The Community Group Advocacy and Social Change Lawyering Clinic is designed for students seriously considering a career in social change lawyering and interested in learning how to work as effective partners with community groups. The Clinic, which is only offered in Spring semester, focuses on the range of skills and persuasive strategies that social change lawyers utilize, including: grassroots lobbying and legislation drafting, community organizing/mobilizing, community legal education and media campaigns, organizing public hearings, and occasionally impact litigation. Students work in two-person teams and are placed with Bay Area social justice lawyers or community groups to work 20 hours per week on a defined project affecting lower-income, working-class, of-color, and other marginalized communities. Collectively, the projects introduce students to the broad range of approaches to making social change and working collaboratively with community groups.
The Clinic is taught by Ascanio Piomelli, advisor to the Social Justice Lawyering Concentration, and an analyst and proponent of what has variously been labeled as a "democratic," "collaborative," or "rebellious" approach to social change lawyering.
Classroom Component: There are four hours of regularly scheduled seminar time per week. Discussions integrate extensive readings on different approaches to making social change and their application to students' fieldwork projects. Class meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:10-3:20 p.m.
Fieldwork Component: Substantive legal areas vary each semester, as the emphasis is on assembling an array of projects with diverse approaches to effecting social change.Students will need to coordinate schedules with their class partner to ensure they have at least 10-12 regular, recurring hours each week to work together on fieldwork projects. Student teams will also schedule a regular one-hour meeting with Prof. Piomelli to discuss their field work and the weekly fieldnotes they prepare analyzing their work.
Units: Students receive 8 units. The 4-unit non-GPA class and 4-unit fieldwork component, graded pass-fail, must be taken concurrently.For students who have not taken the CJC Individual Representation Clinic, an additional 9th unit (of independent study credit) is awarded for the completion by mid-January of three short writing assignments on key readings and films from that class.
Open to: 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th semester students.
Prerequisites: Consent of the instructor.