AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education

Orlando, FL

AALS organizes the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education each year to provide a space dedicated to the unique and often pressing opportunities, challenges, and teaching moments present in law school clinics and professional development for law teachers.

This year, there are more opportunities to participate as speakers and panelists. The schedule includes more than 90 concurrent sessions, including 20-minute lightning sessions which were first introduced in 2019. The two plenary sessions will address diversity in the legal academy and clinical legal education, and a dialogue with Florida activists regarding the role of the lawyer and law school clinics in community-based social justice activism.

See the complete program and list of speakers

Attendees can use the new mobile app to find their way around the hotel, build personal schedules, and connect on social media. The app will be available in app stores as “AALS Events.”

Orlando, Florida in early May is a great opportunity to make the meeting a family event. AALS has negotiated room rates of $209 per night at the AALS hotel to help keep costs down. We hope you will join us this spring.

Workshop for New Law School Clinical Teachers

The biennial Workshop for New Law School Clinical Teachers will take place immediately preceding the conference. The workshop is designed to provide clinical law teachers who have recently entered the field with insights and foundational principles for clinical teaching and professional development. The workshop is intended for clinical teachers hired in any position type, including visitor, tenure- track, contract, fellow, or other kinds of faculty positions.

Workshop sessions will be led and facilitated by a group of inspiring senior and junior faculty chosen for their commitment to clinical legal education, track record of success in their own careers, and diversity of law practice, teaching, and scholarly approaches. Workshop presenters will share best practices, common mistakes, and valuable resources to help attendees develop a tool kit for professional success as clinicians. A variety of topics foundational to clinical teaching will be covered, including: a historical overview of clinical legal education; clinical and externship seminars; classroom case rounds; and clinical supervision. Presenters and attendees will be teachers from a variety of clinics including transactional, litigation, community-based, and policy-based programs.

The overall goal of the workshop is to enhance the professional development and teaching confidence of each attendee while connecting new clinicians to peers and experienced clinicians within the broader clinical community.

Conference Workshops

Sign up in advance for one of three conference workshops offered onsite. Attendance is limited to pre-registrants. Once a workshop has reached capacity, it will no longer be available for registration. Workshops will take place on Sunday, May 3, 9 am – 1 pm, at the same time as the Workshop for New Law School Clinical Teachers.

See clinical.aals.org/schedule/workshops for more information.

Clinicians of Color Workshop

The workshop will explore topics such as:

These topics will provide the community with tools and calls to action that will strengthen its foundation and continue to build for the future. Collaboration, lawyering skills, mindfulness, self-care, resiliency, professional development, and community are central themes of these conversations.

The workshop will consist of a plenary welcome, two concurrent sessions, and a plenary closing session. Concurrent sessions will provide opportunities for groups of diverse experiences to engage in deep conversations about community goals, needs, and issues.

Learning Law Through Experience and by Design Workshop

Do you hope your students will be justice-ready at the end of the semester? Fearless problem solvers? Understand what it takes to be the best prepared lawyer? Reflective learners? Once you as a teacher understand your goals for your students, you can construct an effective course to meet your vision. This workshop is targeted to clinical faculty who are ready to visualize what their students will become (in skills, knowledge, and values) at the end of their course, and then how to build a clinic, field placement, or skills course to achieve that vision.

Consider the conference theme—Fortifying our Foundation and Building for the Future. The conference planners focus on ways the clinical community can strengthen itself and their community of educators. This workshop is designed with just that aim in mind. For experienced clinicians, the workshop enables them to retool their courses to better reach their aspirations for their students’ learning. For less experienced clinicians, the workshop provides the platform to discover how the sundry parts of a course, well-synthesized and sequenced, can deliver deep student learning.

The workshop introduces a design process for creating an effective, intentionally-designed instructional path for any experiential learning course. It will help each participant identify the animating theory for their course, plus learning goals, final assessment, evaluation rubric, and learning outcomes. This process is particularly challenging as teachers shift from covering many laws, skills, and values to identifying one or two goals drawn from their animating theory about lawyering. It is anchored in the mission to provide students with durable learning, as they can focus on the most essential content of the course and transfer that learning to different and more challenging contexts in their careers.

The workshop also will cover both formative and summative assessments; how they can help clinicians visualize the “successful student”; and how they can support a law school’s program assessment demands. Overall, the workshop addresses how clinicians can examine exactly what learning they wish to facilitate for their students and how to authentically identify the student characteristics that will demonstrate that learning.

Navigating the Complexities of the Clinical Teaching Market

This interactive workshop aims to demystify the “new normal” in clinical hiring and impart strategies and skills for successfully navigating the market so that participants can be best positioned to secure the jobs they seek. Participants will hear from and interact with clinicians who have experience across all facets of the hiring process. The workshop sessions will address the many different aspects of the job search, including: the characteristics and trends defining today’s clinical teaching market and the hiring done within it, entering the market (evaluating positions and completing FAR forms), initial interviews (at the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference or outside the formal process), callbacks, and receiving and assessing offers. This workshop will fill in gaps for experienced candidates or those who come from well-established and resourced fellowship programs as well as inform and advise those who are considering entering the market for the first time or without the benefit of such resources.