639 Movement Lawyering Lab: Law for Black Lives

This three-credit course will immerse students in the theory, practice, and politics of movement lawyering.  The course proceeds in two parts: a weekly seminar and field work.  In the seminar, students learn the foundations and tactics of movement activism, and discover how lawyers work with social movements to build power and create change.  In the field work portion, students are paired with lawyers and organizers from across the South to produce legal analyses, policy papers, legislative reviews, rapid response documents, outreach materials, and more.  For the Fall of 2022, the course will have a special emphasis on reproductive justice work, and (depending on enrollment) will be working with organizations such as SisterLove, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterReach, In Defense of Black Lives–Atlanta, and other Black-led movement organizations.  Students will also be invited to travel to Atlanta to meet directly with our movement partners.  For more information on the course, please see this episode of the Duke Law podcast: https://law.duke.edu/video/duke-law-podcast-movement-lawyering-lab-duke-law

Course enrollment is by application.  Students interested in applying for the course should submit their CV and a short (250-500 word) statement of interest about why they would like to enroll in the course, how their background has prepared them to work effectively with movement partners, and how they plan to use the skills they learn in the course. Statements should be sent to Bobbi Pabon, bobbi.pabon@duke.edu, no later than 5 pm on Friday, November 11. Student will be notified by Professor Gordon before the first registration window opens on Tuesday morning so that you can factor the seminar into your semester credit load. The seminar will meet weekly at a mutually-agreed-upon time and place.

Course Areas of Practice
Evaluation Methods
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation
Degree Requirements
Course Type
  • Practicum
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

Spring 2023

2023
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

639.01 3
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation
Anne Gordon Th 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This three-credit course will immerse students in the theory, practice, and politics of movement lawyering.  The course proceeds in two parts: a weekly seminar and field work.  In the seminar, students learn the foundations and tactics of movement activism, and discover how lawyers work with social movements to build power and create change.  In the field work portion, students are paired with lawyers and organizers from across the South to produce legal analyses, policy papers, legislative reviews, rapid response documents, outreach materials, and more.  For the Fall of 2022, the course will have a special emphasis on reproductive justice work, and (depending on enrollment) will be working with organizations such as SisterLove, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterReach, In Defense of Black Lives–Atlanta, and other Black-led movement organizations.  Students will also be invited to travel to Atlanta to meet directly with our movement partners.  For more information on the course, please see this episode of the Duke Law podcast: https://law.duke.edu/video/duke-law-podcast-movement-lawyering-lab-duke-law

Course enrollment is by application.  Students interested in applying for the course should submit their CV and a short (250-500 word) statement of interest about why they would like to enroll in the course, how their background has prepared them to work effectively with movement partners, and how they plan to use the skills they learn in the course. Statements should be sent to Bobbi Pabon, bobbi.pabon@duke.edu, no later than 5 pm on Friday, November 11. Student will be notified by Professor Gordon before the first registration window opens on Tuesday morning so that you can factor the seminar into your semester credit load. The seminar will meet weekly at a mutually-agreed-upon time and place.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Fall 2022

2022
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

639.01 3
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation
Anne Gordon TBD

This three-credit course will immerse students in the theory, practice, and politics of movement lawyering.  The course proceeds in two parts: a weekly seminar and field work.  In the seminar, students learn the foundations and tactics of movement activism, and discover how lawyers work with social movements to build power and create change.  In the field work portion, students are paired with lawyers and organizers from across the South to produce legal analyses, policy papers, legislative reviews, rapid response documents, outreach materials, and more.  For the Fall of 2022, the course will have a special emphasis on reproductive justice work, and (depending on enrollment) will be working with organizations such as SisterLove, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterReach, In Defense of Black Lives–Atlanta, and other Black-led movement organizations.  Students will also be invited to travel to Atlanta to meet directly with our movement partners.  For more information on the course, please see this episode of the Duke Law podcast: https://law.duke.edu/video/duke-law-podcast-movement-lawyering-lab-duke-law

Course enrollment is by application.  Students interested in applying for the course should submit their CV and a short (250-500 word) statement of interest about why they would like to enroll in the course, how their background has prepared them to work effectively with movement partners, and how they plan to use the skills they learn in the course.  Statements should be sent to Bobbi Pabon, bobbi.pabon@duke.edu, no later than 4 pm on Monday, June 20.  Student will be notified by Professor Gordon before the first registration window opens on Tuesday morning so that you can factor the seminar into your semester credit load. The seminar will meet weekly at a mutually-agreed-upon time and place.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Spring 2022

2022
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Days/Times Room

639.01 3
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation
Anne Gordon Tu 11:00-12:00 pm 3171

This three-credit integrated externship will immerse students in the theory, practice, and politics of movement lawyering.  The course proceeds in two parts: a weekly seminar and field work.  In the seminar, students learn the foundations and tactics of movement activism, and discover how lawyers work with social movements to build power and create change.  In the field work portion, students are paired with lawyers and organizers from around the United States to produce legal analyses, policy papers, legislative reviews, rapid response documents, outreach materials, and more.  All of our work is led by community organizations and activists working in directly-impacted communities, with a special emphasis on racial and LGBTQ+ justice.

Course enrollment is by application.  Students interested in applying for the course should submit a statement of interest about their background, why they would like to enroll in the course, and how they plan to use the skills they learn in the course.  Please also write a response to the following: “talk about a time you did something that you once thought was impossible.”  Statements should be sent to Bobbi Pabon, bobbi.pabon@duke.edu, no later than 5 pm on December 3rd.  The seminar will meet weekly at a mutually-agreed-upon time and place.

Pre/Co-requisites
None

Fall 2021

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

639.01 3
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research and/or analytical paper(s), 5-10 pages
  • Group project(s)
  • Practical exercises
  • Class participation
Anne Gordon 4040

This three-credit integrated externship will immerse students in the theory, practice, and politics of movement lawyering.  The course proceeds in two parts: a weekly seminar and field work.  In the seminar, students learn the foundations and tactics of movement activism, and discover how lawyers work with social movements to build power and create change.  In the field work portion, students are paired with lawyers and organizers from around the United States to produce legal analyses, policy papers, legislative reviews, rapid response documents, outreach materials, and more.  All of our work is led by community organizations and activists working in directly-impacted communities, with a special emphasis on racial and LGBTQ+ justice.

Course enrollment is by application.  Students interested in applying for the course should submit a statement of interest about their background, why they would like to enroll in the course, and how they plan to use the skills they learn in the course.  Please also write a response to the following: “talk about a time you did something that you once thought was impossible.”  Statements should be sent to Bobbi Pabon, bobbi.pabon@duke.edu, no later than 5 pm on August 2nd.  The seminar will meet weekly at a mutually-agreed-upon time and place.

Pre/Co-requisites
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.