Collaboration and the Development of Best Practices for Legal Education

The Midwest Clinical Conference was held in Bloomington, Indiana  at Indiana University School of Law last week.  (Terrific conference, by the way…well organized and very vibrant presentations).   Kudos to Julia Lamber, Amy Applegate, Carwina Weng, and the rest of the Indiana clinical faculty for hosting! The theme of the conference was “Building Bridges: Creating Clinical Opportunities through Collaboration”…and I got to give a keynote speech!  I mentioned the best practices project in the speech because I thought it was a wonderful example of a collaborative project.  Here is an excerpt:

The Best Practices book, you will notice, is authored by Roy Stuckey “and others”.  Roy did this because he said had lost track of the many individuals who attended meetings, wrote sections and gave comments and suggestions in the development of that important book.    He had the idea, Carrie Kaas and Peter Joy were president and vice president of the Clinical Legal Education association when they named him chair of the project.  Roy  recruited many others–law professors and individuals from other disciplines– to read  and comment on drafts and to write sections.  Vanessa Merton hosted a two day conference on the manuscript at Pace law school.  At every AALS and clinic meeting, he hosted a meeting to talk about a section or a chapter.  People came and went, but they left their ideas along the way.   When he learned about the Carnegie Report in development, he did not view them as competition, he viewed them as potential allies and worked with the authors.  They cross cited each other.   The result is the publication of two important books on transforming legal education and many ambassadors for transforming legal education.   And, the collaboration he encouraged inspired Mary Lynch and Carrie Kaas to head the Best Practices Implementation Committee  which collaborates to give presentations about Best Practices, blog about Best Practices and thus document and influence the  best practices movement.  And this movement will transform legal education!

For more information about the conference check out the conference materials  on the Indiana University Conference Website:  http://www.mclc.indiana.edu/

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