Professor Clark D. Cunningham -- Recent Activities
On January 23, at Warwick University in England, Professor Clark Cunningham co-chaired an opening session on creating an international web-based resource for teaching ethics at the Third Learning in Law Annual Conference sponsored by the United Kingdom Centre for Legal Education.
Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, the former Chief Justice of Scotland, who chairs the Signet Accreditation Program, established by the Society of Writers to Her Majesty's Signet, invited Professor Clark Cunningham to attend the second annual award ceremony for the program on January 28 in Edinburgh. Professor Cunningham has previously served as an academic consultant to the Society of Writers (Scotland's most prestigious professional association of lawyers) in the development of the Signet Accreditation, an innovative program which confers specialty certification on lawyers in the early years of practice and includes assessment of effective client communication skills and ethical decisionmaking.
On March 5 the Legal Education Analysis and Reform Network (LEARN) published its Description of Planned Projects for 2009 - 2010, which was widely distributed, including to all law school deans. As a member of the LEARN working group on teaching, Professor Clark Cunningham was a primary drafter of two of these projects (creation of a website of teaching resources and a summer institute on law teaching). The LEARN document also describes a project on alternatives to the traditional bar examination that proposes to support and study the development of standardized client protocols for New Hampshire's pilot program for a bar exam alternative; Cunningham is a consultant for the New Hampshire program. LEARN developed out of an invitation-only conference attended by Cunningham which was hosted in 2007 by Stanford Law School and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. LEARN is supported by a consortium of 10 law schools, including Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, NYU and Vanderbilt. Its co-convenors are Associate Dean Lawrence Marshall, Stanford Law School, and Dr. William M. Sullivan, Co-Director of the Carnegie Foundation’s Preparation for the Professions Program.
Professor Clark Cunningham has agreed to serve on a committee formed by the American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility and the Consortium of Professionalism Initiatives to propose criteria of excellence in teaching ethics and professionalism in response to requests for such criteria for possible use in the annual report on law schools published by US News & World Report and for the new accreditation standards being developed by the ABA Section on Legal Education.
Professor Clark Cunningham presented "What Clients Want from Their Lawyers: Are Big Firm Clients Different?," on May 28 in Denver as part of a panel on Private Practice Lawyers: Economic & Organizational Structure of Law Firms at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Law & Society Association.
Professor Clark Cunningham was appointed as an international member of the Reference Group advising on a multiyear project for the design, implementation and evaluation of a good practice approach to the final year experience in Australian legal education being funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
A book chapter proposal by Professor Clark Cunningham and Charlotte Alexander, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professionalism (NIFTEP), entitled The Carnegie Foundation Critique of American Legal Education Prompts New Focus: The Development of Professional Judgment, has been accepted for inclusion in The Ethics Project in Legal Education, an internationally distributed book to be published by Routledge-Cavendish.
The National Institute for Teaching Ethics & Professionalism (NIFTEP) has received a grant from the United Kingdom Centre For Legal Education (UKCLE) to develop a pilot website intended to be a model for an international, interactive website for teaching ethics and professionalism. The pilot website will be presented at the UKCLE annual meeting next January in England. A distinguished international advisory board has already been formed. The NIFTEP Director Clark Cunningham and NIFTEP Deputy Director Charlotte Alexander co-authored this successful grant proposal. NIFTEP is a consortium of universities ethics centers housed at GSU. For more information: http://law.gsu.edu/niftep/InternationalWebsitePilot.htm
Professor Clark Cunningham has agreed to serve on the national advisory committee for a project funded by the newly created publishing arm of New York Law School to create an entirely web-based set of materials for teaching legal ethics and professional responsibility. The project has retained a nationally known documentary production company to produce a “pilot episode” entitled “The Real World: Lawyers Edition.”
On October 6 Professor Clark Cunningham conducted a workshop on reforming legal education for graduate students of the International Institute for the Sociology of Law (IISL) in Oñati, Spain. The IISL is the only international institution providing graduate degrees specifically on the sociology of law. This Institute is a joint venture of the Research Committee on Sociology of Law of the International Sociological Association and the government of the Basque autonomous region in Spain.
On October 7 Professor Clark Cunningham presented a paper on heroic lawyering at the annual meeting of the International Bar Association, held in Madrid. The panel where his paper was presented was a Joint Session of the Academic and Professional Committee and the Judges Forum.