Thursday, May 5, 2011

Working With Academia


A recent Internet search turned up an article from the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy entitled "Lawyering and Learning in Problem-Solving Courts." Written by Paul Holland of Seattle University's School of Law, the piece makes the case for greater engagement between law school clinics and problem-solving courts.

The article got me thinking about all of the ways that the Center for Court Innovation is involved with academia. We are currently putting the finishing touches on a new curriculum for public policy schools based on our trial and error work. This comes on the heels of our work to create a law school class on problem-solving justice, which we piloted at Fordham Law School and which continues to be taught at places like Brooklyn Law. In addition, many Center for Court Innovation staffers have taught courses at local schools based on their individual areas of expertise. (See, for example,Danielle Malangone's recent class at the New School on human trafficking.) And this doesn't include all of the guest speaking that Center staffers do at graduate and undergraduate classes or all of the internships or research projects that we facilitate for area students.

Partnership with academic institutions isn't always easy though. Most of our work with universities has felt episodic and, frankly, hit-or-miss. One of the most consistent relationships that we have developed is with John Jay College of Criminal Justice. This has been a multi-faceted partnership that has included joint research, community service projects and, perhaps most notably, a special Steamboat Fellowship initiative.