I am really pleased to announce that the third year of funding for the Sabbaticals for Clinical Instructors has been approved by the Law Foundation of Ontario. The announcement with information on the criteria is attached to this post.
I submitted the original application for the funding in March, 2007, and it stated:
without the teaching clinics, and the extraordinary efforts of the staff that teach and train our law students, it would be much more difficult to recruit new lawyers to the legal aid system and other public interest offices that provide services for the marginalized and under-represented members of the Canadian community. Access to justice in the future will largely depend on the generation of new lawyers who explore the issues raised in a poverty law practice, and develop the specific relevant skills, within the teaching clinics. It is important we recognize the value of the instructors who work in these clinics, and the importance of time away from the clinic to reflect, assess, and reconceptualise their roles and practices in order to inject new ideas and methodologies into the programmes….
The purpose of this program is to provide the instructors with funding to allow them to take a period of time from the clinic to reflect on their work, on pedagogy, and contribute to the debates on access to justice through writing on the issues that arise for them in the course of their work.
I feel just as passionately about the role of clinical instructors today. On Friday, September 23, at Osgoode Hall Law School’s conference on “Clinical Education at 40”, we heard from the four people who went on sabbaticals in the first two years of the funding – it was encouraging to realise how much can be done with a bit of time for rest, reflection and rejuvenation. I hope two more people will find the inspiration to apply for this last year of funding (please note – this is the last year they will be funded).
If anyone has any questions about the program after reading the call for proposals, or if you just want to brainstorm ideas for the sabbatical, please feel free to contact me directly.