Clinical Legal Education Association

News Blog

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

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  • 26 Jan 2017 3:28 PM | Laura McNally-Levine (Administrator)

    The CLEA Board would like to ask for your help on a critical ABA advocacy issue. This fall, the ABA Council on Legal Education passed a dramatic revision to Standard 316, requiring every accredited law school to demonstrate that 75% of each graduating class that sat for the bar passed within two years of graduation. The Council passed the new standard, however, with no evaluation of the impact of this change, including the unintended consequences on schools in states with low bar pass rates, student admissions decisions, law school curricular design. In fact, the Council passed the proposed Standard 316 hastily, after less than an hour’s discussion, with virtually no consideration of the mounting opposition to the standard.

    You can help CLEA join the growing concerted effort to make sure that the House of Delegates does not simply rubberstamp Resolution 110B. Current examples of this effort include the attached letter from a group of prominent law school deans and a letter from the State Bar President of Michigan urging the House to send the resolution back for further investigation.

    The new Standard 316 is scheduled to be voted on by the ABA House of Delegates on February 6th at the ABA Miami Midyear Meeting as Resolution 110B. We ask that you contact your state representatives who serve on the House of Delegates and request that they send the proposed standard back to the Council for further consideration and additional study.

    To facilitate your communication with your state ABA Delegates, we are providing you with (1) background information on the revised Standard 316 in Resolution 110B and (2) a sample email for you to use to contact your representatives.

    Background on the revised Standard 316

    Under the new Standard 316, law schools would have to demonstrate that 75% of each graduating class who sat for the bar passed it within two years of graduation.

    In a comment submitted in July 2016, CLEA opposed this new standard arguing that the proposed change may have unintended and possibly quite damaging consequences on law school curricular design and the diversity of the legal profession. CLEA urged that the Council defer action on the standard to (1) conduct an evidence-based inquiry into the immediate impact of proposed Standard 316 on schools in states with low bar pass rates and on the diversity of law schools; and (2) consider more systemically whether the bar examination, as the exclusive means of assessing readiness to practice law, is too limited in the proficiencies it assesses for entry into the legal profession.

    CLEA was not alone in its opposition. More than a dozen comments were submitted in opposition, including comments from a group of twenty concerned law schools, SALT, the Historically Black Law Schools and Colleges Deans, and The Congressional Black Caucus. During the public hearing on the new standard, the only testimony presented was in opposition to the new standard. A complete list of comments submitted in opposition can be found here: http://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_education/resources/notice_and_comment/notice_comment_archive.html. The full hearing transcript of public testimony about the revised Standard 316 can be found here:

    http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_education_and_admissions_to_the_bar/council_reports_and_resolutions/comments/20160806_hearing_transcript.authcheckdam.pdf.

    After the Council passed its resolution, the California bar results were released. The overall pass rate for first-time takers from ABA accredited law schools was 62%. Only five of the 21 ABA accredited law schools in California had a pass rate above 75%.

    For your reference here are: (1) the revised Standard 316, (2) CLEA’s full comment opposing passage of the new standard, and (3) letters of opposition filed most recently by a collective of law school deans and the Michigan Bar Association President. The comments and public testimony present a range of arguments for why the ABA Council on Legal Education should not have passed the new Standard 316.

    Proposed Email

    Below is a draft email that you can use to present CLEA’s position:

    Dear ABA Delegate:

    I write to ask you to reject Resolution 110B, a revision of Standard 316 that dramatically changes the bar passage standard required for law school accreditation. I ask that you send Resolution 110B back to the Council on Legal Education for further study and consideration.

    Standard 316 is dense, complex, and inadequate. It needs to be revised. But in passing this new Standard 316, the Council has not adequately studied the impact of this change, including the unintended consequences on schools in states with low bar pass rates, student admissions decisions, law school curricular design, and the diversity of the legal profession. In fact, the Council passed the proposed Standard 316 hastily, after less than an hour’s discussion, with virtually no consideration of the dozens of written comments and public testimony that opposed its passage.

    I urge that the delegates of INSERT YOUR STATE HERE unanimously reject Resolution 110B and send it back to Council so that a careful, reliable, and comprehensive study of its impact can be conducted.

    Sincerely,

    SIGN NAME HERE

    How to find your state’s delegates

    Most state representatives for the ABA House of Delegates can be found on your state bar website. You can also simply use a search engine and type in your state name and “ABA House of Delegates.” We have found many state delegations using this very basic method. If you are a member of the ABA, there is a delegate directory link on the main ABA website that is accessible to you.

    We believe that if we mobilize CLEA members on issues that are critical to our mission, we can collectively make a difference. We would like you to contact your delegates by January 31st before the meeting begins on February 1. Thank you for taking the time to write to your delegates!

    Benjie Louis and Beth Schwartz

    CLEA Co-Presidents


  • 17 Jan 2017 2:50 PM | Laura McNally-Levine (Administrator)

    SAVE THE DATE

    The Clinical Legal Education Association's

    2017 New Clinicians Conference

    Saturday, May 6, 2017

    Denver, Colorado

    This year's New Clinicians Conference, hosted by the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), will take place at the Colorado Bar Association in downtown Denver, within walking distance from the AALS Clinical Conference hotel. The full-day program will include multiple plenary and facilitated small group sessions, as well as break-out sessions. If you are new to clinical teaching, please consider this event when making travel arrangements.

    Online registration and additional details will be available in a forthcoming announcement. Registration for the New Clinicians Conference is separate from the AALS Clinical Conference.

    If you have any questions, please contact: Cindy Batt (cbatt@law.stetson.edu) or Chrissy Cerniglia (cecernig@loyno.edu)

  • 12 Dec 2016 3:22 PM | Laura McNally-Levine (Administrator)

    Dear CLEA membership,

    This has been an exciting year for CLEA. One of our major accomplishments was finalizing CLEA’s Strategic Plan.  Please find attached the final Strategic Plan recently approved by the CLEA Board here.   

    CLEA's Strategic Plan is based on a year-long endeavor to gather information and ideas from both our membership and CLEA’s board.  As you may recall, we first started this process last fall by surveying our membership to decipher what you saw as CLEA’s strengths as well as areas requiring further development.  We discussed strategic planning during the January 2016 Board and Membership meetings. We then held a strategic planning retreat where we generated many thoughtful, comprehensive, and exciting ideas about how to shape the organization over the next several years.  At each step along the way we were guided by our pro bono consultant, Peter Toran. 

    At the beginning of the summer Margaret and I convened a strategic planning ad hoc committee, which included Beth Schwartz, Martina Cartwright, and Lisa Martin. This committee was invaluable for creating the version of the plan we are circulating today.  Based on all the feedback we received from the retreat, the meetings, and the survey, the ad hoc committee (in consultation with Peter) drafted the plan. Finally, we received feedback from our CLEA committee co-chairs and incorporated their suggestions into the final version after presenting the co-chairs’ feedback to the Board. We are very thankful for the feedback we received throughout this process and look forward to working with next year’s co-presidents, Benjie Louis and Beth Schwartz, on implementing the plan.

    To accomplish our plan, of course, CLEA needs the involvement of its members!  If you are interested in serving on a CLEA committee, please let us know.  

    As always, let us know if you have any questions.  Have a wonderful rest of 2016!

    Best,

    Maritza & Margaret

  • 07 Nov 2016 12:36 PM | Laura McNally-Levine (Administrator)

    The Fifth “Colonial Frontier” Legal Writing Conference - Saturday, December 3, 2016

    Hosted by: Duquesne University School of Law

    Drafting Statutes and Rules: Pedagogy, Practice, and Politics

    Practicing attorneys frequently engage in statutory, regulation, and rule drafting whether it be drafting corporate governance documents, crafting legislative initiatives for non-profit clients, or engaging with highly regulated industries. Despite increasing need for such skills in law practice, the drafting of statutes, ordinances, regulations, and rules (for public laws or governance of non-governmental entities) remains one of the least common law school subjects. Commonly, instruction focuses on the repercussions of poorly written statutes or rules, on the courts’ efforts at application and interpretation of statutory language, and on scholarly criticism of statutes. Instead, law schools should teach students and practitioners how to better draft statutes and similar documents to avoid confusion, ambiguities, disagreements, and litigation.

    Duquesne University School of Law's 2016 legal writing conference offers attendees an opportunity to hear from academicians who teach how to write statutory materials, practitioners who craft statutes and similar rules, and other scholars who study all forms of legislation. Lawyers representing corporate and non-profit clients, as well as those practicing in highly regulated areas of law, will find this program helpful in developing both skills in the art of statutory and rule drafting, and in learning about resources available to clients in need of such drafting.

    Attendance at the one-day conference, on Saturday, December 3, 2016, will be free for presenters, Duquesne faculty, and $50 for non-presenters with an academic or government affiliation; other attendees will be charged $125 for the full-day conference or $50 for those attending only the afternoon sessions. We anticipate offering continuing legal education credit of four hours for attorneys attending the entire conference; attendees may also register for the afternoon sessions for two hours of credit. Duquesne will provide free on-site parking to conference attendees. The conference will begin 9:00 a.m. with a welcoming breakfast and reception at the Duquesne University School of Law for persons attending the full day of the conference, followed by two hours of presentations. We will provide a catered, on-campus lunch for full-day or afternoon session attendees, followed by two hours of presentations, ending at approximately 3:30 p.m. We will then host a closing reception for full-day attendees, in the “Bridget and Alfred Pelaez Legal Writing Center,” the home of Duquesne’s LRW program.

    Pittsburgh is an easy drive or short flight from many cities. To accommodate persons wishing to stay over in Pittsburgh on Friday or Saturday evenings, Duquesne is arranging for a block of discounted rooms ($144 per night) at the Marriott City Center hotel adjacent to campus, within walking distance of the law school and downtown Pittsburgh. We will also provide attendees with information about the Pittsburgh area’s attractions, including our architectural treasures, museums, shopping, and sporting events. To register for the conference and review the conference agenda, information about hotel accommodations and other materials, please visit the conference webpage at http://law.duq.edu/events/drafting-statutes-and-rules-pedagogy-practice-and-politics.

  • 19 Sep 2016 11:21 AM | Laura McNally-Levine (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, January 3, 2017, the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) will hold back-to-back Board of Directors and Membership Meetings, shortly before the start of the AALS Annual Meeting. For those of you planning to be in San Francisco in January, we hope you’ll arrive early enough to attend one or both of these meetings.

    We want to thank the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, for generously providing the space, which is walking distance from the conference hotels.

    • The CLEA Board of Directors Meeting, open to all, will be held from 3 to 5 PM at 100 McAllister Street, at the corner of Leavenworth Street. The exact location is the large seminar room in the Community Justice Clinics on the third floor.
    • The CLEA Membership Meeting, also open to all, will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 PM at 198 McAllister Street, at the corner of Hyde Street. The meeting will take place in Classroom A on the ground floor.


  • 09 Sep 2016 12:59 PM | Laura McNally-Levine (Administrator)
    CLEA submitted a letter on Septemebr 8, 2016 to the Council of the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar  regarding the Standards Review Committee’s Planning Retreat.
  • 01 Sep 2016 1:04 PM | Laura McNally-Levine (Administrator)

    The CLEA Elections Committee—Anju Gupta (Rutgers School of Law), Steven Wright (University of Wisconsin School of Law), Erma Bonadero (University of Houston Law Center) and Tiffany Murphy (University of Arkansas School of Law)—is soliciting nominations of individuals to serve on the CLEA Board starting in January 2017. In addition, we are also seeking nominations for the Vice-President and Treasurer positions on the Executive Committee. Nominations are due October 1, 2016.

    All positions require a three-year commitment. We have attached a memo prepared by last year's CLEA Elections Committee, which sets forth the activities and responsibilities of CLEA Board members in more detail.

    Current CLEA members are invited to nominate themselves or other CLEA members as candidates for one of these positions. The committee also encourages “new clinicians” (defined as clinicians with fewer than 6 years of experience) to run for the CLEA Board. Our Bylaws create a separate election process for candidates identified as “new clinicians,” to ensure that the identified “new clinician” candidate who receives the greatest number of votes will be assured a place on the Board.

    The Committee strongly encourages CLEA members to nominate individuals from groups that are currently underrepresented within the leadership of various clinical institutions, including CLEA, the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education, and the Clinical Law Review.

    The nomination process is simple. Nominate yourself or someone else by replying to this email (please do not reply-all). If you are nominating yourself, please include a paragraph or two about why you are running and a link to your faculty profile, which will be included with the elections materials to be sent later in the fall. If you are nominating another CLEA member, there is no need to include such a paragraph; the name of the individual and institution will suffice, and the Election Committee will contact the nominee for further information. If you have fewer than six years of clinical teaching experience and wish to be identified as a “new clinician” candidate, or if you want to nominate a candidate for the “new clinician” category, please indicate that as well. Although the process of nomination is easy, our Bylaws set a strict deadline for receiving nominations. All nominations must be received by October 1, 2016.

    If you have questions about the CLEA Elections process, please reply to this email or contact the Chair of the Elections Committee, Anju Gupta, at agupta@kinoy.rutgers.edu.


  • 09 Aug 2016 8:31 PM | Laura McNally-Levine (Administrator)

    CLEA submitted a report to the ABA regarding CLEA’s activities since June 2016. Janet Jackson and Maritza Karmely will be attending the ABA Annual Meeting on behalf of CLEA in August 2016.

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