Midyear Meeting

ABA Backs Independence of Law School Clinical Courses


The ABA’s policymaking House of Delegates Monday reaffirmed its support of the independence of law school clinical programs, which have been under attack in several states for some of the cases they handle.

The report on Resolution 100A noted that in 2010, “the Maryland state legislature considered legislative action that tied funding for the University of Maryland to providing information about the clinic clients, finances, and cases. In Louisiana, a recent proposed bill would have targeted clinics even more directly by prohibiting any clinic at a public or private university that receives state money from suing a government agency or seeking monetary damages from an individual or business.” Neither measured passed.

In an ABA Journal story in the October issue, Jeffrey Brand, dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law, said that “the benefit of clinical education is that it provides students an opportunity to ferret out injustice within the context of the ethical rules that the bar properly demands. To preclude an entire category of cases sends the wrong message.”

The measure, as amended (PDF), passed the House on an overwhelming voice vote. No one spoke in opposition.

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