California Western’s faculty, adjunct faculty, and clinicians were well represented at the recent AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education held in San Francisco.
The theme of the conference, Teaching the Next Generation of Lawyer Leaders in a Time of Polarization, focused discussions and programming on the unique challenges clinical legal educators and their law students face in a highly polarized world.
Professor Tim Casey presented a paper examining the use of evidence obtained by the government either illegally or unethically, with specific attention to evidence based on surveillance.
“Determining whether an action is ethical turns out to be a bit more difficult than determining whether an action is illegal,” said Casey. “My paper focuses on the unethical behavior of law enforcement in electronic surveillance operations.”
Copresenting a session, Professor Pooja Dadhania explored the ways in which clinical and externship teachers use (and misuse) the term “millennial” to explain common student behaviors.
“The objective of this session was to encourage the clinical community to practice what we preach,” explained Dadhania. “We do this by combating generation-based assumptions, withholding judgment, employing empathy, and meeting our students where they are.”
New Media Rights Assistant Director Shaun Spalding copresented a session that addressed the practical and ethical concerns raised by the adoption of new technologies.
“At New Media Rights, we face unique and non-traditional ethical issues surrounding technology and privacy daily. It was exciting to present some of our experiences to other clinicians and get their feedback to take back to our students,” said Spalding.
Discussing the highly digitized and politically charged environment that today’s law students face was the theme of a session copresented by Adjunct Professor Anne Bautista.
“Session presenters shared techniques they have used in their clinics to teach empathy as a core transferrable skill,” said Bautista. “Techniques included exercises to help students see beyond labels/preconceived ideas, lessons in cross-cultural lawyering as a way to be comfortable with similarities and differences, and simulations to help students actively listen.”
Also in attendance at the conference was California Western’s Associate Dean for Experiential Learning Professor Floralynn Einesman, New Media Rights Executive Director Art Neill, New Media Rights Staff Attorney Erika Lee, and Ted Janowsky from the Community Law Project.
“It is inspiring to see so many California Western teaching faculty attend and present at these clinical conferences,” said Einesman. “Not only do our faculty have the opportunity to learn from others, but they also get to share the experience and insights they have cultivated while teaching at CWSL. We are so fortunate to have faculty who are so committed to offering our students the very best of clinical teaching. It is also gratifying that the CWSL administration is willing to support these valuable learning experiences.”
For more information on the conference and upcoming AALS events visit 2019 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education