February 2, 2000


To: Deans of Member and Fee-Paid Schools
From: Carl C. Monk
Subject: Attached Letter from Elliott Milstein regarding Equal Justice Project


Attached is a letter from AALS President Elliott Milstein regarding the AALS "Equal Justice Project". I hope that many of you will be interested in participating in this important initiative. Please note that we encourage you to send a response to Elliott's letter by February 29, 2000.


February 2, 2000

Dear Deans:

The issue of equal justice has long been a concern of many and has been the focus of my teaching, scholarship, and service during my over 30 years in legal education. To further law schools' important responsibilities in ensuring equal justice for all, the AALS has initiated an important new project called "Pursuing Equal Justice: Law Schools and the Provision of Legal Services." One of the aspirations is to involve the entire law school community in these timely issues.

Funded by a grant from the Open Society Institute during the 2000-01 academic year, this project will host approximately 18 colloquia at law schools around the country. The ambitious goals of this project are:

1. To develop models that can be used in different law school settings with various levels of resources to encourage teaching, scholarship, and service activities that support the provision of legal services to underrepresented groups.

2. To develop models for integrating interest in and commitment to the provision of legal services to underserved communities throughout the entire law school, including traditional teaching, clinical programs, extern programs and library programs.

3. To establish formal relationships between law schools and equal justice communities aimed at providing ongoing support for the provision of legal services to underserved communities.

4. To evaluate the effectiveness of the variety of approaches that emerge from the project and to create a sustained commitment to equal justice education in our law schools on national and local levels.

I have appointed a project director, Professor Dean Hill Rivkin of the University of Tennessee, and a steering committee to work with host schools to develop a program that highlights the rich opportunities for scholarship, teaching and service in this area.

These colloquia will be held throughout the country during the 2000-01 academic year. Members of the steering committee will participate in the colloquia at each site and provide resource materials and planning assistance. In our site selection process we will be looking for:

These meetings will be held with no registration fee for participants. We do ask that law schools provide meals, meeting services, and limited travel stipends for non-legal educators at certain sites.

If you would like to host one of these colloquia, we encourage you to communicate your interest to Carl Monk, AALS Executive Director, by email to by February 29, 2000. I'll be talking more to you about the project at the AALS luncheon being held at the ABA Mid-Year meeting on Thursday, February 10, 2000.

Thank you for your interest in what I believe will be a meaningful opportunity for your school to explore concrete approaches to addressing this critical issue facing our profession.


Elliott Milstein
AALS President

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