lAW CLINIC + eXTERNSHIP dATA:
DETAILED, LONGITUDINAL, VALUED

94%Schools responding

500Courses with detailed design data

80%Law Schools have used CSALE data

145Law review articles using CSALE data

Survey Results

The Center for the study of Applied Legal Education

The Center for the Study of Applied Legal Education is a 501(c)(3), non-profit corporation, dedicated to the empirical study of applied legal education. Located at the University of Michigan Law School, since 2007 CSALE has collected data on applied legal education in areas including program design, capacity, administration, funding, pedagogy, and the role of applied legal education and educators in the academy. Ninety-four percent of ABA accredited law schools participated in CSALE’s most recent survey. Law schools, legal educators, scholars and governmental agencies examining or navigating issues in these areas have repeatedly relied on CSALE's data for more than a decade.

Learn more about free access to CSALE's data

CSALE was formed in 2007 with a seed grant from the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education. CSALE's work continues today with continuing support from the University of Michigan Law School, Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, the Law School Admission Council, and, by necessity, from people like you and Law Schools who believe in the value of CSALE's work. To join the growing list of Gold Circle Institutional Supporters, contact us at administrator@csale.org or at (734)763-4319.

THe Need

Since its modern "re-birth" in the late 1960's, applied legal education has taken a firm hold in the American legal academy. The American Bar Association now mandates that every law school offer its students "substantial opportunities for… live-client or other real-life practice experiences… designed to encourage reflection by students on their experiences and on the values and responsibilities of the legal profession… " The ABA also closely regulates both clinical and field placement programs.

Despite its proliferation, until CSALE's formation, there was little empirical analysis of applied legal education. Program design, administration, funding, pedagogy, and the role of applied legal education and educators in the academy were, as an empirical matter, largely unknown. Scholars writing in and about the field had nowhere to turn for empirical evidence. The lack of data also hindered innovation and advancement because educators charting the course and texture of applied legal education in their home institutions had no concrete models from which to work. Since 2007 CSALE has been dedicated to filling this empirical void and, with its triennial survey cycle, creating a statistically sound picture of the evolution of applied legal education over time.

The CSALE Survey

The Survey

CSALE has conducted its Survey of Applied Legal Education every three years since 2007.   The survey now consists of two primary parts:  the Master Survey and the Faculty Sub-Survey.  The Master Survey gathers demographic information about each school and provides an overview of its applied legal education programs and insight into hiring and retention practices for applied legal educators. The Master Survey is also the vehicle through which the Faculty Sub-Surveys are electronically assigned to, predominantly, persons teaching full-time in a law clinic or field placement program.  

The Faculty Sub-Survey is a short, anonymous survey that captures biographical information about the respondent (race, gender, years teaching, etc.). It also collects the defining characteristics of the respondent's employment, including, among other things: the nature of employment relationship; promotion and retention standards; compensation; supervision ratios; voting rights; committee participation; and support by and rights within his or her institution.  Respondents who direct a law clinic or field placement also answer a series of targeted questions about how their courses are, among other things, designed, staffed, taught and graded.  


Survey Methodology

CSALE's data is collected exclusively on-line. An invitation to complete the Master Survey is sent to the person at every ABA accredited law school in the country with primary responsibility for, or considerable knowledge of, the applied legal education programs at his or her school. That person is responsible for assigning the Faculty Sub-Surveys.  CSALE remotely monitors the progress on all invited Master and Sub Surveys and periodically sends reminders to invitees who have not yet participated.

Survey Results

CSALE'S FOURTH TRIENNIAL SURVEY WAS COMPLETED IN 2017 WITH 94% OF ABA ACCREDITED LAW SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING.

CSALE makes its data available at no cost in two ways. First, the results of each triennial national survey are provided in a detailed report at the end of every survey cycle. You can download the report on each survey above.  Second, CSALE works with end users to help shape their inquiry and then generates customized reports cross-tabulating various aspects of the data. More than 75% of US Law Schools have relied upon such reports in making decisions about their applied legal education offerings. To make such a request, please view the Report for the year from which you would like to receive data and identify by section and question number the various data points you’re interested in. Then contact us with the relevant information to make your request. If you would like guidance in formulating your request or on program design and staffing issues, please contact us to arrange a brief free consultation. Finally, note that:  (1) limited salary and compensation data (in a format that does not reveal participants' identities) is available subject to certain limitations to protect participants’ identities; (2) there are some limitations on the breadth of a request that we will raise in the very atypical situation where a request exceeds those limitations; and (3) all consultations and data reports are strictly confidential between CSALE and the recipient. 

Promotion Standards

As part of each Survey, CSALE asks participants to submit their promotion and retention standards for applied legal educators. Law schools considering changes to their standards typically find such examples extremely helpful. Below are the schools that have submitted their standards. They are divided into four groups: (i) schools with Tenure or Clinical Tenure Track clinicians; (ii) schools with Tenure Track and Clinical Contract clinicians: (iii) schools with clinicians working under a contract; and (iv) schools with standards that cover both clinicians on tenure/clinical tenure track and contract. Simply click on the school's name to download their standards in pdf format and note that the year in the file name is the year that the standards were submitted to CSALE and not necessarily the year that the standards were adopted at a particular school. Please also note that many schools who use the Tenure Track and Clinical Tenure Track models often have some clinicians working under alternative arrangements (e.g., fellows, short term contracts, staff attorneys). Finally, if you would like to add your school's standards to the list, simply attach them to an email to administrator@csale.org.

Board of Directors

  • Bradford Colbert, Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, Mitchell-Hamline School of Law. 
  • Deborah Epstein, Professor of Law, Georgetown University School of Law.
  • Paula Galowitz, Clinical Professor of Law Emerita, New York University School of Law. Professor Galowitz is CSALE's Treasurer.
  • Peter Joy, Henry Hitchcock Professor of Law Washington University School of Law. Professor Joy is CSALE's Secretary.
  • Robert Kuehn, Associate Dean for Clinical Education, Washington University School of Law.  Professor Kuehn is CSALE's Vice-President.
  • Margaret (Meg) Reuter, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of Field Placement Programs, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. 
  • David Santacroce, Clinical Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School. Professor Santacroce is CSALE's President.
  • Susan Schechter, Field Placement Program Director & Lecturer in Residence, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.
  • Charles Weisselberg, Faculty Director, Sho Sato Program in Japanese And U.S. Law, Yosef Osheawich Professor Of Law, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Support Us

The data CSALE collects is available free of charge for non-commercial use by scholars, law schools and legal educators. CSALE's continued existence –and its ability to track changes in applied legal education over time – is entirely dependent on the generosity of others. CSALE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization: your contribution is tax deductible. To make a secure credit card donation via PayPal (no account required), click the donate button below and be sure to fill in and "update" your donation amount before entering your credit card information. For information on becoming a Gold Circle Institutional Supporter, contact us at administrator@csale.org or at (734) 763-4319.

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