Women’s Leadership in Academia Conference – Registration is Open

The Women’s Leadership in Academia Conference will be held July 19-20, 2018 at the University of Georgia’s School of Law in beautiful Athens, GA. The conference is being organized by the University of Georgia School of Law and the Women’s Leadership in Academia Initiative.

This conference provides substantive leadership programming aimed at advancing women law professors, law librarians, and clinicians in leadership positions in the academy.

Please visit the conference website at http://www.law.uga.edu/womens-leadership-academia-conference to see the schedule, read about supplemental events such as a CV review opportunity and an optional book club, and register to attend. The conference website also has information about travel and available hotel blocks.


Publishing “Building on Best Practices in Legal Education”

Regular readers of this blog know that a team of editors, authors and readers are hard at work on a follow up volume to Roy Stuckey (and others), Best Practices in Legal Education (2007), published by the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA).

I’m delighted to announce that the new volume, Building on Best Practices, expected out in early to mid-2015, will be published by Lexis. As a service to the legal education community, Lexis will make the book available to all law teachers for free through their Electronic Library. In addition, they state that they will do a print run of the book and provide copies for free on request.

Along with author Cynthia Batt, my co-editors Lisa Bliss and Carrie Kaas will be presenting on the book at this Friday’s New York Law School Clinical Theory Workshop, as I listen in eagerly from Seattle. If you’ll be in the area, please join the discussion. Contact Steve Ellman of NYLS for more information.

Building on Best Practices: Call for Ideas and Authors

The Clinical Legal Association, Best Practices Implementation Committee is planning a follow-up publication to Best Practices for Legal Education by Roy Stuckey and others.     The vision of the book is to build on ideas for implementing best practices, and to develop new theories and ideas on Best Practices for Legal Education.   If you would like to author a section in the book please let us know as soon as possible.   Then by December 1, 2011 send either of us a 3-5 page abstract identifying the knowledge, skills and values as well as the learning objectives and methodology of your innovative teaching idea.   The Editorial Board will meet at the AALS meeting in January to select pieces for inclusion in the book.


If you have any questions or thoughts about the project please feel free to contact either of us.


Looking forward to drawing  on the expertise of the legal academy to build on Best Practices for Legal Education!


Antoinette Sedillo Lopez ,Chair, Publication Committee

Deborah Maranville,  co-editor


Moving Beyond the Headlines

In recent months, the legal profession and legal education has come under attack by newspapers, bloggers, and even lawsuits in some cases. The fact is, unemployed law school graduates are unsatisfied with legal education which is entirely understandable given the level of debt many impose on themselves relying on a job that may not come.

It is very easy to be consumed by the headlines.  Just today a New York Post Op Ed was published entitled Do law schools defraud students? The article attacks law school employment statistics, in the same way that we have seen so many times since the economy turned south. This blog has posted about some of the articles in the past.

The ABA Journal also has an article by Debra Cassens Weiss entitled LSAC Considers Role Confirming Law School LSAT and Grade Stats, ABA Journal, discussing the Law School Admissions Council’s response to reports that two law school had inflated statistics about their incoming class.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly cares about the legal profession and legal education enough to focus on fixing problems rather than dwelling on them, or worse, ignoring them.  Stagnation in legal education is partially to blame for dissatisfaction.  Using the same courses and structures without focusing on practical skills leads to graduates that are not prepared to be productive lawyers.

For sure, law schools cannot teach students everything they need to know, but we can create engaged classrooms, make sure law students have met foundational learning objectives, and integrate practice into the classroom. We can ask students to engage in roleplaying to start developing skills and habits for handling the ethical issues they will face; we can prepare them for client interaction.

Not all change has to be drastic, and we do not have to aim for perfection right away. We need steps. Incremental change. New ideas that are formed through collaboration between the clinical, doctrinal, practical, lawyering and legal writing faculty.

One place to take the first step is at the  Center for Excellence in Law Teaching’s (CELT’s) inaugural conference on Setting and Assessing Learning Objectives from Day One that will bring together faculty from across the curriculum to explore how to set and assess foundational objectives for law students.

We encourage collaborative presentations from faculty teaching throughout the curriculum including those who teach in the first year, the upper level curriculum, the legal writing program, the lawyering program, and the clinical program. We also encourage collaboration between those who teach large doctrinal classes, perspective seminars, or advanced subject matter courses, with those who teach in clinic, in field placement, or in a capstone course. We welcome in particular those teachers and administrators who have experimented with school wide attempts to define and assess objectives

Please submit the presentation proposal to krama@albanylaw.edu by October 15, 2011.

Sharing Scholarship, Building Teachers Conference

Albany Law School will be hosting the Sharing Scholarship, Building Teachers conference on February 3-4, 2012.

This workshop is intended for law faculty who do not have tenure and who seek an opportunity to develop their scholarship and discuss their teaching with other, similarly situated law faculty. This program will provide a safe and comfortable forum for untenured faculty to present works in progress, solicit feedback from peers ahead of the February-March Law Review submission season, and network with other untenured faculty in the region about teaching practices and related issues.

There is no fee to attend the program (whether you are presenting a paper or not), but you must register before the deadline: November 15, 2011. Albany Law School will provide all meals and drinks during the workshop at no charge to attendees. 

I hope to see you all there,

 Sarah Rogerson
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Family Violence Litigation Clinic

Interviewing and Counseling: A Teaching Workshop

From Professor Laurie Shanks, Clinical Professor of Law at Albany Law School

Albany Law School will be hosting a hands-on collaborative workshop entitled Interviewing and Counseling: A Teaching Workshop on November 11th, 2011 with an opening reception the evening of November 10th. The workshop is designed to address the significant challenges faculty face in teaching interviewing and counseling.

This event is a rare opportunity to collaborate on teaching methods specifically related to interviewing and counseling. The Workshop is designed for faculty who teach stand alone courses, clinicians who teach these skills as an integral part of preparing their students to represent clients, lawyering professors who introduce the skills to students in their first year of law school and doctrinal faculty who address these topics as part of their courses.

A unique feature of the event is the “swap meet” of written problems, syllabi, checklists, and teaching ideas, contributed by participants, that will be available to attendees. Additionally, there will be speakers addressing some of the most challenging aspects of teaching these skills, including how to create realistic simulations and proper assessment techniques.

For a more individualized experience, small groups will be organized to allow participants ample time to select from among various topics. These may include further discussion of large session topics as well as basics of course structure and content; choice of texts; and or other topics chosen by participants.

For more information, see the conference site: www.albanylaw.edu/clientteachingwksp

or email one of the Workshop organizers, Laurie Shanks lshan@albanylaw.edu, Harriet Katz, hnkatz@camden.rutgers.edu, or John Craft, jcraft@faulkner.edu.

Another Conference on Experiential Learning in a Specialty Area: International Law Clinics, Externships, Internships, and Advanced Research — Pace Law School, May 6

The day after the May 5 “Practically Grounded” conference, a joint project of Pace and Albany Law Schools to be held at Pace Law School in White Plains, half an hour north of New York City (see entry below), Pace Law will host another experiential learning-oriented conference, this time on behalf of the Teaching International Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law and the American Branch of the International Law Association.  “Teaching International Law Beyond the Classroom: Engaging Students in Experiential Learning, in Web 2.0, and in Historical and Empirical Research”  will take place on Friday, May 6, 2011, from 8:45 am to 7:00 pm.

Noteworthy is the fact that at both Teaching Conferences, all participants will be offered a free copy of Best Practices for Legal Education: A Vision and A Road Map and the book will be referenced and used throughout by conference speakers and moderators.

The focus of this conference is getting both students and faculty involved in empirical research, historical research, Web 2.0, and experiential learning.  Beth Simmons of Harvard, one of the country’s leading empiricists in the field of international law, will be speaking along with Jordan Paust, Houston; Sital Kalantry, Cornell; Julian Ku, Hofstra; Peggy McGuiness, St. John’s; and Tom Lee, Fordham.  Anthony VanDuzer, of the Ottawa University Faculty of Law, will describe his NAFTA course, co-taught with a U.S. law professor and a Mexican law professor, using Skype to bring professors and students from the three countries together simultaneously.  Robert Van Lierop, former UN ambassador currently with the UN in Darfur, will discuss the externship program he supervises, in which Pace law students assist island countries with environmental issues at the United Nations.

A full schedule and additional information can be found here.

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