Lawyering for Justice in the United States

Lawyering for Justice in the United States

Professor Tyler Giannini, Professor Esme Caramello, Professor Michael Gregory
Winter 2018 course
M, T, W, Th, F 1:00pm - 4:30pm
3 classroom credits

Enrollment: 18 students, by application and based upon satisfaction of pre-requisite.

Prerequisite: Completion of at least one semester in an HLS clinic or HLS student practice organization.

Application Process: Applications should be submitted by Wednesday, October 25, to Maggie Bay (mbay@law.harvard.edu). Applicants will be notified by Monday, October 30. All applicants should enroll in another course through winter elective registration until enrollment for this course is finalized.

Interested students must submit: a resume (detailing their relevant legal practice experience), a short explanation of their interest in justice in the United States, how the course fits into their goals for law school and beyond, and what they hope to gain from the course.

Exam Type: No Exam

This seminar will allow students who have participated in an HLS clinic or SPO to draw on their collective experiences to explore questions about lawyering for justice in the United States in 2018. The course will take a deep dive into the why and how of systemic change and the role of lawyers in supporting it. Students will have conversations with each other and with faculty from a wide variety of HLS clinical programs, engaging in deep, guided reflection on their own past or ongoing clinical work. Students and faculty together will explore contemporary problems through a structural lens and will practice creative problem-solving geared toward identifying and evaluating potential structural solutions. Students will be exposed to a variety of models and theories of systemic change, different lawyering styles/roles, and multiple lawyer strategies across a spectrum of substantive legal areas, allowing us to see new connections and consider new approaches. Students will also further develop the skill and habit of professional self-reflection.

Class time will be spent in a variety of ways: guest lectures from clinical faculty and/or practicing lawyers, workshops, small group and project work, panels of practitioners with substantive or methodological overlap or disagreement, presentations with commentary by students and other faculty, and/or visits from or off-campus meetings with people outside HLS (e.g., community organizers, government officials, public interest lawyers). Grades will be based on participation and a final project, which will consist of a reflection on the student’s past clinical experience and a systemic analysis of a current public policy problem, a prior system change movement, or a justice or advocacy organization of the student’s choosing. Students may choose to work with others on their final projects.

The teaching team will include a number of HLS clinicians and educators, including Sabi Ardalan, Chris Bavitz, Shaun Goho, Eloise Lawrence, Cara Solomon, Phil Torrey, Dehlia Umunna, and possibly others.