Lawyering Close to Home

Julia Hernandez, Lawyering Close to Home, 27 CLINICAL L. REV. 131 (2020).

36 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2020

Date Written: November 8, 2020


This essay incorporates ethnographic insights and narrative technique, rooted in part in Critical Race Theory and critical geography studies, to ground conversations about transformative pedagogy and praxis in the lived experiences of our students. Many of our students fight for radical social change and enter law school hoping to gain new tools for that mission. Increasingly, students are uniquely situated and motivated to engage in rebellious law practice, yet, fault lines in legal education create heightened challenges for some students with negative formative experiences with the state. Drawing from the work of Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres, this essay introduces the idea of authoritative interpretive communities in the law school classroom while addressing the unique world of legal practice for students working in areas in which they have personal experience. This essay specifically calls for disruptive innovations in lawyering in the family regulation system. Finally, it advances ideas for transforming legal education to better address the realities of race-class marginalized students so that they may participate—on their own terms—in today’s struggles for radical social change.

Suggested Citation

Hernandez, Julia, Lawyering Close to Home (November 8, 2020). Julia Hernandez, Lawyering Close to Home, 27 CLINICAL L. REV. 131 (2020). , Available at SSRN:

Julia Hernandez (Contact Author)

CUNY School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States
11101 (Fax)

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