Public Interest Law and Practice
This course will examine the history, theoretical frameworks, strategies and political position of public interest law practice and attorneys in the United States. We will consider the role of lawyers and the legal system in advancing reforms; different models of lawyering; ethical issues related to working as a lawyer within a social movement; the personal impacts of this type of career choice; and strategies employed by lawyering in differing settings, from issue-based non-profits to government agencies, and private public interest law firms or legal services groups. Readings will include law review articles, legal pleadings and case studies that allow analysis and exploration of the tensions and challenges that exist within the legal system for public interest practitioners. We will also consider how lawyers interact and collaborate with other participants in social justice movement.