Clinical Education in Tumultuous times

Having recently returned from the AALS Clinical Conference, which was focused on engaging in clinical legal education during tumultuous times, I’ve had a thought percolating, one about which there was little occasion to address during the conference:  how do we manage, balance, and relate our own personal political activities “in these times” vis a vis our students?

Do we inform our students of our “after hours” activities? Invite them to join us? Encourage them to engage in their own, if they can find the extra time, given their studies and case work? Encourage them to find the time?

Or would this be a mistake? Might this type of encouragement alienate our students who don’t agree with our own political views and accompanying activity, making those students uncomfortable in the clinic we operate?

How have the rest of you out there been handling this?
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2 Responses

  1. Our clinical faculty are holding meetings to discuss ways to use either cases we have (we had a Black Lives Matters case that has just resolved, and there are other good cases that will come up), or to somewhat change the mix we have had and use more seminars to discuss the ways lawyers can use courts, legislatures, public, etc to either resist, advocate, and/or educate. And while to a considerable degree we can keep it less political and more focused on the work a lawyer can do for a client, we are just starting on the project and there are lots of questions we need to work out. So any help that any of you can provide us would be greatly appreciated. Jim

  2. Jim, That seems like a great project; how are you determining what are “good cases” to use? Are the students going to be involved in those decisions?

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