Community Oriented Lawyering: An Emerging Approach to Legal Practice
National Institute of Justice Journal, pp. 27-33, January 2000
8 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2010
Date Written: January 31, 2000
In the 1990s, lawyers whose work affects public safety began a series of experiments that shifted away from case processing as the exclusive organizational strategy for prosecutors, public defenders, legal aid offices and law school clinical programs. This article provides a snapshot of this development as it stood in 2000. Based on survey research completed in that year, the article finds that “community oriented lawyering” was emerging in response to community pressure and also frustration of lawyers with the limitations of reactive rather than pro-active responses to community crime and disorder problems. Community Oriented Lawyers tend to view the unit of work as a problem or place rather than a crime or case; they view “success” as the amelioration of a problem; and they allow community members to influence their priorities. The article predicts that this tension - between treating each case "equally" and treating each case as a part of a complex community problem that requires individualized treatment - will determine the future growth of this new form of legal practice.
Keywords: crime, criminal law, legal services, community, community policing, community development, legal pratice, law school
JEL Classification: K14, J78, Z00, K40, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation