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Spring 2022 Reading Group

Community Lawyering Reading Group

Prerequisites: This by-permission reading group is available only to current HLAB students.

HLAB students who would like to enroll in this reading group should contact the instructor directly. Enrollment will be handled by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.

Exam Type: No Exam

As student attorneys at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, you have discussed in ITA and ACP client-centered lawyering and community lawyering. You have also experienced different forms of lawyering in your tenure at the Bureau and in other legal jobs. This reading group will assume, therefore, some level of familiarity with these concepts but will examine them in a more in-depth and nuanced manner. To this end, we will read scholars, practitioners, activist lawyers and organizers to discuss questions such as: What do we mean by “community lawyering”? Can it be meaningfully defined as compared to movement lawyering, rebellious lawyer etc.? What role should community lawyering play in law school clinics? Is there such thing as a “community voice”? When deference should be shown to organizers? What is “race-conscious” community lawyering? How can community lawyering be used to further racial justice? How does the identity of the lawyer and the identity of the community affect the efficacy of the community lawyering? What conflicts arise between the formal Ethical Rules and community lawyering? And, any questions that have arisen from your lived experience, professional experience, and/or time at the Bureau. Readings, topics and speakers are flexible based on the collective wishes of the group.

This reading group will meet on the following dates: TBD.