14 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 23, 2020
This Essay conveys the importance of building in law students the foundation to recognize the various systems, institutions, and conditions that often crash into the lives of their clients, as well as the residents of the communities that are just outside law schools’ doors. It does so through proposing a teaching model that I call Justice-Connectivity. This model aims for students to understand and be humbled by the ways in which different institutions, systems, and strands of law converge upon, oppress, isolate, and shun individuals, families, and communities. The ultimate teaching lesson is that individuals, families, and communities are often marginalized, thoroughly and exhaustively, across multiple dimensions, through seemingly disparate institutions, systems, and conditions that are actually interrelated and interconnected. At its core, Justice-Connectivity strives to enable law students to understand the contexts that often define and confine lives, so that they are better able to understand, contextualize, and address the legal and non-legal issues that impact their clients and, more broadly, work with communities to dismantle oppressive laws, policies, practices, and systems.
Keywords: clinical law, reentry, collateral consequences, school suspensions, legal education, holistic criminal defense, poverty law
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