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The course examines 1) key strategies that practicing public interest lawyers utilize to advance their clients’ and/or movements’ goals, including impact litigation, class actions, individual representation/direct services, community lawyering, government lawyering, the pro bono co-counsel model, and non-legal strategies, such as policy advocacy, civil disobedience, organizing, outreach and education, and coalition-building; 2) how these strategies complement each other and may sometimes conflict; 3) various substantive public interest issue areas and campaigns that will serve as case studies and draw from the instructors’ own focuses and those of frequent guest speakers; and 4) ethics of public interest lawyering. While the emphasis is on domestic public interest lawyering, the course will examine international human rights advocacy as well. Readings will include key cases, statutes, regulations, and treaties, as well as advocacy materials, such as briefs, letters, complaints, human rights reports, op-eds, journalism, lobbying materials, etc. Students will have weekly assignments and work in groups to develop an advocacy campaign as their final project.
Textbooks and Other Materials
The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check here to determine if books are currently available for purchase at the AU Campus Store.
Public Interest Lawyering: A Contemporary Perspective, by Alen K. Chen and Scott L. Cummings (Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
First Class Readings
- Chen and Cummings (textbook), Chapter 1, pp.3-40 - Chen and Cummings (textbook), Chapter 2, pp.41-59 - Bill Quigley, "Letter to a Law Student Interested in Social Justice," 1 DePaul Journal for Social Justice 7 (2007< available at http://law.duke.edu/curriculum/pdf/interested_social_justice.pdf.
The syllabus is available in the following format(s):