Clinical Legal Education at a Generational Crossroads: X Marks the Spot
Clinical Law Review, Vol. 17, p. 205, 2010
19 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2010 Last revised: 15 Dec 2012
Date Written: October 26, 2010
Clinical legal education is at a crossroads. Three distinct generations – Baby Boomers, Generation-Xers, and Millennials – with incredibly varied life experiences and expectations will determine the path forward by the way they relate to each other. This essay discusses the current state of clinical legal education as created and led by the Baby Boomers who were typically movement lawyers from the 1960s and 1970s. Written from the perspective of a Gen-Xer, the essay challenges the norms of social justice and law reform as the primary drivers behind clinical education and argues for a greater ideological neutrality in determining the path forward. The essay goes on to articulate some of the challenges that impede Gen-X from fully engaging in the leadership and strategy of clinical legal education. It also describes thoughts on teaching to the Millennials and ultimately bringing together all three generations to forge a unified path forward for clinical education.
Keywords: Clinical legal education, generational differences, social justice, law reform, Baby Boom, Generation X, Millennial generation, ideological neutrality, modification of leadership strategies, clinical strategy, transactional clinic, business clinic
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