Associate Dean Jon Dubin Receives National Award as Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Legal Education

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Throughout the almost 25 years of his law teaching career, Jon C. Dubin, Associate Dean for Clinical Education and Professor of Law at Rutgers School of Law–Newark,  has been an ardent and effective proponent of both the value of clinical legal education and the integration of clinical faculty into the legal academic community.

In recognition of his commitment to and advancement of the clinical community, the Clinical Legal Education Association has selected Dubin as the recipient of its 2014 CLEA Award for Outstanding Advocate for Clinical Teachers. Dubin received the award on April 30 at the Association of American Law Schools’ Conference on Clinical Legal Education.

“Jon Dubin has long been a national leader in the advancement of clinical legal education,” said Acting Dean Ronald K. Chen, “and as our Associate Dean has led our groundbreaking clinical program to new levels of achievement. We are very proud of him.”

Professor Dubin began his teaching career at St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1990 and rose to the positions of tenured Professor of Law and Coordinator of Clinical Programs before his departure for Rutgers. He founded the first in-house clinic at St. Mary’s and spearheaded the institutionalization of its nascent clinical program, which had expanded to five clinics, before coming to Rutgers.

When Dubin arrived at the law school in 1999, the Rutgers Clinical Program had for more than 30 years been an important part of the school’s mission of public service and social justice, as well as the primary vehicle for providing professional lawyering skills instruction. Yet most clinical teachers lacked faculty status, job security, and a role in institutional governance.

After his 2002 appointment as the school’s first overall clinical director, Dubin began work on remedying this situation. Dubin’s efforts, in collaboration with senior, non-clinical faculty members, culminated in the creation of the Clinic Scholar Series in 2005 – essentially a clinical tenure track designed to achieve fuller participation by clinical faculty in the life and operation of the law school. The framework promotes and supports the production of scholarship; extends “for cause” job security upon satisfaction of the scholarship, teaching, clinical practice, and service criteria; and advances clinicians’ participation in institutional governance by extending faculty meeting voting rights for the first time..

In addition to promoting the interests of the Rutgers–Newark Clinical Program, Dubin has served on the governing boards of nearly every national organization involved with the development and advancement of clinical legal education, including the AALS Clinical Section, the Clinical Legal Education Association, and the Clinical Law Review. He also has fostered a spirit of community among clinicians nationwide through his frequent participation in national conferences and his scholarship.

In his writings he has championed clinical education and developed poverty law doctrine that protects and promotes the rights of clients served by law school clinics. His books include Clinical Education for This Millennium: The Third Wave (Ayumi Miche Kodama and Eri Osaka trans. 2005), the Japanese book version of 7 Clin. L. Rev. 1 (2000) (co-authored with Margaret M. Barry and Peter A. Joy), and four editions of Social Security Disability Law and Procedure in Federal Court (2010-2014, Thomson Reuters/West Publishing Co.) (co-authored with Carolyn A. Kubitschek). Among his articles that focus on clinical legal education are “The Rutgers Cases and the State of the Law of State Law School Clinical Programs,” 65 Rutgers L. Rev. 817 (2013); “Faculty Diversity as a Clinical Legal Education Imperative,” 51 Hastings L.J. 445 (2000); and “Clinical Design for Social Justice Imperatives,” 55 S.M.U.L. Rev. 1461 (1998).

Professor Dubin has won several awards for his scholarship and commitment to underserved individuals and communities. They include the 2014 National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives’ Eileen W. Sweeney Award for advancing the quality and availability of advocacy for disability claimants and improving the adjudicatory process; the 2010 Oliver Randolph Award for Civil Rights Advocacy by the Garden State Bar Association; the 2007 Stanley Van Ness Leadership Award for Career Contributions to Public Interest Law by New Jersey Appleseed and the New Jersey Public Interest Law Center; and the Edgar and Jean Cahn Award from the National Equal Justice Library for published one of the most outstanding articles about equal justice for lower-income persons written during the 20th century.

Professor Dubin was named to the new position of Associate Dean for Clinical Education in 2010. In addition to directing one of the country’s oldest and most extensive “live-client” clinical programs, he handles social welfare benefit cases within the Civil Justice Clinic and teaches classroom classes in Administrative Law and Poverty Law.