Teaching Social Justice Lawyering: Systematically Including Community Legal Education in Clinical Legal Education
18 Clinical L. Rev. 401 (2012)
58 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2011 Last revised: 21 May 2015
Date Written: September 8, 2011
There is a body of literature on clinical legal theory that urges a focus in clinics beyond the single client to an explicit teaching of social justice lawyering. This Article adds to this emerging body of work by discussing the valuable role community legal education plays as a vehicle for teaching skills and values essential to single client representation and social justice lawyering. The Article examines the theoretical underpinnings of clinical legal education, community organizing and community education and how they influenced the authors’ design and implementation of community legal education within their clinics. It then discusses two projects designed to help victims of domestic violence. The first project has been ongoing for several years in a clinic with a long history of incorporating community education into its work. The second project was undertaken for the first time by a clinic teaching community legal education after a long hiatus. Through the discussion of these two projects, the Article evaluates and explains the pedagogical and logistical successes and challenges of incorporating community education into clinical programs and assesses the justice outcomes of their community work, both to the communities served and to their students.
Keywords: clinical education, community legal education, social justice, lawyering, domestic violence
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