New UConn Post Focuses On Hands-On Education
Chill is aware that his new position is a response to what is considered a national crisis in legal education. "It is a crisis, one that's really been a long time building," he said. "But it's also a time of great opportunity. Things are changing, and I think, they are changing in a really good direction."
Law school clinics can be life-changing events — for both students and their clients. For example, Chill noted that when the child protection clinic started, the focus was on working with children. But eventually the focus was changed to working with the parents, because the law school wanted students to gain experience with adult clients.
When students learned of the change, they were disappointed. "They said, hey, 'I came in here to work with children, I don't want to represent child abusers and crack addicts,'" Chill recalled.
But the lessons learned working with the parents taught the students about working with clients who have "real-life problems." After all, that's what legal practice is like for most lawyers. With the new focus, Chill said, "the experience was transformational." •