial CLEA New Clinician's Conference will be on Saturday, May 4th, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at Golden Gate University School of Law.

    -   Please join our new colleagues and catch up with old friends at the CLEA Reception on Saturday, May 4th, at 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m, at Golden Gate University School of Law at 536 Mission St., San Francisco, CA.  Food will be served and drink tickets provided!

    - This year's CLEA Board and Open Membership Meeting will be on Tuesday May 7th, at 7:30 a.m.-8:45 a.m.  in Room Franciscan A, which is located in Tower 1 on the Ballroom level of the AALS CLinical Conference Hilton hotel in San Francisco. The meeting is open to all and is a wonderful way to learn more about the important work that CLEA is doing on so many fronts, and to pick up some cool swag.

    - In addition to the activities noted above, please plan to stop by and say hi at the CLEA Table at the conference.

  • 17 Apr 2019 9:51 AM | Lauren Bartlett (Administrator)

    2019 CLEA Award for Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers

    The CLEA Awards Committee has selected the late Stephen J. Ellmann as the winner of the 2019 Award for Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers. Over a highly distinguished law teaching career that spanned 35 years, Steve was the consummate scholar of clinical legal education, putting clinical legal scholarship on the map at a time when non-clinicians doubted its legitimacy. He engaged deeply with the process of lawyering and the ethical obligations of lawyers, writing a number of influential articles and co-writing a textbook on interviewing and counseling. As the founder and long-time convener of the Clinical Legal Theory Workshop at Columbia and New York Law Schools, Steve nurtured the development of scholarship by numerous clinicians, prodding presenters with his probing questions in a manner that was both incisive and supportive.  He served as an important mentor to countless colleagues. Steve was a critical advocate for expanding experiential education at New York Law School and was a key faculty player in the law school’s extension of long-term security of position to its clinicians. He was a multi-talented advocate and academic, producing two books on the fight for social justice in South Africa, the last completed shortly before his untimely death, and addressing issues of national security and emergency powers in post-9-11 New York City. Steve’s combination of brilliance, fierce advocacy, and personal kindness make him a worthy recipient of this award.

     

    2019 CLEA Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project

    The CLEA Awards Committee is thrilled to announce that the Legislation Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law is the recipient of the 2019 CLEA Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project.

    Menstrual products are necessities of life, but low-income women, girls, and other menstruators are often forced to risk unsafe and low-quality menstrual products or go without them entirely, especially if they are in schools, shelters, and correctional facilities. The problem is compounded by a lack of uniform policy. No comprehensive federal law guarantees access to quality, affordable menstrual products, and only a handful of state and local governments have addressed affordability and access to these critical supplies.

    In May 2018, the UDC Law Legislation Clinic captured this reality when it released a groundbreaking report, Periods, Poverty, and the Need for Policy: A Report on Menstrual Inequity in the U.S. The launch of the report marks the culmination of a two-year-long partnership between the Legislation Clinic and Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters (BRAWS), a nonprofit that distributes new menstrual products, bras, and underwear to schools and more than 45 shelters serving women and girls in the greater D.C. area.

    Since BRAWS retained the clinic in 2016, the partnership secured several reforms, including the repeal of D.C.’s “tampon tax,” funding for the D.C. repeal, and passage of a Virginia law mandating that correctional facilities provide free menstrual products to inmates. “Before the Legislation Clinic, we had made little progress with our advocacy efforts,” said Holly Seibold, BRAWS’ Founder and Executive Director. “We have accomplished extraordinary feats in such a short period of time. We were able to overcome insurmountable obstacles, such as a stigmatized topic, and became a credible, key player in public policy.”

    Honorable Mentions

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

    Albany Law School Immigration Clinic’s Detention Outreach Project. Over this past summer, over 300 immigrants who had come to the southern border seeking asylum were unexpectedly sent to Albany County Jail. Within hours, Professor Sarah Rogerson began pulling together an emergency legal response to assist the detainees in preparation for their credible fear interviews with ICE. This incredible effort drew the attention of the media and government officials, ultimately resulting funding for legal services at the jail. In the end, over ninety percent of the clients represented were given permission to apply for asylum in the U.S. Professor Rogerson’s leadership and the volunteer efforts of other Albany clinicians, Professor Mary Lynch and Professor Nancy Maurer, and staff members Julina Guo and Amanda Nazario, helped to change of lives of hundreds of asylum seekers.

    The Florida State University Public Interest Law Center’s Juvenile Solitary Confinement Project, led by Professor Paolo Annino and Fellow Caitlyn Kio, has applied a multi-faceted approach in advocating the abolition of placing juveniles in solitary confinement in Florida for the last five years. Using their own research and data, JSCP students engage with legislators, lobbyists, heads of state agencies, and other officials to reform Florida’s laws and policies to improve the lives of children. Through the hard work of the JSCP and its allies, juvenile solitary confinement reformation has been propelled from a non-starter in Florida’s legislature to a realistic statewide reform.

    The Fordham Law School Clinic’s “Driver Suspension” Project is a collaboration of the Federal Tax Clinic and Legislative Policy Clinic, led by Professors Elizabeth Maresca and Elizabeth Cooper. Over 24,000 New Yorkers had suspended driver’s licenses because of an inability to pay back taxes they owed. The two clinical professors joined forces (and clinics) to carve out a hardship exception to the NYS Tax Law in order to stop “punishing the poor.” For nearly two years, they and their students used direct legislative advocacy efforts to write a bill, get it sponsored, give oral testimony and speak with over 100 legislators to amend the statute. On March 31, 2019, the hardship exception was signed into law by the governor and the legislature.

    The Maryland Juvenile Lifer Parole Representation Project is a working group comprised of the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Juvenile Justice Project, the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law’s Innocence Project Clinic & Clemency Project, and the American University Washington College of Law’s Criminal Justice Clinic and interested non-profits and law firms. Clinicians at these law schools include Jane Murphy, Lila Meadows, Sandy Ogilvy and Binny Miller. The group came together to respond to a critical and unmet need for legal representation for people serving life sentences in Maryland’s prisons for crimes committed as juveniles. As of April 2019, the project has recruited 53 attorneys who are currently representing 29 clients sentenced to life as juveniles. Several clients have moved forward to the risk assessment phase of parole, a step required before release. Project attorneys are also responsible for the release on parole of two juvenile lifers, the first two since 1995.

    The Tulane Law School Women’s Prison Project serves incarcerated women trapped in a criminal justice system that first failed to protect them from violence, and later failed to consider the role of abuse in crimes they were accused of committing. Through clemency, parole, and post-conviction cases, Project students challenge Louisiana’s draconian sentencing for women who kill an abusive partner or co-offend under the duress of one. The Project also advocates for criminal justice reform on issues affecting incarcerated survivors of abuse through legislation, targeted litigation, education, and training.

    Please join us in congratulating all of these inspiring individuals and clinics. We hope to see you at the AALS Clinical Conference in San Francisco, where we will formally present the awards.

    Sincerely,

    The CLEA Awards Committee

    Anju Gupta (Co-Chair)

    Jane Stoever (Co-Chair)

    Praveen Kosuri

    Perry Moriearty

    Kele Stewart

  • 16 Apr 2019 8:07 AM | Lauren Bartlett (Administrator)

    CLEA will hold its New Clinicians Conference in San Francisco, CA, on Saturday, May 4, 2019, from 8:00am to 4:30pm.  The New Clinicians Conference will be held at Golden Gate University School of Law, a short distance from the AALS conference hotel.

    This full-day program is structured to provide important guidance from leaders in the field and then allow for group discussion after each topic. This format provides community-building and structure conversations on foundational topics like clinical teaching, supervision and feedback, a lay of the land, complexities in clinical teaching, critical and reflective practice and learning for transfer, difficult conversations, and assessment and grading.   After a full day of conversations, you may need a refreshment at the end of the day reception where you will meet fellow CLEA members and clinical colleagues. 

    The registration fee includes the CLEA’s New Clinicians Handbook (recently updated), a full day of programming, conversations and meals (breakfast, lunch, and a reception to follow).

    All 85 spots for this conference have been filled.  Thank you.

  • 01 Apr 2019 1:33 PM | Jeff Baker
    from Derrick Howard, co-chair for CLEA’s Social Justice Issues Committee

    If you stop random people on the street to ask how they define social justice, you are likely to receive varying responses that collectively reflect social justice is equal access to wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.  Within those broad parameters, social justice relates to the environment, race, gender, sustainable development goals, responses to humanitarian crisis, and other causes and manifestations of inequality. Digging deeper to further define this concept may also reveal that the victims of social injustice are everywhere, including our neighborhoods, our communities, and even our classrooms.  Victims of social injustice frequently include the poor, but also encompass individuals and groups who are socially, economically, culturally, politically, institutionally or otherwise discriminated against.

    Many law students attend law school with the intention of learning how they can use their knowledge and skills to assist marginalized groups and individuals, change current oppressive political and economic systems, and use legal strategies to advance social justice.  However, there are many factors that deter law students from truly achieving such lofty goals. These factors include: the culture and pedagogy of legal education that produces more aspiring corporate lawyers than attorneys dedicated to protecting the interests of underrepresented or indigent clients; rising tuition and debt that limit choices law school graduates have to pursue careers at nonprofits; and the subtle pressure law students feel to abandon the political and moral values that initially informed their decision to become lawyers.

    To shed light on the efforts of CLEA’s members to combat social injustice, CLEA’s Social Justice Issues Committee has been charged with “[disseminating] information regarding CLEA-supported social justice endeavors and projects as well as diversity issues."  Through this and future blogs we hope to attract volunteers to commit to writing a blog-style, op-ed-style, or newspaper-article-style post about an ongoing social justice project or resource available within CLEA's community. The Social Justice Issues Committee intends to roll out the posts we receive beginning in April 2019 and posting one every month.  We will post them on the CLEA website and share them through the CLEA social media platforms, the listservs, and the Clinical Law Prof blog. We hope we have a good impact, amplify some important stories, and build a foundation for future work.

    There are daily reminders in the media, social networks, and hallway conversations that the world is at a defining moment for collective action against social injustice.  We know anecdotally that there are many courses and programs offered at law schools around the country that promote opportunities for students to help others while learning valuable lawyering skills.  For example, earlier this year, students from The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law traveled to Mexico to provide pro bono assistance to members of the migrant caravan seeking asylum in the United States.  The legal services the migrants received included know-your-rights training, legal orientation workshops, and direct legal services. The students learned first-hand that the opportunity to be a practicing attorney brings with it the responsibility to use their skills to address social injustice.  Berkeley’s Pro Bono Program sponsored the trip in connection with a legal services nonprofit.

    We want to hear from you! Are you working on something exciting, innovative, or interesting that advances social justice goals? Know someone who is?

    Let us know. Email the Social Justice Issues Committee at derrick.howard@valpo.edu or jeff.baker@pepperdine.edu, and we may feature your work in an upcoming article.


  • 26 Feb 2019 2:39 PM | Lauren Bartlett (Administrator)

    CLEA's recent advocacy efforts with the ABA Legal Education Council have been highlighted in the following news articles:

    ABA Journal, ABA legal ed council delays decision on stricter bar passage standards (Feb. 22,  2019),  http://www.abajournal.com/web/article/aba-legal-education-council-delays-decision-on-stricter-bar-passage-standards

    ABA Journal, Legal ed groups ask ABA for more transparency while awaiting possible changes to bar passage standard (Feb. 22, 2019), http://www.abajournal.com/web/article/while-waiting-to-see-what-happens-with-bar-passage-standard-groups-ask-legal-ed-for-transparenc

    The National Law Journal, Tougher Bar Pass Standard for Law Schools is Back on the Table (Feb. 21, 2019), https://www.law.com/nationallawjournal/2019/02/21/tougher-bar-pass-standard-for-law-schools-is-back-on-the-table/?slreturn=20190127102133


  • 21 Feb 2019 9:37 AM | Lauren Bartlett (Administrator)

    On February 20, 2019, CLEA submitted two joint advocacy memorandums, with the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) and others, to the Council on the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar

    In the first joint memo, CLEA and SALT urge the Council to increase transparency in its processes and engage in meaningful dialogue with all interested constituencies before making decisions that affect law schools and the legal profession.

    The second advocacy memo urges the Council to once again reject the proposed changes to Standard 316 relating to bar passage.  The second memo is co-signed by SALT, the ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic JusticeABA Commission on Disability RightsABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & ResponsibilitiesABA Commission on Sexual Orientation & Gender IdentityABA Commission on Women in the ProfessionABA Council for Diversity in the Educational PipelineABA Law Student DivisionABA Young Lawyers DivisionHBCU Law Deans Gary Bledsoe, John C. Brittain, Elaine O’Neal, John Pierre, & LeRoy Pernell and the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA).




  • 27 Jan 2019 4:18 PM | Lauren Bartlett (Administrator)

    CLEA has submitted a letter urging the Members of the Members of the American Bar Association House of Delegates to reject a proposed resolution to amend Standard 316.  If passed, the amendment would required nationally accredited law schools to demonstrate that 75% of the members of each graduation class who sat for the bar within two years of graduation. 

    CLEA joins SALT and others in our criticism of this proposal to amend Section 316.

  • 02 Jan 2019 11:06 AM | Lauren Bartlett (Administrator)

    The Members of the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Board of Directors cordially invite you to CLEA's bi-annual board and membership meeting and a post-meeting dinner at the 2019 AALS Annual Conference in New Orleans. 

    CLEA's board and membership meetings are open to members and others interested in learning more about CLEA's advocacy and other work.  Attending this meeting is a great way to meet up with CLEA Board Members and other clinicians attending the AALS Conference, as well as to find out how to get involved with CLEA.  The post-meeting dinner is open to anyone interested in a social gathering of CLEA members and other clinicians from across the U.S. All are welcome to attend either or both the meeting/dinner.

    The board and membership meeting will take place on Thursday January 3, 2019 from 5:00-6:30pm CT in the ACLU of Louisiana Conference room at Orleans Tower, 1340 Poydras Street, 21st Floor Conference Room, New Orleans, LA  70112.

    The post-meeting dinner will take place at 7pm at Domenica Restaurant, 123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA  70112.  Dinner attendees are required to RSVP and to pay for their own dinner and drinks.

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