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Movement Lawyering: A Social Justice Critique

Alexis Hoag
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This course introduces students to the different avenues and theories public interest lawyers can utilize to conceptualize and achieve social change. Through bi-weekly readings, discussion, and reflections the course explores past, present, and future movement lawyering strategies and concepts, including aspects of the civil rights movement, prison abolition, and Afrofuturism. It examines the ways social justice lawyers engage with communities, clients, and political causes, as well as the ethical issues that may arise when advocating on behalf of class members with divergent interests. The readings highlight that although the law can serve as an effective tool for change, it has its limitations. This course will help us recognize the need for movement lawyers to work in partnership with communities, organizers, and policymakers to achieve justice.