Counter-Pedagogy for Social Justice: Core Skills for Community Lawyering
Clincal Law Review, Vol. 9, p. 195, 2002
21 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2008 Last revised: 22 Feb 2014
Date Written: September 21, 2002
An important component of lawyering for social justice is working in communities. In addition to conventional skills, such as legal analysis and litigation, community-based lawyers need skills not taught in the mainstream curriculum. This article describes a counter-pedagogy for teaching students three core skills for community lawyering: how to collaborate with members of the community; how to acknowledge personal identity, race and emotion; and how to take a community perspective on legal problems. The author argues that these skills cannot be taught in isolation, but should be integrated into the teaching itself, including the teaching of substantive areas of the law. He suggests, for example, that students are more likely to learn how to collaborate if the entire clinical course is based on a collaborative approach, rather than having a special class dedicated to collaboration. The article includes descriptions of techniques and exercises used at Osgoode Hall Law School in the Intensive Programme on Poverty Law at Parkdale Community Legal Services and in the Intensive Programme in Aboriginal Lands, Resources and Governments.
Keywords: clinical legal education, community lawyering, Aboriginal law, poverty law
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