Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre Seminar Series

Learner-Centered Instruction in Clinical Legal Education: Lessons from a Model Street Law Class

Date: February 18, 2014 (Tuesday)
Time: 12:45 pm – 2:00 pm
Venue: Run Run Shaw Building Room 321, The University of Hong Kong
Speaker: Professor Richard L. Roe, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and Director of the D.C. Street Law Clinic

Street Law, or practical law for laypersons, is a promising approach for educating the public about the law that affects people’s daily lives and developing their civic and academic skills, as well as for meaningful public service and outreach in the community by law schools and law students. Moreover, it is highly effective in developing the lawyering abilities of law students as a matter of clinical legal education.

Professor Roe will conduct a representative participatory activity to introduce the concept and methodology of Street Law. Then, he will ask participants to watch and analyze a 15-minute video that highlights the key elements of an exemplary Street Law class in an inner-city high school in Washington, D.C and illustrates the range of instructional possibilities and values – from instructional methods to learning outcomes. The instructor in the video employs a number of techniques in the context of a mock trial, including a role-play, class participation, direct instruction, guided practice, advocacy, and assessment. Professor Roe will show and discuss the video, focusing on the identifiable components of the highly interactive, participatory, and learner-centered methodology and the learning value to both the law student instructor and the end learners, in this case high school students. The video will be examined from two perspectives: 1) how to conduct an effective Street Law class and teaching in general on a substantive topic, in this case rules of evidence, distilling fundamental methodological principles for Street Law and clinical legal education generally and 2) how law student and layperson engagement in authentic law-related issues can develop and advance lawyering and civic skills. The video was produced by the D.C.Bar Association and its Labor and Employment Section.

About the Speakers
Richard L. Roe is Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and Director of the D.C. Street Law Clinic. He received his J.D. degree in 1977 from the University of Maine School of Law and A.B. from Yale College in 1969.

Professor Roe since 1983 has directed the two-semester clinical program, Street Law High Schools, in which law students teach year-long elective courses in District of Columbia high schools. The courses treat legal and civic dimensions of criminal, tort, consumer, housing, family, human rights and other law and culminates in a city-wide mock trial competition. Professor Roe also directs the Street Law in the Community clinic in summers, in which law students teach a 6-week course in practical law in community settings, such as adult education programs, homeless settings, and prisons.

He also since 2009 is a facilitator of the Georgetown Law Center’s Lawyers in Balance program, an eight-week voluntary course each semester on mindfulness practices. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Thurgood Marshall Academy and the Hoya Federal Credit Union. Professor Roe has published “Valuing Student Speech: The Work for the Schools as Conceptual Development,” 79 Cal. L. Rev. 1269 (1991), which examines recent cognitive research and applies it to the learning environment of schools and the role of students expression in schools.

All are welcome.

Light refreshments will be served.