Midwest Clinical Law Conference Examines "True Grit" of Clinical Legal Education

Midwest Clinical Law Conference

The 2011 Midwest Clinical Law Conference recently took place in Madison. Themed "True Grit: The Grit of What We Do," the conference aimed to improve clinical legal education through examining its foundations. Over 120 clinicians representing 37 different law schools attended the event.

The conference focused on three facets of clinical education: telling clients' stories, fostering systemic change in a variety of legal fields, and developing innovative pedagogical teaching methods. Participants were given the option of following a single track or exploring various concurrent sessions, depending on what they found most useful.

Hosted by UW Law School, the conference featured numerous speakers and presentations, plus opening day remarks from UW Law School Dean Margaret Raymond and a lunchtime talk from Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Participants were also encouraged to tell their own stories. Using NPR's StoryCorps project as a model, the conference provided an opportunity record and share a story in either audio or visual format. Some of these stories will be available at a later date on the conference's webpage

"We wanted the conference to focus on one of the greatest strengths of clinical education--its immersion of both students and faculty in the gritty, messy, and nuanced experience of the legal system from the ground up," says Meredith Ross, Clinical Professor and one of the event's organizers. "It turned out be a very productive discussion of how we can build on that foundation to improve clinical legal education."

Submitted by UW Law News on January 25, 2012

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