Kate Devlin Joyce and retired judge John Cratsley, who direct the judicial externship clinics and classes at Boston College and Harvard Law Schools, recently presented their innovative poster at the 40th Annual Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Denver. Recognizing that students in both of their clinics spend many hours doing court observation and assisting their judges with legal research and writing, they developed three simulations, essentially advocacy role plays, for students to do in class. Their poster and accompanying handouts contained these role plays, each of which challenges students with advocacy exercises reflecting moments in court they will likely encounter in practice.
The first contains two jury selection exercises involving the Batson/Soares (MA SJC) issue of the improper use of peremptory challenges, first, by a prosecutor to exclude Hispanic jurors and, second, by defense counsel to exclude female jurors. The second role play challenges students to marshal the arguments necessary to persuade a judge to keep their client in a drug court rehabilitation program. And the third contains two scenarios in which various degrees of judicial participation in civil case settlement raise questions of moving to disqualify the judge from continuing with the trial.
Each role play is illustrated in the poster and the accompanying handouts contain learning outcomes and performance measurements, a teaching guide, and the role play scripts. The overall goal of the poster and the handouts is to provide teachers of judicial externship clinics with options for more active and engaging classroom activities.