Conference on Clinical Legal Education

St. Louis, Missouri has a rich history of people who have fought for change in the face of discrimination and injustice, from Dred and Harriet Scott in 1846 to the community members who sparked the Ferguson Uprising after Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in 2014. The 2024 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education will examine what lessons can be drawn from Ferguson and other continued efforts to advance and protect the rights of marginalized communities in the face of backlash and retrenchment. Given the many post-Ferguson demands for reform and reimagining that have yet to be widely implemented, the conference also seeks to engage in conversations around sustaining and energizing movements in the face of barriers and backlash. How do we as teachers, scholars, and advocates advance justice given the non-linear nature of progress? 

Registration is now open.

Reading Groups 

The Planning Committee invites faculty to deepen their reflections by reading about the history of St. Louis and the Ferguson Uprising through a clinic community book read at their school or through cross-institution study groups. See the Clinical site for more information. 

Workshop for New Law School Clinical Teachers 

The biannual Workshop for New Law School Clinical Teachers will be held during the first two days of the Conference, Wednesday, May 1 from 2 pm – 6 pm and Thursday, May 2 from 9 am – noon. There is no separate fee for the Workshop; it is included in the Conference fee. 

Unfinished Arcs: Ferguson and Beyond 

Opening Plenary | Thursday, May 2 | 1 pm – 2:45 pm 

The opening plenary will explore the role of resistance and resilience in achieving change in the face of backlash and retrenchment. It will consider the skills, strategies, and theories of change, particularly regarding social movements and the role of lawyers, that we must impart to our students. With the rollback of rights nationally and the spread of new restrictive laws and policies targeting vulnerable groups at the state and local level, moderator Brendan Roediger (St. Louis University School of Law) will explore these themes with advocates pushing for change on the front lines in Missouri. 

Panelists include Kayla Reed, Co-founder and Executive Director of Action St. Louis, a grassroots racial justice organization born out of the Ferguson Uprisings that seeks to build political power for Black communities in the St. Louis region; Blake Strobe, Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders, a holistic legal advocacy organization that combats the criminalization of poverty and state violence, especially in communities of color; and an advocate from PROMO Missouri, an organization that confronts systemic inequities to liberate the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination and oppression. 

Awards Luncheon 

There will be one luncheon on Friday, May 3 from noon – 1:45 pm. The Section on Clinical Legal Education M. Shanara Gilbert Award, Ellmann Memorial Clinical Scholarship Award, William Pincus Award, and CLEA Award Presentations will be presented and we will honor new clinicians. 

Community Gatherings 

Informal gatherings were added to conference programming in recent years. The planning committee is pleased to include this new session format in person this year. Community Gatherings are an expansion of the working group sessions but are not limited to any specific topic areas. For example, gatherings may be organized by: 

Visit the clinical website for more information