Community Lawyering: Introductory Thoughts on Theory and Practice
22 Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy 395
11 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2016
Date Written: 2015
There are several fundamental questions that one might ask in seeking the meaning of the term "community lawyer." Albeit somewhat theoretical, the most basic questions involve delving into exactly what is meant by the term "community." For what, exactly, is the community-lawyer lawyering? Further, once a client has been identified, questions will arise about how the lawyer should relate to that client and about the role the lawyer ought to play in assisting the client to achieve its goals. There is a long and rich literature concerning the latter question but a fairly sparse body of legal writing on the former. In this essay, I would like to elaborate on both of these issues and then bring these ideas together to develop a concept of community lawyering. I will then discuss some practical applications of community lawyering in the context of an affordable housing program I run at the Georgetown University Law Center.
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