Political Lawyering for the 21st Century

96 Denver Law Review 399 (2019)

NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper 19-01

43 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2018 Last revised: 23 Jan 2020

Date Written: April 18, 2018


Legal education purports to prepare the next generation of lawyers capable of tackling the urgent and complex social justice challenges of our time. But law schools are failing in that public promise. Clinical education offers the best opportunity to overcome those failings by teaching the skills lawyers need to tackle systemic and interlocking legal and social problems. But too often even clinical education falls short: it adheres to conventional pedagogical methodologies that are overly narrow and, in the end, limit students’ abilities to manage today’s complex racial and social justice issues. This article contends that clinical education needs to embrace and reimagine political lawyering for the 21st century in order to prepare aspiring lawyers to tackle both new and chronic issues of injustice through a broad array of advocacy strategies.

Keywords: clinic. clinical education, social justice, anti-discrimination, litigation, advocacy, racial justice, racism, race, advocacy, political, lawyering, education

Suggested Citation

Archer, Deborah N., Political Lawyering for the 21st Century (April 18, 2018). 96 Denver Law Review 399 (2019), NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper 19-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3164868 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3164868

Deborah N. Archer (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

United States

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