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Elon Law faculty contribute to legal education national conference

Professor Sue Liemer and Drew Simshaw, a Legal Method & Communication Fellow, took part in the 112th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, whose conference theme of "Access to Justice" focused on ways to ensure equal justice for all.

Professor Sue Liemer and LMC Fellow Drew Simshaw participated in panel discussions at the 112th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools held in San Diego the first week of January 2018.

Elon Law faculty members with expertise in legal writing shared perspectives on teaching and promoting access to legal services when they traveled to San Diego in January for the nation's largest annual gathering of American law school professors, administrators and professional staff.

Professor Sue Liemer and Drew Simshaw, a Legal Method & Communication Fellow, were among faculty from Elon Law to attend the 112th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. Elon Law Dean Luke Bierman, Professor Catherine Dunham, Professor Catherine Wasson, and Visiting Associate Professor Cindy Adcock, director of Elon Law's Residency-in-Practice Program, also traveled to California for the meeting.

The 2018 theme of “Access to Justice” reflects what AALS leaders describe as a core to America’s constitutional society.

“Justice Powell wrote, ‘Equal justice under law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building; it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society,’” Paul Marcus, president of AALS and a faculty member at the Marshall–Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary, wrote in a welcome message to the hundreds of conference attendees. “For a long time many law schools recognized the importance of training students to work for this fundamental ideal. While much has been done, clearly the needs remain great.”

Elon Law’s contributions to the success of the conference:

“A Global Guide to International Legal Exchange: Practical Secrets of Success and What to Do When Things Go Horribly Wrong” (featuring Professor Sue Liemer)

Liemer served as one of seven panelists in a discussion on recent changes to ABA standards “that make it easier to send U.S. law students on overseas programs if those programs are sponsored by their own schools.” The presentation was followed by a conversation and review of successful study abroad programs in law schools in the value they provide students.

Liemer spoke in particular about helping international students who come to the United States succeed in earning a J.D. or LLM degree. She described both worst and best case scenarios, then gave tips on how to support and appropriately accommodate international students who have English as a second language. She also explained how to assess the English language skills of entering ESL students in ways that are more accurate and helpful for legal study than a TOEFL score.

Liemer is director of Elon Law’s Legal Method & Communication Program. Her scholarship includes book chapters, law journal articles, and book reviews on legal writing education and the administration of legal writing programs. 

“Access to Justice in the Age of Technology, Television & Trump” (featuring LMC Fellow Drew Simshaw)

Simshaw served as one of eight panelists in a discussion group on proposed cuts to the Legal Services Corporation and how such cuts in President Donald Trump’s budget proposal would restrict access to legal services and information for underprivileged groups.

The discussion group utilized short presentations and moderated discussion to consider how technology, television, and Trump impacted understanding of, and response to, the access to justice crisis. Simshaw specifically addressed the opportunities and challenges associated with the emergence of artificial intelligence in the practice of law, and how access to justice will be impacted.

Simshaw previously taught at Georgetown, where he was a Clinical Teaching Fellow and Staff Attorney for the Institute for Public Representation, Georgetown Law’s nationally prominent clinical center. In addition to serving as a panel participant for AALS, Simshaw has been active in sharing research over the past three months at symposia and summits at Nova Southeastern University, Indiana University and Georgetown University, as well as contributing to a “Community Connections” forum at Elon University focused on technology and the workplace.

About Elon Law:

Elon University School of Law in Greensboro, North Carolina, is the preeminent school for engaged and experiential education in law. It integrates traditional classroom instruction with highly experiential full-time residencies-in-practice in a logically sequenced program of transformational professional preparation. Elon Law’s groundbreaking approach is accomplished in 2.5 years, which provides distinctive value by lowering tuition and permitting graduates early entry into their professional careers.

Eric Townsend,
1/5/2018 11:20 AM