Archive for the 'Housekeeping' Category

Name change

May 30, 2007

If you’re paying attention, you’ve already noticed that the title of the blog has changed: from “PLE / Canada / Fulbright” to “PLE Theory and Practice.” Also, the “About” blurb on the left side has been updated.

These are both portents of a new era for this blog.

Thank you.

May 30, 2007

This post will be my last as a regular contributor to this blog. I will continue to write on the blog, but only occasionally from now on.

The future of the blog is shaky, but more promising each day. Lois Gander, PLE legend and University of Alberta professor, will take interim control. Within the next two weeks, I hope to work with Lois to recruit a small team of contributors and editors. The emails and votes on the “fate of the blog” poll have made it clear that there’s a strong interest in keeping this thing going.

I don’t have any substantive content for today (though I would like to quickly link to another blog’s entry yesterday complimenting the Éducaloi and CLEO websites). Rather, I just want to thank everyone. The main reason I’ve been living in Canada for the last nine months was to focus full-time on public legal education. That work has been so tremendously productive—thanks almost entirely to the help and support of all of you here—that I could never have expected how much I accomplished in such a short time.

But the research is ultimately no more than half of it. I’ve also been here to understand this country, to see it from coast to coast, and to exchange experiences, culture, and dreams between the U.S. and Canada. For doing that, the people I’ve met and worked with—especially my main readership here—could not be beat. In every place I went, I was shown nothing less than phenomenal hospitality. You have made my time here unforgettable and enriched my life and career like no other nine months could have.

Thank you.

Vote! and decide the fate of this blog

May 24, 2007

As many of you know, I will soon be leaving Canada to return to Idaho and begin full-time work as a legal aid staff attorney. I’ve received lots of encouragement and appreciation for this blog, but after the beginning of June, I cannot commit to sustaining it.

One possibility for this blog’s future would be to hand off the reins to a designated successor. A similar option would be to assemble a collective of several authors, including myself, who would all contribute content. Or, of course, I could simply let the blog go dark.

I’d like to get your feedback. I am going to try using the poll below to do it. Please don’t be shy! Click on the statement you most agree with. Your responses will directly determine the future of this blog. Comments are welcome, too.

POLL: What Fate For This Blog?

1. The blog was great for a while, but it need not continue.
2. It would be nice if the blog continued in some way.
3. This blog is very important! You must keep it going!
4. I did not find the blog helpful.

Saskatoon and Winnipeg site visits

May 1, 2007

I am in Saskatoon and Winnipeg this week, visiting first PLEA and then CLEA. Regular posting will resume next week.

Nationwide roundups: I’m taking requests

April 24, 2007

I’ve received a notable amount of appreciation for my post compiling links to internet-based PLE projects. I’d like to continue to help in this way.

Because I’ve just been all across the country to learn about ongoing projects, I could easily put together more “nationwide roundup” lists. So, I’m taking requests. If you’d like to request a topic—say, Aboriginal-oriented programming, or radio-based projects, or schools programs—leave a comment or send me an email.

Although I can’t guarantee I can always assemble comprehensive lists, there’s a good chance that if I leave someone out they’ll correct me.

Apologies for the blackout

March 19, 2007

I was out of the country for the second half of last week. Although I meant to warn of this before I left, I was recording podcast interviews up until the very minute that I had to leave for the airport. Regular posting resumes today, and new podcasts should be appearing soon.


March 8, 2007

Three notes about comments on this blog (to answer the many questions I’ve got about this):

  1. How to comment: look at the bottom of a post and click the link that either says “No Comments,” “1 Comment,” “2 Comments,” etc.
  2. I’ve added a list of recent comments to the stack of helpful information on the left sidebar. Now y’all can keep track of who’s said what when.
  3. You should now be able to comment anonymously, in case you need to say something important but sensitive.

PLE organization case studies: update

November 1, 2006

To anyone waiting with bated breath, etc., for more PLE organizational histories, please pardon a slight delay as I wait to go over my histories with those who can confirm their accuracy. Although I had originally intended to post histories of the BC Legal Services Society and the Law Courts Education Society before leaving for Vancouver on Monday, I believe it’s more important to ensure that the histories present a true picture than to get them up on the blog right away.

What this blog is for and why I’m here

September 19, 2006

For the next nine months—until about June 2007—I will be doing full-time research of public legal education (PLE) in Canada. This research is the focus of my Fulbright fellowship, a grant from the U.S. Department of State that is administered by the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America.

This blog is meant to provide a chronological account of my research and to offer a forum for those interested in my research to contribute suggestions as my Fulbright year progresses. The posts I publish here will be mostly substantive reports on the results of my work, plus some occasional analysis and opinion. For anyone curious about my general thoughts on PLE and other topics, or my experiences in Canada as a Fulbrighter, email me and I’ll direct you to my other blog.

For the first entry on this “research blog,” I thought I’d briefly cover two things: (1) point out this blog’s features and (2) explain what brought me to Canada to study public legal education.

Blog features

  • The posts: you know what they are—the dated entries like this one. The important thing to know about them is that you can add your comments to them (look for a link at the bottom of each post). Comments are one way to discuss my research with me or just provide one-way feedback on it; another way is to email me.
  • Research documents: these are listed towards the top of the “sidebar.” At the time of this first post, this list only includes my research plan, the original research proposal, and a research schedule. As I prepare research reports, manuscripts, and articles, I’ll add those to the list. And I’ll be updating the schedule (and occasionally the research plan) as the year goes on. Note that you can comment on these documents, just like with the blog posts.
  • PLE organizations: my research is keenly focused on what I call “standalone” public legal education organizations—organizations whose primary if not sole purpose is to educate communities and the public about the law. There are an unusually large number of these organizations in Canada. I’ve tried to list all of the current Canadian standalone PLE organizations on the sidebar. If I’ve left one out, please email me.

Why I’m here

In the United States, where I’m from and will be returning in the summer of 2007, community legal education (as PLE is more often called there) is almost always a sideproject. Although a whole range of organizations tackle the unfathomable legal illiteracy of the American public, almost none of them consider it their primary purpose. The few primary-purpose PLE organizations that there are tend to focus on school curricula (so-called “law-related education) or operate at a national and therefore necessarily detached level. I believe that the Canadian standalone PLE model makes a lot of intuitive sense, especially since the legal profession has never committed to public education the way the medical and scientific professions have.

So, I’m here in Canada because I want to see if the intuitive attractiveness of standalone PLE is deserved or a mistake. I’m here in Edmonton, specifically, for three significant reasons: Lois Gander, a Canadian PLE pioneer and leading scholar; the Legal Studies Program, a long-running PLE organization and research center; and the world’s largest Canadian PLE archives, which are held by the University of Alberta libraries and the Legal Studies Program.