Clinicians Reflect on COVID-19: Lessons Learned and Looking Beyond

30 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2021

See all articles by Deborah N. Archer

Deborah N. Archer

New York University School of Law

Caitlin Barry

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Lisa Bliss

Georgia State University - College of Law

G.S. Hans

Cornell Law School

Vida Johnson

Georgetown Law

Carolyn Wilkes Kaas

Quinnipiac University

Lynnise Pantin

Columbia Law School

Kele Stewart

University of Miami - School of Law

Priya Baskaran

American University Washington College of Law

Jennifer Fernandez

CUNY School of Law; University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Crystal Grant

Duke University School of Law

Anjum Gupta

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School

Julia Hernandez

CUNY School of Law

Alexis Karteron

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School; New York University School of Law

Shobha Mahadev

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Date Written: October 15, 2021

Abstract

As a result of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, clinical faculty had to abruptly adapt their clinical teaching and case supervision practices to adjust to the myriad restrictions brought on by the pandemic. This brought specialized challenges for clinicians who uniquely serve as both legal practitioners and law teachers in the law school setting. With little support and guidance, clinicians tackled never before seen difficulties in the uncharted waters of running a clinical law practice during a pandemic.

In this report, we review the responses of 220 clinicians to survey questions relating to how law clinics and clinicians were treated by their institutions as they navigated these changes. Were clinical courses treated differently than other courses? Were clinical faculty treated differently than other faculty? Were some clinical courses treated differently than others? Did clinical faculty and staff experience pressure by their institutions to teach in-person or hybrid courses?

In addition to summarizing the findings to these questions, this report examines the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinicians and sheds light on some of the distinct challenges they faced. The report concludes with a list of recommended actions that law schools may take to equip themselves to provide appropriate support for clinical faculty during inevitable future emergencies, emphasizing the importance of autonomy and discretion for clinicians; specialized attention for diverse and vulnerable clinicians; and the very serious ethical and legal obligations of clinical law practices.

Keywords: Clinical education

Suggested Citation

Archer, Deborah N. and Barry, Caitlin and Bliss, Lisa and Hans, Gautam and Johnson, Vida and Kaas, Carolyn Wilkes and Pantin, Lynnise and Stewart, Kele and Baskaran, Priya and Fernandez, Jennifer and Grant, Crystal and Gupta, Anjum and Hernandez, Julia and Karteron, Alexis and Mahadev, Shobha, Clinicians Reflect on COVID-19: Lessons Learned and Looking Beyond (October 15, 2021). 28 CLINICAL L. REV. 15 (2021), Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series No. 2021-48, University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3965671, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3965671

Deborah N. Archer

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

HOME PAGE: http://rb.gy/yu1oys

Caitlin Barry

Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law ( email )

299 N. Spring Mill Road
Villanova, PA 19085
United States

Lisa Bliss

Georgia State University - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Gautam Hans

Cornell Law School ( email )

Vida Johnson

Georgetown Law ( email )

Carolyn Wilkes Kaas

Quinnipiac University ( email )

275 Mt. Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
United States

Lynnise Pantin

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

Kele Stewart

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States

Priya Baskaran

American University Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Ave NW
Washington, DC, DC 20016
United States

Jennifer Fernandez

CUNY School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Crystal Grant (Contact Author)

Duke University School of Law ( email )

9196137104 (Phone)
27708-0360 (Fax)

Anjum Gupta

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States
9733532518 (Phone)
9733531445 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.newark.rutgers.edu/anjum-gupta

Julia Hernandez

CUNY School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States
11101 (Fax)

Alexis Karteron

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

HOME PAGE: http://rb.gy/08mbzn

Shobha Mahadev

Northwestern University - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ( email )

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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