Upper-Level Professional Identity Formation

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 4:00 – 5:15 PM ET

Webinar Description: The AALS Section on Balance in Legal Education General Programming Committee is excited to present a six-part “Speed-Idea Sharing Series” on Incorporating the New ABA Standards on Professional Identity, Cross-Cultural Competency, and Well-Being Resources for Students.  Each session will feature a collection of brief presentations highlighting different approaches for incorporating the new standards, followed by Q&A and conversation. Session 2 will focus specifically on upper-level courses and offerings to support students’ professional identity formation.


Learning Objectives:

Participants will leave this session with ideas on how to foster students’ professional identity in the upper-level curriculum, including in stand-alone courses and in conjunction with clinic and externship courses. In addition, participants will leave with ideas of how to structure new courses to support students’ professional identity formation and how to incorporate identity formation into existing curricular and co-curricular offerings.


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Kendall Kerew, Director, Externship Program & Associate Clinical Professor, Georgia State University College of Law

Kendall Kerew, is an Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Externship Program at Georgia State University College of Law. She is the recipient of the College of Law’s 2019 Steven J. Kaminshine Award for Excellence in Service, the 2017 David J. Maleski Award for Teaching Excellence, and the Black Law Student Association’s 2016 Bernadette Hartsfield Faculty Award.

She spent her first five years at Georgia State Law teaching in the first-year legal writing program. Prior to joining the faculty in 2005, Kerew worked as an associate at King & Spalding and as an assistant attorney general for the Georgia Attorney General’s Office.

Kerew is the author of Chapter 6, “Building Your Professional Identity” and Chapter 14, “Cross-Cultural Lawyering”, in Nathalie Martin, Lawyering from the Inside Out: Learning Professional Development through Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence (Cambridge University Press 2018) and Chapter 17, “Writing for Practice” in Learning From Practice: A Text for Experiential Legal Education (Wortham, Scherr, Maurer, & Brooks eds., 3d ed. 2016). In addition, she is the co-author (with Timothy W. Floyd) of Marking the Path from Law Student to Lawyer: Using Field Placement Courses to Facilitate the Deliberate Exploration of Professional Identity and Purpose, 68 MERCER L. REV. 767 (2017).

She is Immediate Past President of the Clinical Legal Education Association (cleaweb.org) and a member of its Board of Directors. From 2015 to 2017, Kerew served as co-chair of the Association of American Law Schools Clinical Legal Education Section’s Externship Committee. In this role, Kerew facilitated the re-launch of LexternWeb, (lexternweb.org) which seeks to promote information sharing and collaboration among externship faculty nationwide and internationally. In addition, to her work with the AALS Externship Committee, Kerew is an active member of the AALS Clinical Legal Education Section’s Teaching Methodologies Committee, and the Georgia Association of Legal Externships. GALE is a consortium of externship directors from five Georgia law schools.





Katherene E. Holtzinger Conner, Director of the Residency Program and Assistant Professor of Law, Elon University School of Law

Residency in Practice: A Fully-Immersed Experiential Learning Placement wherein Students Explore and Develop their Professional Identity

Katherene E. Holtzinger Conner’s main responsibility when joining Elon Law in 2019 was to take the Residency Program from its nascent state and develop the scope of full-time and fully immersed experiential learning placements that we refer to as Residency in Practice placements.  This included working collaboratively with partners inside and outside the law school to expand the scope of the Residency Program and to further integrate the Residency Program throughout the academic curriculum. Prior to Elon Law, I  was the Director of the Public Interest and Pro Bono Program and Faculty Supervisor, and Coordinator of Externship placements for Penn State Dickinson School of Law. Before joining the law school academy, I had over fifteen years’ experience in criminal and civil trial and appellate litigation,  and administrative litigation.



Natalie Netzel, Assistant Professor of Law, Director, Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, and Education and Advocacy Director, Institute to Transform Child Protection, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Resilient Practice for Clinic Students: A Companion Course for Students Engaged in Direct Representation of Indigent Clients

Natalie Netzel is the Education and Advocacy Director of the Institute to Transform Child Protection at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. She joined the Institute to Transform Child Protection as a staff attorney in August of 2016. Natalie works directly with law and social work students in the Child Protection Clinic in representation of parents in child protection cases. She also supports institute training, research, and community engagement events. Additionally, Natalie serves as the Director of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Prior to joining the Institute to Transform Child Protection, Natalie was a judicial law clerk for the Minnesota Court of Appeals. She received her B.A. from Hamline University, her M.S.E. in counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and her J.D. from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.



Alizabeth Newman, Executive Director, Alumni Engagement & Initiatives, CUNY School of Law

Contemplative Practice: Reflecting on Professional Identity, “Thinking Like a Lawyer,” Bias, Mindfulness, and Well-Being

Alizabeth Newman is the Executive Director of Alumni Engagement and Initiatives at CUNY School of Law where she is building a supportive professional network of social justice lawyers.  She has been a core proponent of incorporating contemplative practice of law into legal education and legal practice.  Newman taught as a clinical professor in the Immigration Clinic for over a decade with a focus on innovative models of collaboration with community organizations, and was nationally recognized as an expert on gender- based immigration relief. Prior to academia, Newman was the founder and initial director of SEPA Mujer, a community-based organization providing legal rights education, leadership development, and legal representation to Latina immigrants and survivors of gender violence.



Rosemary Queenan, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Professor of Law, Albany Law School, and Mary Walsh Fitzpatrick, Assistant Dean, Career and Professional Development Center, and Adjunct Professor, Albany Law School

Five Unique Opportunities to Foster Professional Identity Formation and Well-Being in the Law School Curriculum and in Career and Professional Development Offerings

Prior to joining Albany Law School in 2007, Professor Queenan was Assistant General Counsel for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York, Inc., where she represented the Union in various court actions and arbitrations, and advised the Board of Trustees on issues involving the Union’s affiliated Health and Welfare Funds.  She also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Litigation and Civil Rights Bureaus of the New York Attorney General’s Office, where she defended various state agencies in state and federal court actions and investigated potential claims of discrimination.  Before that she was an associate in two private litigation firms, where she represented clients in commercial, products liability, and general negligence actions.

Professor Queenan began teaching in 1999 as an adjunct faculty member at New York Law School, where she taught Legal Reasoning, Writing & Research, Written and Oral Advocacy and Drafting Contracts.



Cliff Zimmerman, Professor of Practice, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law

Authenticity in Legal Practice Seminar: How to Engage Students’ Personal Narratives, Facilitate Students’ Identification of Values, and Support Student Agency

Cliff Zimmerman’s specialties are legal analysis, writing, and research, civil rights, and government accountability. He has taught legal analysis, civil rights, and evidence, and speaks and writes widely on each. Professor Zimmerman is also consulted nationally in cases involving civil rights and government liability.

His years of teaching legal analysis, research, and writing has sparked many specific areas of interest, including collaborative and cooperative work, cultural differences in reasoning methods, and the development of basic reasoning abilities. He is particularly interested in exploring and testing innovative methods by which students can learn the often elusive skills necessary to analyze and reason. He is nationally recognized for his work on collaborative and cooperative learning in legal education and his article, “Thinking Beyond My Own Interpretation:” Reflections on Collaborative and Cooperative Theory in the Law School Curriculum. He also speaks widely on other issues related to legal analysis. Professor Zimmerman has written and spoken widely on the issue of government responsibility. In particular, he has addressed the role of informants and their impact on the criminal justice system. His writings on the subject have appeared in the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly and in the text, Wrongly Convicted: Perspectives on Failed Justice (Rutgers University Press). Professor Zimmerman is also the editor of the Police Misconduct & Civil Rights Law Report and regularly contributes articles to the publication. He also writes and speaks nationally on these issues. His recent article on municipal liability, The Scholar Warrior: Visualizing the Kaleidoscope that is Entity Liability, Negotiating the Terrain and Finding a New Paradigm, appears in the DePaul Law Review. Prior to teaching, Professor Zimmerman was an associate at the Chicago firm of Singer & Stein, specializing in federal civil rights litigation, particularly under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.