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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Welcome to the Law School of the Future....

It is the first day of law school, and you are excited. You have completed your online preparatory work, and you think you are ready to begin this journey. You spend the morning processing through the expected administrative details, take the student oath of professional conduct and now you are going to your learning space. You call it yours because you have been told by student services that your working group will collectively use this space for all of your course work this year. Your section has 32 students in it, and you’ve been assigned to one of the three professors you designated based upon your projected career path as identified by the extensive conversations, interviews, and surveys conducted with students services. You have always dreamed about being a plaintiff lawyer, and you cannot wait to get started.  You’ve heard, but you think it is just a rumor, that you may get your first case assignment today. There is no way you could possibly start law school with a client, even in a teaching environment. But who knows?

When you get into your classroom you take a look around. There appear to be multiple collaborative work spaces, arranged in groupings of 8 students. The furniture is modular, and looks like it can be arranged in a variety of ways. For now there are four specific areas each with eight chairs around a series of tables that have been put together to create a space where each small group can see everyone else in the group. You notice that each set of tables seems to have a bank of displays on the wall near its location. You’ve heard about this, and apparently your school issued tablets will stream video, documents and screen shots directly to the displays - you look closer and you notice that your name is underneath one of the monitors and it is also built into the display of your smart desk, glowing just strongly enough that you can read it and take your seat.

While waiting for your professor to arrive you pull up your personal database of online lectures covering the substantive law you are expected to develop competency in by the end of this semester. Your school believes in adult immersion training, and you know you will need these lectures to help you deal with the simulated and real world problems you will work on with your classmates and professor during this module. You are already thinking about the dreaded 1st year competency exam that you will have to take, but you aren’t really worried because they told you in student services that your school teaches the black letter law in a transparent fashion so that you can move on to the higher level learning functions associated with synthesis, application, and development of the law.

While you are waiting for the professor you pull up your personalized online lecture series to check them out. You go through the names of the professors in your  database and realize that some of your onsite professors have contributed to this resource, and you also recognize the name of several nationally recognized experts in various areas of the law. It looks like your educational experience will include input from the best and brightest!

You have been told that when the lectures are relevant they will go from a greyed out appearance to a clear picture - indicating that you should attend these lectures virtually during your own scheduled time. You also know you will have the ability to post questions concerning the materials, and that your school has provided you with a template of expected ways in which this substantive law is relevant to your future interests, to include admittance to the bar.  You’ve also been told you won’t be able to conduct the assigned legal tasks without understanding and applying these subjects.

You see the section on understanding the substantive law and applying it in a testing modality too. You’ve been told about this, and recognize it as one of the resources your school uses to maximize your potential. The way you understand it, this approach almost guarantees, knock on wood, passing the bar the first time through, and if you score high enough your state bar has waived additional testing on the core subjects when you sit for the bar. Apparently it is all tied in to a school database that tracks your substantive competency and ensures that you understand the subject. Your lessons will not advance until you complete the tasks successfully - it feels a lot like playing a game in an online multiverse, or so you’ve been told.

You notice that the introduction to tort law is open and available, as well as the fundamentals of civil procedure. There is also a series on traumatic injuries and the psychological damage that may result. There are even some lectures about force, mass and acceleration. Your classmates trickle in and you close out the database, making  a note to review the materials during your scheduled study time later that day.

You and your classmates visit for  few minutes and then the professor walks in. Roll is taken by scanning your thumbprint with your tablet. Once the roll is done the professor begins. The lights darken, and a recording of a tangled mass of metal appears on all of the display screens, followed by a 15 minute day in the life presentation of a quadriplegic man you soon learn is your client - welcome to law school.

This “day in the life” of a future law student serves as an excellent starting point to discuss how future law school experiences might be organized. It represents several ideas that are coming quickly due to economic pressure, changing accreditation standards, and market forces. They include:

1. Replacement of traditional substantive law lectures, and the professors who deliver them using the socratic method, with online resources, quizzes, and problems. The future focus will be on application and synthesis based upon modules or blocks of instruction designed to develop identified competencies.

2. Embedding technology and using it to to transform every moment of the educational experience.

3. The rise of a new class of professors who approach their craft holistically, teaching the law through application, problem solving, mentoring, and developing professional identity. It will be as much a coaching and supervisory experience as an educational one. Many of the concepts for adult education in use in industry, the military, and the business world will finally be applied across the board in law school.

4. The development of deeper personal relationships between professors and students early in the law school experience, with a modular design focused on blocks of instruction and small course work from the very beginning. The use of online lectures will allow for this approach, and transform the educational experience in ways we do not yet fully understand.

5. The ability for students to learn the law contextually from the very beginning.

Now I realize that this example is scary to most professors, and that it forecasts tectonic upheaval in our profession. I would suggest respectfully that it is actually a rather tame look into the future, and that this is coming, either painfully, or intelligently, depending upon how we, the academics responsible for our current system, respond to challenges we now face.

Let the discussion begin!


Charlie

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A New Way to Crack an Egg

One of the eggs in the law school basket that needs to be cracked in a different way is how to effectively teach legal writing beyond the basics that are  ably covered in the required curriculum. I thought we might crack that egg together using a different model, one that builds upon the importance of professional identity as a key component of the process. Think of it as another way to put verbs into the sentences of our conversation. The idea for this course is one we have been kicking around at Stetson for awhile, and many of my thoughts about it come from conversations with several of my colleagues, particularly Associate Dean Vaughan, Prof. Jason Palmer, Prof. Chrissie Cerniglia-Brown and others. I think it fits our current discussion because it is a concrete example of how we might begin to reimagine the legal education experience in a way that considers professional identity and real world competencies at the core of the process.

A bit of history is in order. Most professors in law schools became professors because they excelled in their academic community while in law school, with many of them serving as a member of their respective law review. If you surveyed law professors, with the exception of those who teach primarily "skills" you would find a marked preference for the law review article, with many paens to its efficacy and outstanding ability to make a difference.

I must confess a dirty secret, I have written several law review articles, I even enjoyed the process at the time, but I did not do it to make a difference - I did it because it was required to get tenure, to show that I had the ability to think in those terms. They have value, as a academic exercise and as a contribution to the development of deep academic thought about the law. I would even say that everyone who wants to write a law review article should - but most students do not want to, and will never use that particular skill in the practice of law. Despite that fact, this academic focused writing endeavor is the primary vehicle chosen by law schools to teach upper level writing. 

We do it not because the students need it, but because we law professors are comfortable with it and our facility with the law review article helped us be successful. Unfortunately if ever there was a time when we needed fewer law professors in training it is now. We have 200 law schools, and we won't have 200 law schools in a few years. We need lawyers trained in the skills that will help them make a difference for their clients, not pad their respective academic credentials, nascent though they may be. See https://bol.bna.com/former-brandeis-president-law-students-are-right-to-worry/.

Why don't we change the paradigm, and look instead at what our students actually need out of upper level writing development? This proposed course presupposes they have learned how to research, can make an effective appellate argument, and understand the citation monster. So what do they really need? I would put to you it is not to write a law review type article that will never be published. Let's look at a different alternative.

This proposed course would take a student through the life cycle of the types of documents an attorney might expect to be called upon to produce over the course of regular practice. Each of the documents in question would be driven by a simulated event that set the background for the need to write. Those events could include:

Creating a new attorney client relationship.
Writing a demand letter.
Communicating with a business on behalf of a client.
Communicating with a Home Owner's Association on behalf of a client.
Providing a letter to a county agency.
Writing an editorial for the local paper.
Writing a bar journal article for publication in the state/national bar journal.
Communicating with an opposing counsel in writing on an issue.
Preparing a motion in limine.
Drafting a persuasive memo for a supervisor
Drafting a persuasive memo for a client.

If you think for a moment, when we are done the students would have a competency across a wide variety of documents actually produced in the practice of law, and a portfolio of writing samples they could rely upon when interviewing. You can take this idea a step further and tether this approach to either an internship or clinic, putting the students in real world settings and then bringing them back to the classroom to produce the written work. If you did this you could take advantage of intercession programs (between semesters) to develop these writing skills.

Even more importantly, this gives us an excellent opportunity to create a real sense of professional identity. Since our identity is formed, in part, by what we do each day, this approach would help the students to make their professional road by walking while giving them a real world skill set. Each of the scenarios above would require them to consider both ethical and substantive legal issues, forcing them to truly deal with what it means to be a member of our profession. The value would be immense and immediate, and for the majority of law students much more useful.

Now I am not suggesting that this approach should supplant the law review article paradigm, merely that it should be given as an alternative. I would put to you that many law schools will not do so because of their secret fear that the seminar courses which normally produce law review articles might very well die on the vine if our students had viable practical alternatives. The thought process behind that fear, and the impact it has on our ability to provide a better legal education, is a subject for another post.

Till then,

CR


Sunday, January 10, 2016

Professionalism - First, Last, Always

So now that we have talked somewhat about the current state of legal education, how to begin to fix it? I would suggest that we should ground our law school (soon we’ll change the name to law center, but more on that later) of the 21st century in what makes law school different from other graduate programs - professional identity. Let me discuss briefly why professionalism is important before I explain how we should set about teaching it.

The need for professional identity is a sine quo non for lawyers. We use professional identity to ensure a certain level of professionalism, civility, and more importantly, proper delivery of legal services. We also have a vested self interest as lawyers in the concept of self regulation of the profession, because otherwise we will concede control of the law to outside regulators. 

Now normally that would not be a big deal, particularly given the businessification of the practice of law, (a reality, regardless of any personal feelings you may have on the subject), but for the unique role lawyers play in a democratic society. We speak truth to power, and the law not only allows it, but requires it. Self regulation by the profession, the formation of professional identity, and the internalization of what it means to be a lawyer are the means by which we guarantee the continued rule of law. Our profession’s ability to stand apart from the machinery of government is what gives us the ability to stand up and say no, when everyone arounds us wants a yes - and are not really willing to hear another’s truth. It is the most important thing law schools teach, and the one done most inefficiently and ineffectively.

The ABA standards require that students are taught the model rules of professional responsibility in a minimum 2 credit hour format. Now that two credits is part of the 88-90 credits normally required for graduation. Think about it for a minute, the ABA only requires that roughly 2 percent of a law student’s education address professional responsibility - yet we all know lawyers deal with issues of ethics and professionalism every day. There are a lot of reasons, most of them historical for this approach - but it is not enough, not even close. We have taught professional responsibility as though it were a Sunday School class, and our students have responded to that approach as one might expect - they get the message that this stuff can get you in trouble, but it doesn’t “really” matter, not like the substantive law. That is the wrong approach to developing a professional identity, but it is endemic.

Law Schools can maximize the formation of a positive professional identity by structurally modifying the way in which professional responsibility, as well as professionalism, is taught. This change should have multiple components, to include:
1. Substantive law classes
2. Modeling appropriate behavior
3. Immersive professionalism discussions across the curriculum

1. Substantive Law Classes - Make it 4 credits
This is actually the easiest one to fix. Most law schools currently require a 3 credit course, usually taught in a modified socratic method by one professor in a traditional classroom environment. In our new school we will keep this course (to allow for diversity in delivery), but also offer an opportunity for the doctrinal class to instead be tethered with skills courses where professional responsibility issues often arise - client counseling, negotiations, and mediation. These skills course would revolve around the professional responsibility course, with the various skills problems confronted by the students designed to reflect the doctrinal rules as they are taught in the professional responsibility course. This creates a synergy that is otherwise absent. It would be a good beginning, but not enough.

Most legal writing and substantive law courses in the first year of the curriculum, in fact most required courses, are 4 credits. Professional responsibility should be as well. I would take that one additional credit and make a separate course, one that allowed for the modeling of appropriate behavior, we could call it “Developing Your Professional Identity.” I would require it to be taught by senior members of the law faculty, preferably those in leadership positions, such as the dean of the law school. If not the dean, then a senior respected member who is known for having a developed a professional identity that has withstood the test of time. At my law school I could easily see several of our senior faculty teaching this course, and the students would be immeasurably better from spending quality time learning why and how their decisions about the lawyer they will be matter so much. This would allow students to experience mentoring at its best, and bring our most trusted and beloved professors forward into the light, where they belong. I must confess that is how I learned it at Notre Dame and though is has been over two decades those lessons are still fresh in my mind.

2. Modeling Appropriate Behavior
As mentioned above modeling would work as the basis for the 1 credit class added to the curriculum, but our school will go beyond this, making professionalism a core component of our orientation process, extracurricular activities, and on campus presentations. This would flow over into the school’s pro bono program, and eventually make its way into the very fabric of the institution, its alumni, and student body. Clients and the profession would both benefit in an astounding way. It would also mirror the actual way it works in the real world - we mentor, we model, we walk the walk, which allows us to talk the talk. This would serve the added benefit of exposing our students, in a controlled environment, to what they should expect in their internships, clinics, summer placements, and eventual first job - while also helping them to develop the skills necessary to maximize their success in these endeavors. When an institution loses sight of the core need to do the right thing when no one is looking it is in distress, internalizing these values would protect higher education in the legal arena while also growing good lawyers - a win win.

3. Immersive Professionalism Discussions Across the Curriculum
The substantive curriculum in our new law school will be arranged quite differently (more about that in a subsequent post), but regardless of the structure of our curriculum in the future, learning outcomes and competencies concerning professionalism must be built into every course. We all know that each component of the law has an ethical issue attached to it. Each of us have experienced ethical questions as part of a substantive law course - they should not only be answered, but prepositioned as additional components of the course of instruction. If we break down the silos of traditional legal education this will be easier to accomplish, but we can even do it now using our current structure. The ABAs recent focus on learning outcomes will assist us in convincing less forward leaning faculty on the efficacy of this approach as well. It does not require a lot of time, but the benefit is immense.

If we truly want the profession of law to remain a profession we must substantively alter the way in which we teach it, support it, and live it. The richness of the conversations that would ensue, with the fabric of the law behind it all, would be tremendous boon for our students. Professional identify could then become one of the fundamental colors woven through the tapestry of the student’s law school experience, instead of a lovely, but nearly unnecessary fringe. Next time we’ll talk about how to arrange an appropriate curriculum for this new type of law school, and how changing it will transform the position of law schools within the legal community.

All the best,

CR


Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Moral Imperative - a Problem with Promise

We have a problem - legal education costs to much. Like most problems thought it comes with a promise, whoever is first to reimagine legal education successfully while making it financially viable will own the future - and the future is now.

Depending upon the statistics you choose to quote, a law degree costs somewhere between roughly 84,000 dollars for a state school and 122,000 for a private school. See http://www.admissionsdean.com/paying_for_law_school/law-school-cost-calculator and http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertfarrington/2014/12/18/law-school-and-student-loan-debt-be-careful/. This figure, of course, does not include any debt incurred for undergraduate degrees or other advanced degrees. This fact alone, in conjunction with the multiple stressors experienced by the big firm market, has resulted in a new general belief - for many, law school is not worth the price of admission. Think about that for a moment, the world has fundamentally changed its perception of the value of a law degree over the last 4 years. This slide occurred quickly, and shows no signs of slowing down. Law schools are now experiencing market stressors for which the vast majority of law professors have no frame of reference. It is difficult to find a time in modern legal education, at least since the advent of the Langdelian method of instruction, to use as a guideline when dealing with what now confronts us all. 

Law professors, by their very nature, tend to be both risk adverse and insular - they don’t like change. They particularly do not like change when they have been the driving force in the known history of their institution. You cannot blame them for their reticence to consider the idea of transforming the legal education experience. Unfortunately any school that finds itself ranked below the top 50 in U.S. News and World Report is now spending a great deal of time working to “define” themselves so that they may maintain market share. Now market share is not an idea that law schools are comfortable with, but in the ever shrinking world of fewer students, lower budgets, and increased financial stressors on parent universities it is a dirty little reality that cannot be ignored.

We law professors have a moral duty to our students, and one that we cannot pay short shrift to any longer. We must think in a practical and entrepreneurial fashion about the future structure of a legal education experience and we must move quickly to accomplish this change - or risk the loss of our institutions as we know them. I want to suggest today that we might be able, as an academy, to find some common values that should inform the entrepreneurial decisions we must make. Think of them as the best of what should be brought forward combined with the promise of the future. If we begin with a focus on what we value, and then structure our future programs around those values we have a chance to remain relevant, to assist in the rebirth of a valid legal educational experience. But we must do so soon.

So where should those values come from? From both the academic and practical world. They must be values that exist in both places or they are not worth spending our limited resources on. So what would be on your list? Mine would include the following, and as many of you might expect knowing me, it has only three primary components at the meta level :

1. Professional Identity and Personal Ethics
2. Understanding the law
3. Applying the law 

These three considerations should permeate the curriculum, existing in every course, extracurricular activity or faculty service opportunity. If we were to use these three guiding concerns as an agreed upon starting point for reworking the law school experience we could protect the best parts of our scholarly heritage, reenergize our usefulness to the practicing bar, and become more connected to the legal world outside of the walls of our personal ivory towers. It would make for a very different educational experience, one with the potential to be truly immersive. It will also require a different type of law professor, a different administrative structure, and the support, real support, of both the ABA and the AALS if it were to stand a chance of success. 

The entire structure of law school should be reorganized around these three guiding principles. Doing this would transform the educational experience for students, and allow law professors to think anew, to learn again, to become students of the educational process, as opposed to overseers of a antiquated approach. The time is now to change, or run the risk of becoming irrelevant. Next time I will put forth some specific ideas about how a law school might structure the learning experience around these core values.

All the best,


CR

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Law at the Crossroads - The Profession Embarks on a Hero’s Journey

I have blogged about learning skills and their relationship to doctrine on multiple occasions, and will continue to do so when appropriate. Today, however, I am in a reflective mood because I was recently asked to give the keynote speech at our graduation celebration. Three years ago our current dean implemented a process where students select a professor to speak at the winter graduation celebration. My good friend Peter Lake was chosen by the students, but he could not do it because he was on a cruise ship with his wife. In yet another example of how much Peter is smarter than me, I was not conflicted out, and happened to be the student’s second choice.

I found it very humbling to be in this position, but as I thought through the messages that I could share, I began to realize that the challenges I am facing right now as a member of the legal education world mirror, in many ways, the same challenges my students face as they become lawyers is a world that is changing more rapidly each day.  I also came to realize that I must adopt the same attitude about the changes in my world that I want the students to have about the challenges they are getting ready to face. In a very real sense I became the student again, with this task as my teacher. 

I realized that I wanted them to understand it is always about the relationships we form - the human connection between us that defines the work of what it means to be a lawyer. This is a people business, and must remain so if it is to continue to guarantee the viability of the rule of law in the 21st century. Unfortunately people are often the first to suffer during times of change. I wanted each of them to believe that a focus on the people in their lives, personal and professional, will keep them on the path to both a successful and fulfilling career in the law - while also doing more than anything else to insure that the world inherited by the next generation is one where the rule of law still exists in a recognizable form. I believe deeply that we must have that same personal focus in legal education as well, it is actually a reflection of how I approach each day at work.

We live in a time where transformation is now the norm, not the exception. Stability is a memory old folks have, and survival is always on the table. I have watched my law school colleagues struggle with this new reality, with all of the reactions one might expect, from outright denial to predicting the end of the world - along with everything in between. Turmoil threatening the core of an institution’s sense of self will bring out the best and worst in humans - each of us has had an opportunity to see it on full display over the last few years. I chose to see possibilities and opportunities while preparing for the wolf at the door, think of it as a type of realistic optimism. It has helped me to identify a people first attitude which has guided my leadership decisions, and it is the one I use every day. This focus on the human question has helped me successfully navigate a time of struggle, both morally and compassionately. It has also created conflict with others who are driven by different concerns, but that is the nature of what it means to advocate for something.

It is a hard time to be a law professor, an even harder time to be on the staff at a law school, and a frightening time to consider becoming a lawyer. Everywhere one looks the process that has created lawyers for centuries is under attack. Some of those attacks are valid, others are not. Unfortunately this environment has created an opportunity for bullies and ambush predators to set about attacking the very fabric of what makes a legal education in the United States unique - the historical focus of an entire institution on the creation of the next generation of leaders for their world. 

At the same time, some of their complaints are valid, and law schools can feel like the best buggy whip making factory in the world, while the rest of the world abandons the horse in favor of the car. The real answer is of course more complex than most realize, and is very much a situationally dependent question, with the nature of the faculty, makeup of the student body, and commitment of the alumni all a part of the equation. Few law schools do the “vision thing” or “mission statement” well, and yet there is a need, as never before in the history of legal education, for brand specific identification and application of resources behind a sustainable model for legal education. 

Law schools at their best are a place of promise, where dreams are realized, futures are created, and professional lives begin. At their worst they become a factory where students serve as “income producing units” for the good of the University. We should all have, as a core value in academia, the commitment to an ideal that the University exists for the students, not the other way around. If not we are nothing more than another corporation running a business and making a profit off the very backs of the students we entice. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but only if you are up front about it. Fortunately that is not what most law schools sell, and it is also not the reality of most institutions, although one could successfully argue that it is fast become a more acceptable alternative in the wake of very real budgetary restrictions.

Fear stalks the hallways of many law schools now. Professors hide behind their tenure, staff look for new jobs, and the students, our most precious resource, suffer. It is past time for this to stop. Past time for our profession to collectively stand up and confront as a group, these challenges. Many of us know what should be done, but we often remain silent and safe, after all, change is hard, and law schools must fundamentally change if they are to not only survive but flourish in the new realities of Higher Education and the Profession of Law. Our potential future as a profession is bright, and our promise immeasurable if we do so. Lawyers guarantee the rule of law, constrain the powerful, and create an environment where all of us have a chance to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. 

Historically law schools were designed to create critical thinkers. They need to be retooled to create critical thinkers who can use their superior analytical reasoning skills to speak on behalf of another - to advocate. To confront power when necessary, to stand when all others bend the knee, to matter in this world. While making this change law schools must also ensure that professional identity remains the core of the law school experience - otherwise we might as well be training business people and accountants.

Unfortunately university administrations are not always willing to listen, faculty are terrified by change that upsets the balance of power within the institution, and the only thing worse than no plan is a good plan executed poorly. The realities of the Legal Profession, when considered in light of the long term changes to higher education, compel me to order my thoughts and present them in a place where they might be considered by others - hence this, and subsequent, blog posts. 

Much of Higher Education, by “worshiping at the altar of regressive analytics and best business practices” is losing the very essence of what it means to teach and mentor adults as they become not only the promise, but the once and future leaders of our world. We need to be smart about how we use data to run our schools, but we must never let data RUN the school. Lawyering is a people business, first, last and always. We cannot lose sight of our responsibilities to the profession, our alumni, and future students. It is imperative that we have an intelligent conversation about what law schools must become.

These issues have come into sharper focus as I reflected on what the students graduating this fall have meant to me. How they have changed my life, and how, hopefully I have made an impact on their’s as well. I understand the relationship that grows between the student and the professor, and I have been privileged to walk in the shoes of Obi Wan Kenobi, Merlin, Gandalf - and every other mentor who has guarded the gates of transformation and guided young heroes as they begin their journey, their quest. I cherish that role. It is such a gift to be trusted by these students. It is also a responsibility, a calling for every professor and administrator in higher education to confront the darkness threatening this most precious creation of the Western World, the University.

For it was the University, the place of Higher Education, that pulled us from the Darkness into the Light - making possible the flowering of the tree of liberty and the concept of the “rule of law.” Something which our law students have made their own internal value over the last three years. A large part of educational experience is the professor and student relationship - but it is not the only part. Administrators, staff, personnel - we all work together as best we can to create a place where the magic of learning and transformation occur. We are all, in a very real sense, together on a hero’s journey - defining our life in the way we treat one another and the way in which we care for the world. 

The structure and day to day working of any university has more of an impact on the learning experience than most folks realize. Professors cannot teach when the administrative functions of the school do not work. Fear freezes the ability to think, strangles the creative genius in each of us, and will, if we let it, make us subservient to its desires. We teach our students to use the law to deal with the fears of their clients. To advocate, in the original sense of the word, to speak for others.

In subsequent posts I will begin to do as Dr. Phil suggests, “putting verbs in my sentences” as we share a conversation about how the 21st century law school can once again become a “shining light upon the hill.” Till then Happy Holidays and peace be on you this Holiday season.

All the best,


Charlie

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Report from the Pace sponsored Regional EATS Conference

Dear Colleagues:

I trust this holiday season finds you well, and that you have have time to spend with loved ones as each of you celebrate the joy of family and the love that binds all of us who share in the human experience together. This time of year is a time of peace, and I hope that each of you is experiencing that peace this December.


I wanted to take a moment and report about the phenomenal job done by Lou Fasulo and his team at Pace during the Regional EATS conference this December. It was a tremendous success, with participants from as far away as California, Florida and Arkansas showing up in White Plains, New York for two days of teaching and sharing. This is the first Regional EATS program we have done, and it went so well we are already considering locations for next year's fall get together!


We discussed how to teach storytelling (the photos below were provided by Bob Altchiler from his great talk):






 talked about running advocacy teams (Great session thanks to Adam and Jared):


focused on developing the sorts of curriculum that are most effective in Skills courses

and left with a promise to see each other again this May at Stetson for the National Conference.



I just wanted to personally thank Lou, his team at Pace, to include Michael Giordano, Keith Sullivan, Bob Altchiler, Keri Gould, Bobbi Sternheim, and all the others with too many vowels in their names for me to be able to spell properly! You were phenomenally gracious hosts and your hunger for learning and fellowship made this an awesome and humbling experience. Lou is one of those unique lawyers who understands that this is always a people first business. Everyone there was a joy to work with and we reconnected with old friends, and made some new ones too. Who could ask for more?

See you all in May (and on the competition trail)!

All the best,

Charlie


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Stetson joins PACE Law School in sponsoring the first regional EATS conference.

Dear Colleagues:

I wanted to let you know that we are expanding our EATS (Educating Advocates: Teaching Advocacy Skills) offerings this year, creating a regional conference designed to share advocacy teaching with those adjuncts and professionals in the Northeastern part of the United States.

Lou Fasulo and his wonderful team at Pace have graciously agreed to host a regional conference sponsored by Stetson and done the way we do things in our advocacy community - collaboratively.

I've inserted the flyer for the conference in this email and if you've got time we'd love to see you there!

All the best,

Charlie