Movement Lawyering Clinic

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls
Suggested Course(s): International Human Rights; Civil Rights Planning; Race, Law, and Change; Social Justice Lawyering; Howard Human & Civil Rights Review; Labor Law
Is the program year-long or semester-long? Semester-long 
How many credits? 6

The Movement Lawyering Clinic advocates on behalf of clients and communities fighting for the realization of the civil and human rights guarantees promised by the United States Constitution and International Human Rights treaties. Students in the clinic will work in the context of federal and state litigation, advocate before international human rights tribunals, and utilize these mechanisms to support movements for social change. Cases include a range of matters, including police brutality, racial justice, mass incarceration and unconstitutional prison conditions, and other concerns that implicate core constitutional and human rights.  Students will also have the opportunity to work with the Thurgood Marshall Center, collaborating with community groups struggling to realize the vision of the burgeoning black lives matter movement, going beyond litigation to explore alternative modes of advocacy.

Students work with faculty in classroom-seminar and clinical-practice settings to review the trial court records, prepare memoranda, consult with clients, research and write the briefs, memoranda, and human rights reports, and prepare and conduct oral argument and testimony when applicable. The pedagogical goal of the Clinic is for students and faculty to critically examine the analytical and linguistic challenges of effective advocacy, the legal and strategic considerations of lawyering in support of social movements in the civil and human rights context, the ethical and professional obligations of client representation, and the social and political implications of advocacy for civil and human rights.