November 23, 2010
Eleven Chinese law professors came to Sacramento earlier this month to participate in an "Experiential Legal Education Observational Training and Study Tour."
The delegation's visit was part of the USAID Phase II Partnership in Experiential Legal Education program, which has been led by McGeorge under the direction of Professor Brian Landsberg and Program Manager Clemence Kucera.
More than a dozen members of the McGeorge faculty participated in a 12-day program that stretched from the delegation's arrival on October 30 to its departure early on the morning of November 10, 2010. Instructors included Professors Jay Leach, Cary Bricker, Michael Vitiello, Linda Carter, Michael Colatrella and Fred Galves. Dorothy Landsberg, the Director of Clinical Studies, and clinical professors Kathleen Benton and Melissa Brown also participated along with Field Placement Director Colleen Truden, Global Lawyering Skills professors Hether Macfarlane and Jeff Proske, and Assistant Dean Matt Downs and Monica Sharum from the Gordon D. Schaber Law Library.
The Chinese law professors sat in on numerous classes, each preceded by a half-hour introduction from the McGeorge professor teaching the course or overseeing student activity in a clinic. The visitors toured several Sacramento landmarks, including the Robert T. Matsui Courthouse where they met with U.S. District Court Judge Morrison C. England Jr. and observed several federal case hearings. The group also traveled to Stanford Law School to observe the clinical operation there and took a day-long visit to San Francisco.
"The visiting professors all gave very high marks to the learning during their visit," Professor Landsberg said. "I have gained a real understanding of clinical education, developed new idea on teaching concepts and their implementation, and learned skills that can be applied to practical teaching, " one Chinese professor noted on an evaluation sheet.
"In sum, the visit furthered the program goal of enabling Chinese law professors to better inculcate professional skills and values to their students, the future lawyers, judges and government officials of China," added Landsberg.
The next step for the Phase II program will be a summer workshop in China, where a group of McGeorge professors will help participants develop curricular materials for use in Chinese legal clinics and simulation courses such as negotiations and persuasive advocacy.