2018 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education

2018 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education


Gathering Momentum: Learning from the Past, Responding to the Now, Planning for the Future


April 29 – May 2, 2018 | Chicago

Registration is now open for the 41st Annual Conference on Clinical Legal Education to be held in Chicago from April 29 – May 2. Clinics and externships hold tremendous potential to enhance student learning while supporting many and varied communities and contribute to the improvement of the legal profession. Yet the times require us to develop strategies for responding to the intensity and variety of our immediate institutional, political, economic, and societal challenges. These strategies will benefit from efforts to learn from the past and to plan effectively for the future.
The time is ripe to ask a series of questions: What tools, emerging from different clinical contexts, have been most effective in meeting present challenges and which are transferable to other contexts? Are there ways we might consolidate and combine different clinical approaches to strengthen our impact? What replicable teaching strategies are we using as we respond to present obstacles and crises? What relationships can clinics develop with social justice movements? How do we adjust to a quickly changing legal landscape and how do we help our students to do the same? How are we practicing self-care and helping our students learn balance and self-care in their own lives?
Clinical 2018 banner

Conference Program

Visit aals.org/clinical2018 to see highlights of the program, including plenary session topics and speakers, hotel information, and a schedule of onsite workshops. The live program found on the meeting webpage will provide up-to-the-minute information on session details and speakers.

Plenary Sessions

The Power of the State and Our Many Client Communities – Past, Present, Future
This plenary will focus on ways clinical faculty perceive and respond to the impact of “the State” on our client communities, and how to help students think productively about these issues in an evolving legal landscape. The panelists will explore ways to bring forward lessons from the past in responding to urgent pressures facing clients, with an eye toward different approaches available in clinic and externship contexts: litigation, legislation, policy reform, community organizing, etc. The discussion will touch on how to take control of a situation, evaluate potential approaches, and consider the future design of a clinical course or program.
Identifying and Pursuing Interest Convergence Strategies in the Representation of Our Clients and the Pursuit of Building Community
This second plenary will explore theories and strategies for aligning divergent interests among various parties in the pursuit of our clients’ goals. With an eye towards responding to the now while planning for the future, this plenary is based on the Interest Convergence Theory proffered by the late Professor Derrick Bell. Using the lenses of transactional, legislative reform, and veterans’ advocacy clinics, the panelists will discuss Interest Convergence, the Curb-Cut Effect, and other strategies for identifying and negotiating through the divergent interests that may be impeding our clients’ goals. The discussion will also include a moderated exercise designed to help participants consider how these strategies may work best in their own clinics.



New Clinicans Workshop

The AALS Workshop for New Law School Clinical Teachers will be held immediately preceding the conference on the morning of April 29 in the same venue. There is no additional fee for this half-day workshop.
Schedule details, registration information, and hotel rates for the conference and new clinicians workshop can be found at aals.org/clinical2018.
Townhall at the 2017 AALS Clinical ConferenceTownhall at the 2017 AALS Clinical Conference