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Apply to the 2024 Law & Organizing Academy!

Feb 29, 2024

The Law and Organizing Academy (LOA) brings law students together on an immersive retreat to build community and learn key frameworks and skills at the intersection of organizing, law, and political economy. Amid the escalating and interlocking crises that define our current moment, progressive law students are seeking ways to practice law that build movement power. Yet law schools rarely provide space to interrogate the relationship between law and organizing, and there are even fewer opportunities to come together to forge solidarity across institutional boundaries. LOA provides that space by connecting students with organizers and professors to learn about current campaigns for labor power, housing justice, and abolition and to apply frameworks of law and political economy to those struggles. LOA 2024 will be held at the Borden Estate in upstate New York from Monday, May 20 through Thursday, May 23.

The Law and Political Economy (LPE) Project’s Law and Organizing Initiative, The Action Lab (TAL), and NYU Law’s Initiative for Community Power welcome applications for LOA 2024 from all current law students in the New York area (more information below about how to apply).


LOA began in 2022, when a small cohort of about a dozen law students came together at TAL in Ossining, New York. In 2023, LOA expanded to over forty law students from different schools and moved to the Borden Estate in upstate New York.

LOA 2024 will feature:

  • Introductory sessions on law and organizing, frameworks from the evolving Law and Political Economy (LPE) movement, and theories of change; 
  • Workshop-style training in foundational organizing skills such as power-mapping;
  • Discussion of gentrification, displacement, and legal and political efforts to support tenant organizing and to decommodify urban property;
  • Analysis of the crisis of mass incarceration and racialized police violence, focusing on abolition and current campaigns for decarceration;
  • A focus on the recent upsurge in labor organizing, including analysis of the previous declines in labor law and traditional unionism and an interrogation of the role of lawyers in building worker power today. 

Sessions are led by a mix of LPE academics and organizers and leaders from NYC-based organizations like Make the Road New York and the Center for Popular Democracy. Previous faculty have included Ana María Archila, Corinne Blalock, Marika Dias, Veena Dubal, Andrew Friedman, Jennifer Hernández, Amy Kapczynski, Biju Mathew, Chris Nielsen, Marbre Stahly-Butts, John Whitlow, Jawanza James Williams, and more. 

Beyond the formal sessions and workshops, LOA also offers law students the resources and time to engage in critical reflection on the role of law in social change, build relationships with each other during meals and on breaks, and seek informal mentorship from faculty and organizers during the length of the retreat.

LOA is free to attend and includes food, lodging, and reimbursed train travel from NYC. 


The Law and Political Economy Project brings together a network of scholars, practitioners, and students working to develop innovative intellectual, pedagogical, and political interventions to advance the study of political economy and law. Developments over the last several decades in legal scholarship and policy helped to facilitate rising inequality and precarity, political alienation, the entrenchment of racial hierarchies and intersectional exploitation, and ecological and social catastrophe. The LPE Project aims to help reverse these trends by supporting scholarly work that maps where we have gone wrong, and that develops ideas and proposals to democratize our political economy and build a more just, equal, and sustainable future. The LPE Project’s Law and Organizing Initiative seeks to create more space for organizing as a theory of change and practice in legal education.

The Action Lab is a strategy center for social movements that sparks political and personal liberation. We provide rigorous and joyful spaces for organizers, leaders and artists to learn, to create and to strengthen our capacity to win. We strive to build a powerful culture that lifts us out of the immediate and enables us to envision and realize our way to a just future.

The Initiative for Community Power at NYU combines the weight and assets of a global academic institution with deep community partnerships and decades of high-impact community organizing and power-building work. The Initiative catalyzes analysis, innovation, and project work to create a more equitable, democratic, and racially just society. The Initiative works closely with non-profit, academic, and government partners to reimagine the parameters of the possible, and to transform our vision of dynamic democracy, rooted in racial and economic justice, into reality. The Initiative is housed in the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law at NYU School of Law.


LOA students will primarily come from partner organizations, who send their interns to LOA at the start of the summer. We will also have some spots for other rising 2Ls and 3Ls who have a demonstrated interest in LPE and/or community, labor, or movement organizing. Please note that we are only accepting applications from students attending New York-area law schools or interning in the New York area in summer 2024, due to the geographic focus of the Academy.

To apply for an at-large spot, please fill out the online application no later than Feb. 29, 2024.

Application Materials:

  1. Cover letter/personal statement: This statement, which should not exceed one page double-spaced, should detail the applicant’s interest in and experience with 1) LPE and/or 2) organizing work.
  2. A one-page CV.

Please reach out to with any questions or accessibility requests.