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Addressing Intersectionality in the Lives of Women in Poverty: Incorporating Core Components of a Social Work Program into Legal Education

24 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2012  

Beth C. Caldwell

Southwestern Law School

Date Written: January 1, 2012

Abstract

Rooted in therapeutic jurisprudence, this article suggests that core components of social work education should be incorporated into legal education to prepare students to practice public interest law. Part One reviews important critiques of public interest lawyering, including Derrick Bell's "Serving Two Masters" and Richard Delgado's construct of false empathy. The second part of the Article explores how specific aspects of social work education respond to the issues raised in Part One. Key components of social work education discussed include: a code of ethics that prioritizes self determination and social justice; curriculum design based on critical race theory; techniques for teaching students to cultivate true empathy; and substantial participation in internships coupled with supervision that prompts self awareness and reflection.

Suggested Citation

Caldwell, Beth C., Addressing Intersectionality in the Lives of Women in Poverty: Incorporating Core Components of a Social Work Program into Legal Education (January 1, 2012). American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2130895

Beth C. Caldwell (Contact Author)

Southwestern Law School ( email )

3050 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
United States

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