Out of Order: Sexual Harassment, Field Placements, and our Roles and Responsibilities

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CONFERENCE: Externships (X) Conferences

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Mead, Lisa; Reuter, Meg; Schechter, Sue
Legal Education; Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility; Other Education
conference paper description
Recent events have made clear that sexually inappropriate conduct is more commonplace than many wish to believe. Our externship students are subject to such behaviors. How do we advise our students as they apply to placements? How do we learn about such workplace misconduct? What steps do we take when an incident occurs? What Title IX and legal liability issues should we understand? Are there best practices? This session will start with a quick debrief of the recent reports of sexual harassment by a Ninth Circuit Judge, and how law schools jumped into action to respond on behalf of students already committed to placements in the judge’s chambers. Although the incident may be more dramatic than we typically encounter, it is a good launch point for a healthy exploration of our role and responsibilities when our students face sexually inappropriate and abusive conduct. We will work through a set of scenarios regarding how externship directors learn about, teach about, and handle such incidents in placements generally and the special concerns regarding placements in judicial chambers.