Open House to Celebrate Remodeled Clinic

September 6, 2012

The clinical law faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Law will host an Oct. 5 open house to celebrate the grand opening of its newly refurbished state-of-the-art clinical classroom. The open house will take place from 5-7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Those attending will be treated to refreshments and appetizers, mariachi music and an opportunity to tour the nationally ranked clinic. The new classroom has been designed with an emphasis on collaborative learning.

Every UNM clinical student is provided with a fully equipped workstation designated for their exclusive use. The workstations are clustered in an open design oriented toward a supervising faculty member’s separate workstation. Each faculty member is supported by an interactive whiteboard, which, through leading-edge technology, allows for easy supervision and class participation. Each of the clinic’s five workstation clusters is also supported by its own small library and filing system for quick access to files.

The clinic’s additional rooms have also been refurbished with an eye toward creating and modeling a collaborative working environment. The design is open and modern to encourage information exchange in a confidential setting.

In keeping with the introduction of interactive whiteboard technology, enhancing the technology infrastructure of the entire clinic is a major point of emphasis. Digital recording is available in the interview rooms and conference rooms. Interviews can be replayed on faculty computers and projected on the whiteboards. The conference room is also equipped with computer projection. 

The entire clinic is supported with a common office management system, which allows for digital storing entire client files, keeping track of case activities, planning, and time expended.  Systems for knowledge management are in place and expansion of these systems is under way.

The remodeled clinic reflects the clinical program itself. When the clinic opened its doors in 1971,  it consisted of a single client interview room, a hallway desk where one all-purpose support staff member did her work and a couple of used trailers parked in a lot next to the law school that clinical students shared with the local rodent population. Building on decades of hard work by the faculty, staff and students, the law school’s clinical program now enjoys a national and international reputation for excellence. Professor April Land currently leads the clinic as associate dean of clinical affairs.

The open house precedes the 2012 Mountain West Regional Clinic Conference, on Oct. 6. Legal clinical educators from the region will spend the day focusing on the importance of connecting and collaborating during a series of workshops and panel discussions.