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Civil Practice Manual


This Civil Practice Manual is a combination of many different teaching forces, influences, and experiences within the various clinical law programs that have been taught over the previous 30 years at the University of New Mexico School of Law.


This Civil Practice Manual is a combination of many different teaching forces, influences, and experiences within the various clinical law programs that have been taught over the previous 30 years at the University of New Mexico School of Law. Certain sections have their origins in some of the early teaching materials that were created in the first civil law clinics at the law school. These materials have evolved over time and have in turn combined with other more modern teaching materials in more recent clinical programs. Other early influences and contributing experiences that are present in the Manual’s order and emphasis are the teaching experiences and materials that were available and regularly used in the 1970’s and 1980’s that were produced by the national office of the Legal Services Corporation. These teaching and training materials were in part generated and used regularly by law professors in many early clinical law programs. Also evident in the manual is the influence of the first major law text for clinical legal education, The Lawyering Process, (Foundation Press, 1978), by early Legal Services pioneers and then clinical law pioneers, Professor Gary Bellow (Harvard) and Professor Bea Moulton (Arizona State University). The influence of these materials is obvious in the Manual’s traditional organization and emphasis on interviewing, counseling, case planning and development, negotiation, and settlement as key legal skills. More modern influences on the Manual are evident in the manuals reliance and use of the extremely influential MacCrate Report, Legal Education and Professional Development –An Educational Continuum, (ABA, 1992), which should be required reading for all law students and attorneys. Also evident in the Manual is the more modern teaching emphasis on legal ethics and professionalism, which is evident throughout the manual but particularly in the sections and materials on ethics, civility, and professionalism. These last sections and materials are believed to be of particular importance for law students in contemporary clinical legal education. The other more modern influence in the materials is the presence and emphasis on ADR as a more viable dispute resolution device or alternative. The sections on the case acceptance letter, the non-acceptance letter, drafting pleadings, letter writing, and common practice areas are included to address recurring teaching areas and skills needs within existing civil clinical law programs at the University of New Mexico.
The materials in this Manual are particularly indebted to the teaching, discussion, debate, organization, and collaboration of the many law professors who have taught in civil law clinics at the University of New Mexico School of Law over the past 30 years. In particular, the authors would like to acknowledge the contributions over the years of Professor William T. MacPherson, Professor Helene Simpson, Professor J. Michael Norwood, Professor Richard A. Gonzales, and Professor Michelle Herman. Many other professors have also contributed to the materials and comments made in the manual and their contributions are also acknowledged. A kind word of appreciation and acknowledgement is also made for the editorial, technical, and word-processing support of Joseph Blecha, Dianna Ortiz, and Heather Williams. We also would like to acknowledge the generosity and cooperation of Professors J.P. Ogilvy and Karen Czapanskiy for graciously allowing us to use certain listings from their excellent clinical bibliography, Clinical Legal Education: an Annotated Bibliography (2ed.), Clin. L. Rev., Spring, 2001, for use in certain of the bibliographies compiled in these materials. This practice manual would not be possible without the help and cooperation of all these fine colleagues.

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