Reminder: Proposals for Video Series on Teaching Methodologies

38th Annual Conference on Clinical Legal Education:

Leading the New Normal: Clinical Education at the Forefront of Change

May 4-7, 2015

Rancho Mirage, CA


The Planning Committee for the 2015 AALS Clinical Conference issues this call for professors to participate in a video series designed to capture the creativity and innovation that is a hallmark of our community. The video collection will feature ideas about teaching methodology for an audience of law professors. Participants will work with the Committee to develop their topics and videotape their talk on Monday, May 4, the day before the Clinical Conference.[1] The AALS has expressed a strong interest in embedding these videos on its website as part of an effort to convey more effectively the value of a legal education.

The new normal in legal education asks law teachers of all kinds to integrate practical lawyering skills and professional values into their teaching. These are topics central to our clinical teaching, and our community has the knowledge and experience to address them in interesting ways. We seek teachers who have developed thoughtful ideas about law school teaching and who want to spread those ideas to the broader community. We envision this project as a way to showcase you and the clinical community as leaders in teaching innovation and to inspire innovation by others. Starting this year, we mean to create a collection of short videos on law school pedagogy that can continue to develop over time and to foster further integration of active learning and practical skills in the law school curriculum. Topics could include:

  • 5 things every law professor should know about learning theory
  • the value of reflection in learning
  • beyond finals: 5 formative assessment tools for legal education
  • faculty teaching rounds: how they work and why you should host them
  • teaching collaboration
  • how to add a negotiation/mediation/interviewing/oral advocacy/drafting exercise into a law school course
  • how to make a simulation/role play successful
  • how to bring cross-cultural lawyering into a doctrinal course
  • top 5 tips for training externship field supervisors
  • what I’ve learned from being a law professor for __ years
  • 5 things I’ve learned about advising students

These topics are just illustrative; the value of this format is we can be open to ideas brought forth by participants.

The Clinical Conference represents an ideal time for taping. Each year, it draws us together for focused discussion of our roles and approaches as teachers and as lawyers. Taping at one time and in one location allows us to hire a professional videographer to assure a consistent look and solid production values. This year in particular, we are located in shouting distance of Hollywood, so our options are good.

Video format: We plan to produce up to 8 videos at the conference. We will consider proposals that address all kinds of teaching methods, including both clinic-specific methods and methods that integrate skills, values and professional development into other kinds of law school teaching.

The videos will each be between 5-10 minutes long, with a preference for shorter videos; studies show that shorter videos are more appropriate for an online format. The videos will be in the style of an interview, with a single person talking to the camera. You can view examples of this style, applied to substantive topics in immigration law, here.

Criteria for Selection: If you would like to take part in this project, please send a one-page summary of your video proposal to no later than March 16, 2015. In your proposal, please include the following information:

— your name and school affiliation.

— a working title for your video.

— a short description of the content you propose to cover.

— a short description of your goal for the video, including the impact you would like it to have and the takeaways that you will deliver to the viewer.

— a short statement of your relevant experience, including past experience with your particular topic, experience with videotaped talks and scholarship or presentations that relate to your proposal.

The Committee will review the proposals on a rolling basis with the goal of notifying the selected presenters by March 16, 2015. Participation as a presenter at the main conference does NOT disqualify you from participation in this project.

Commitment: We ask all people who we accept to make the following commitments:

— to participate in or review webinars that we will schedule before the conference on how to make an educational video.

— to develop an outline of your talk before the conference, in collaboration with members of the Planning Committee.

— to practice delivering your talk to others at your location before you attend the conference. We do not encourage speaking from a text, but instead encourage well-prepared spontaneity in your delivery. Practice can help you feel comfortable in this format.

— to be prepared to videotape your session on Monday, May 4. For many, this will require arrival at the conference location on Sunday, May 3. Please hold yourself available for that entire Monday. We will develop a schedule before the conference that gives each presenter a reserved time slot.

Taping: The talks will be videotaped at the conference hotel in 45 minute intervals from 9am-5pm on Monday, May 4, 2015. While the end-product will be roughly 10 minutes, you should expect to engage in multiple takes during your taping session.

This is a great opportunity to showcase your innovations to the legal academy. We hope you will consider putting in a proposal for the video project at the 2015 AALS Clinical Conference. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Michele Pistone,, or Alex Scherr,[1] The talks in this series will be videotaped during the first day of the Clinical Conference. They complement a growing collection of material about teaching methodology, including webinars organized by the Teaching Methodologies Committee of the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education.

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