Designing a Clinic Model for a Restorative Community Justice Partnership
40 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2015 Last revised: 11 May 2018
Date Written: October 3, 2015
In this Article, we (Professors Brooks and Lopez) discuss our efforts to embrace the core characteristics of community lawyering clinics during the development of a new Community Lawyering Clinic at Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law. Specifically, the Article outlines how we have begun to tackle two central questions in designing our clinic: first, how we ensure that our work reflects and incorporates the diverse desires and demands of “the community”; and second, how we facilitate an environment that encourages a community partnership characterized by equality, respect, empathy, compassion, and integrity. As designers of a new community lawyering clinic, we are grateful for the groundbreaking work of the pioneers in this field, and also for the contributions of our contemporaries. At the same time we appreciate that the present conditions in society, including the ever widening justice gap and other changes in the legal landscape, call upon us to think creatively about innovative models of lawyering and new roles for lawyers. Deliberative Democracy and Beloved Community are approaches that inspire us to reflect deeply about our choices, to invest in relationship-building, and to embrace processes that often seem indeterminate. By sharing some of our early experiences as well as our thinking, we hope we are contributing useful ideas that will help advance the work of other clinical law teachers and community lawyers.
Keywords: Clinic, Restorative Justice, Deliberative Democracy, clinical pedagogy, strengths based approach
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