Lawyering in the Public Interest

B539 is taught by A. Barnes, Hughes, I. Van Der Cruysse, C. Weng

This course is intended to prepare students for the practice of law in the public interest, i.e. in government and non-profit settings, or, settings otherwise providing legal services to underserved populations. We will explore the following questions: how is Public Interest Lawyering defined, what is it that public interest lawyers do, who are the clients of public interest lawyers, what are the legal ethics inherent to practice in the public interest, and do private lawyers have a role in serving the public interest? This is a course that is particularly well-suited for students who are enrolled in one of the clinics, in a public interest externship program (e.g. B547, B698, ), or have worked in an externship/internship or have had a paid position working with public interest lawyers in the past. We will discuss what the current challenges are in public interest lawyering on a global scale, and how globalization has influences American Public Interest law.

Course texts: Public Interest Lawyering, A Contemporary Perspective, Alan K. Chen, Scott L. Cummings. Other materials will be posted on CANVAS.

Grade will be based on class participation, an analysis of the public interest served in your externship placement or hypothetical, a client counseling role play and written reflection on the role play, and a final case-study of an agency s accountability to its client(s).