December 01, 2005

364 days more

364 days to go till the end of my term as OLA director.

I started as OLA Director today at 8 am with a meeting and several administrative chores.  Still need to get oriented with the way everything works—it’s been a while since I was part of the OLA decision-making processes;  certainly, there are changes that need to be made, some of them ASAP, the others yesterday.

What I want for OLA is a return to basics. It is, essentially and first, a teaching clinic.  It is part of the law school.  It is not a center for cheap or free labor.  It is also not supposed to be a substitute for the public prosecutor or the public attorney’s office.  

OLA should not be handling cases that have little or no pedagogical value where, in doing so, we relieve the public prosecutor or the PAO of their duties;  they are, after all, paid to do these duties.  Instead, OLA should fill a niche—the same niche it created twenty plus years ago—a revolutionary way of looking at legal education where students are encouraged to look at law practice as pedagogy in itself.    

OLA should also be fun. I had fun exploring the many ways law could work and the many ways law could not work when I was an intern a lifetime ago.  But it ceases to be fun when the intern is snowed down by soooo many administrative requirements that the pedagogical value of case handling is overshadowed or weighted down by these requirements.  Yes, OLA is 2000 units, but it can be 2000 units of fun.

Let’s see what happens in the next 364 days.

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