This seminar will explore how lawyers implement social and institutional change beyond the traditional model of litigation. This course will build capacities to pursue social and institutional change by linking theory and practice. Students will develop knowledge, tools, and strategies for transformative lawyering that can be applied to a variety of contexts.
The first part of the course will develop a framework for understanding collective impact and institutional change. The course will then explore the role of lawyers as transformative leaders at the level of individuals and groups as well as institutional, policy and legal reform. Finally, the course will examine a series of case studies and models of transformative lawyering in the context of education, criminal justice, immigration, labor and employment, community economic development, housing, and family law. The class will feature guest speakers who are using the strategies discussed in this course to empower communities and advance social change. By developing practical tools informed by theory, students will be enabled to cultivate their own affirmative vision for their own role as a transformative lawyer.