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Kline School of Law Joins ABA Consortium Committed to Improving Police Practices

Photo of police car in Washington D.C. by Matt Popovich

November 02, 2020

Thomas R. Kline School of Law has joined the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) new Legal Education Police Practices Consortium, which was announced on October 12, 2020. The Consortium was created in response to the nationwide calls for police reform and protests against racial injustice that have occurred since the summer.

“In any democratic society, the whole criminal justice system, including police, must be subject to regular civil oversight,” said Daniel Filler, dean of the Kline School of Law. “We are excited about this new opportunity for Kline Law students and faculty to engage in that process, working toward racial justice in our criminal justice system and improved policing practices in Philadelphia and beyond.”

The first law school in Philadelphia to participate in the Consortium, Kline joins 51 law schools throughout the nation that are taking part in the Consortium’s mission to “examine and address legal issues in policing and public safety, including conduct, oversight and the evolving nature of police work.”

Throughout the next five years, which is the term for the pilot of the Consortium, the Kline community will collaborate with experts at the ABA and at other member law schools to develop and implement better police practices at the local, state, and national levels. The collaboration between the ABA and law school leadership throughout the nation is central to the Consortium’s mission, because according to Dean of Suffolk University Law School Andrew Perlman, who helped create the Consortium, “we can achieve a great deal by acting collectively and in collaboration.”

While student roles have yet to be defined, Kline students will have the chance to be involved in the Consortium work. The ABA has said that student work may include engaging with police departments and local, state and national leaders on police practices; providing support to public-facing commentary and advocacy (research for op-eds, blogs and articles); and/or developing model curricula for law schools related to the Consortium’s goals.

Photo by Matt Popovich