University of South Carolina School of Law associate professor Claire Raj has been named co-chair elect of the executive committee for the Association of American Law School’s Section on Clinical Legal Education. She previously served as a member of the executive and awards committees. Raj joins Emily Suski, another South Carolina clinical faculty member who currently sits on the nominations committee. One of the largest and most active, the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education strives to improve the experiences and learning opportunities for students, clients and professors of clinical legal education through the exchange of ideas and activities.
I am truly honored and humbled that my colleagues on the executive committee selected me for this leadership role and I’m excited to work with so many fantastic clinic and externship professors from across the country and find new ways to bring us together to share ideas and resources.
Raj, who directs the Education Rights Clinic at the School of Law, says one of the current chairs reached out and asked her to serve on the executive committee. She will spend this year learning more about her upcoming responsibilities and will help the committee accomplish its current goals, which include prioritizing racial justice.
“I am truly honored and humbled that my colleagues on the executive committee selected me for this leadership role and I’m excited to work with so many fantastic clinic and externship professors from across the country and find new ways to bring us together to share ideas and resources,” says Raj, who will lead the section in 2022 alongside fellow co-chair Cindy Wilson, a clinical professor at Northwestern School of Law. “Together, we plan to continue supporting the work of clinical educators around the country, reflect on lessons learned about teaching through a global pandemic, and continue the conversation on how to move forward in this new reality.”
Raj began her tenure at South Carolina Law as a visiting assistant professor in 2012 before joining full time in 2015. In the Education Rights Clinic, she works with second and third year law students to assist families of children with disabilities in accessing educational services. Her scholarship has addressed topics such as inequalities in access to special education services among racial and ethnic subgroups, disparities in the discipline of students with disabilities, and the impacts of state and federal voucher policies on students with disabilities. Her scholarship has appeared in the Michigan Law Review, Emory Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, Arizona State Law Journal, among others.
Before joining South Carolina Law’s faculty, Raj worked at Howard University School of Law, where she coordinated the Equal Justice Program. In that role, she directed the externship program, taught seminars in public interest lawyering, and coordinated pro bono opportunities, including alternative spring break trips to assist in post-Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans. She also coordinated the law school’s Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, a clinical program where law students taught constitutional law and juvenile justice in local public high schools. She was previously a staff attorney with the Children’s Law Center, a non-profit in Washington, DC, where she represented children in the foster care system.