Mark Your Calendars for the 2009 AALS Workshop on Clinical Legal Education

From Jane Spinak:

Dear Colleagues,
On behalf of the workshop committee, I am sending a brief description of the May workshop so that you can start planning your trip soon. We will be issuing RFPs in October for the two concurrent sessions that are being planned and for organizing the affinity group meetings described below. We will also be soliciting those musicians and singers among us who want to organize some of our musical activities. The Directors Day (May 5) is also being organized and we will have more information on that soon. We’re very excited about the collaborative work we’ve been doing with our clinical colleagues in Cleveland who have been extraordinarily helpful in drawing in some remarkable participants for the plenaries and in planning fun events. We hope to see many of you in Cleveland in May!

Workshop on Clinical Legal Education:
Emerging Lawyers: Clients, Complexity and Collaboration in a Cross-Disciplinary Lens
May 5-9, 2009 Cleveland, OH
Our students are adult learners entering a multifaceted profes¬sion. We expect them to learn how to interact professionally with us, with each other, and most impor¬tantly, with clients. They are faced with complex problems to solve just as they are trying on their new professional role. When we ask them to commit a semester, a year or even multiple terms to this en¬deavor, they rightfully expect that we are aware of how to teach adults about the ethical, legal and practi¬cal complexity of this unfamiliar role. They may also expect that we will draw on the expertise of teach¬ers of other professional disci¬plines to shape our approaches to their learning.
This workshop will help clinical teachers meet these expectations by inviting adult learning experts and colleagues from multiple professional disciplines to shape our discussion of three specific issues clinical teachers routinely face: how do lawyers solve complex problems; how do lawyers learn to shoulder the moral responsibility and weight of representing cli¬ents; and how do clinical teachers ensure and enhance their stu¬dents’ abilities to learn from the classmates who will soon be their colleagues.
To shake us all up a little as we address these issues, we have reor¬ganized the structure of the work¬shop. The most significant change is that we are organizing work¬ing groups by level of experi¬ence rather than affinity groups (don’t worry; there’s a signifi¬cant opportunity for affinity group meetings as you’ll read below). Working groups will also play a more central role in the overall workshop, allowing the groups to grapple with the issues presented by the plenary presentations. The concur¬rent sessions, which will occur only twice, will be structured around these learning themes. The last afternoon will be set aside for affinity group meetings which the planning committee will assist the groups in organizing.
Cleveland will provide us with two organizing principles: ad¬dressing social justice and having fun. We will be identifying ways in which legal and social justice orga¬nizations are tackling Cleveland’s stark reality of being the poorest big city in the United States and integrating that knowledge into the program. But Cleveland is also a city rich in activities we all enjoy: baseball, art, classical music, and of course, rock and roll. We’ll find time for all of these plus, in honor of our rock and roll location, the program will include opportuni¬ties for clinicians to sing, make music and boogie the night away.

Planning Committee for the Workshop on Clinical Legal Education
Elizabeth B. Cooper, Fordham University
David Anthony Santacroce, The University of Michigan
Alexander Scherr, University of Georgia
Jane M. Spinak, Columbia University, Chair
Paulette J. Williams, University of Tennessee


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