Reflections on Elitism After the Closing of a Clinic: Justice, Pedagogy and Scholarship

26 Clinical Law Review 263 (2019)

UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2019-53

25 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2019 Last revised: 24 Sep 2019

See all articles by Jennifer Lee Koh

Jennifer Lee Koh

University of California, Irvine School of Law

Date Written: September 14, 2019

Abstract

In this Essay, I reflect upon my experience directing the Immigration Clinic at Western State College of Law for nearly a decade, including my decision to close the Clinic after financial crisis put the law school’s ability to continue operating in serious jeopardy in the Spring of 2019. The Essay focuses on the themes of pedagogy and the viability of non-elite law schools, teaching and doing social justice in the clinical context, and the integration of theory, doctrine and practice in legal scholarship. By memorializing a portion of the Clinic’s work, the Essay seeks to give voice to stories that might otherwise go unheard during a time of institutional crisis. In doing so, I hope to disrupt the easy narratives that may otherwise dominate our understanding of Western State’s record and offer a perspective on the value of clinical legal education and clinic scholarship at non-elite law schools.

Keywords: clinical education, legal profession, immigration, pedagogy, clinical scholarship, deportation, detention, social justice, legal education

JEL Classification: K37

Suggested Citation

Koh, Jennifer Lee, Reflections on Elitism After the Closing of a Clinic: Justice, Pedagogy and Scholarship (September 14, 2019). 26 Clinical Law Review 263 (2019); UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2019-53. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3453532

Jennifer Lee Koh (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Drive
Suite 1000
Irvine, CA 92697

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