242 Social Justice Lawyering

Working for social justice is an important part of the professional obligations of all lawyers, and for many law students, their initial motivation for pursuing a legal education. This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which lawyers committed to social justice engage with communities, individual clients, social and political causes and legal systems to help effect social change. We will examine the types of lawyers working toward social justice, the ways in which lawyers help shape claims in social justice cases, and finally, how lawyers use their skills and training to engage in political struggles and movements to achieve social justice for the communities, causes, or individual clients that they represent.

Through readings, discussion, and independent studies of legal cases and movements in social justice, students will explore different models of social justice lawyering and the barriers present both in the representation of under-served communities and in pursuing a career in public interest law. Students will also have an opportunity to explore more deeply how they plan to be a lawyer engaged in social justice work, either in their pro bono or full-time future practice.

Course Areas of Practice
Evaluation Methods
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
  • Other
Degree Requirements
Course Type
  • Lecture
Learning Outcomes
  • Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
  • Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context
  • Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system

Sample Syllabi

Fall 2021

2021
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

242.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
  • Other
Anne Gordon, Jesse McCoy Th 10:30 AM-12:20 PM

Working for social justice is an important part of the professional obligations of all lawyers, and for many law students, their initial motivation for pursuing a legal education. This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which lawyers committed to social justice engage with communities, individual clients, social and political causes and legal systems to help effect social change. We will examine the types of lawyers working toward social justice, the ways in which lawyers help shape claims in social justice cases, and finally, how lawyers use their skills and training to engage in political struggles and movements to achieve social justice for the communities, causes, or individual clients that they represent.

Through readings, discussion, and independent studies of legal cases and movements in social justice, students will explore different models of social justice lawyering and the barriers present both in the representation of under-served communities and in pursuing a career in public interest law. Students will also have an opportunity to explore more deeply how they plan to be a lawyer engaged in social justice work, either in their pro bono or full-time future practice.

Grading Basis: Graded

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

Fall 2020

2020
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

242.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
  • Other
Anne Gordon, Jesse McCoy Th 10:30 AM-12:20 PM

Working for social justice is an important part of the professional obligations of all lawyers, and for many law students, their initial motivation for pursuing a legal education. This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which lawyers committed to social justice engage with communities, individual clients, social and political causes and legal systems to help effect social change. We will examine the types of lawyers working toward social justice, the ways in which lawyers help shape claims in social justice cases, and finally, how lawyers use their skills and training to engage in political struggles and movements to achieve social justice for the communities, causes, or individual clients that they represent.

Through readings, discussion, and independent studies of legal cases and movements in social justice, students will explore different models of social justice lawyering and the barriers present both in the representation of under-served communities and in pursuing a career in public interest law. Students will also have an opportunity to explore more deeply how they plan to be a lawyer engaged in social justice work, either in their pro bono or full-time future practice.          

While enrolled in Law 242 Social Justice Lawyering, with prior professor approval, students may enroll in Law 242W Social Justice Lawyering, Writing Credit and submit a 30-page research paper and earn an additional one credit for the course. The paper may be used to satisfy the upper level writing requirement, the LLM writing requirement, and/or the JD/LLM writing requirement. This paper is in addition to all the other course requirements, including the five written assignments, but may be related to your case study presentation. You must meet with Professor Gordon or McCoy by the second week of class if you would like to seek this additional credit and plan to use this paper to satisfy one or more of these requirements.

Grading Basis: Graded

Syllabus: 242.01.Fall2020-syllabus.docx44.35 KB

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

Fall 2019

2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

242.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
  • Other
Anne Gordon, Jesse McCoy Th 10:30-12:20 PM 4044

Working for social justice is an important part of the professional obligations of all lawyers, and for many law students, their initial motivation for pursuing a legal education. This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which lawyers committed to social justice engage with communities, individual clients, social and political causes and legal systems to help effect social change. We will examine the types of lawyers working toward social justice, the ways in which lawyers help shape claims in social justice cases, and finally, how lawyers use their skills and training to engage in political struggles and movements to achieve social justice for the communities, causes, or individual clients that they represent.

Through readings, discussion, and independent studies of legal cases and movements in social justice, students will explore different models of social justice lawyering and the barriers present both in the representation of under-served communities and in pursuing a career in public interest law. Students will also have an opportunity to explore more deeply how they plan to be a lawyer engaged in social justice work, either in their pro bono or full-time future practice.          

 

Grading Basis: Graded

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

Fall 2018

2018
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

242.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
  • Other
Anne Gordon, Jesse McCoy Th 10:30-12:20 PM 4044

Working for social justice is an important part of the professional obligations of all lawyers, and for many law students, their initial motivation for pursuing a legal education. This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which lawyers committed to social justice engage with communities, individual clients, social and political causes and legal systems to help effect social change. We will examine the types of lawyers working toward social justice, the ways in which lawyers help shape claims in social justice cases, and finally, how lawyers use their skills and training to engage in political struggles and movements to achieve social justice for the communities, causes, or individual clients that they represent.

Through readings, discussion, and independent studies of legal cases and movements in social justice, students will explore different models of social justice lawyering and the barriers present both in the representation of under-served communities and in pursuing a career in public interest law. Students will also have an opportunity to explore more deeply how they plan to be a lawyer engaged in social justice work, either in their pro bono or full-time future practice.          

 

Grading Basis: Graded

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

Fall 2017

2017
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

242.01 2
  • Reflective Writing
  • Group project(s)
  • Class participation
  • Other
Brenda Berlin, Anne Gordon Th 10:30-12:20 PM 4044

Working for social justice is an important part of the professional obligations of all lawyers, and for many law students, their initial motivation for pursuing a legal education. This course is designed to introduce students to the ways in which lawyers committed to social justice engage with communities, individual clients, social and political causes and legal systems to help effect social change. We will examine the types of lawyers working toward social justice, the ways in which lawyers help shape claims in social justice cases, and finally, how lawyers use their skills and training to engage in political struggles and movements to achieve social justice for the communities, causes, or individual clients that they represent.

Through readings, discussion, and independent studies of legal cases and movements in social justice, students will explore different models of social justice lawyering and the barriers present both in the representation of under-served communities and in pursuing a career in public interest law. Students will also have an opportunity to explore more deeply how they plan to be a lawyer engaged in social justice work, either in their pro bono or full-time future practice.          

 

Grading Basis: Graded

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.