Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Clinical Fellowships, Faculty Hiring, And Community Values

G.S. Hans (Vanderbilt), Clinical Fellowships, Faculty Hiring, and Community Values, 27 Clinical L. Rev. 253 (2021):

This Essay explores clinical hiring practices as an expression of community values. In particular, it discusses how lawyers become clinical faculty to reflect on whether and how prior clinical teaching experience should be assessed for entry-level clinical applicants in order to effectuate equity and inclusion within law schools and the clinical community. Publicly available data suggest that a majority of recent entry-level clinical faculty have prior clinical teaching experience as fellows or staff attorneys. What does this apparent hiring pref- erence for prior teaching experience mean for the composition of the clinical community, especially with respect to equity and inclusion? 

As many fellowship programs include clinical pedagogical training, should clinical faculty be concerned about prioritizing applicants with prior clinical experience—or view such experience as a valuable factor in an applicant’s dossier? If clinical fellows are prioritized in hiring, what does that mean for the clinical community and its values? The Essay concludes with suggestions for specific, concrete steps that law schools and the clinical community can take to promote equity and inclusion in fellowship programs and entry-level hiring.

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