Social Justice Workshop: Public Interest and Social Justice Practice

Class Information Spring 2021

  • 2 units
  • Class No.: 26314
  • Meets: Wednesdays
  • Time: 4:10 pm - 5:40 pm
  • Location: online
  • Exam:
  • Course Description

Michelle Oberman

Katharine and George Alexander Professor of Law

Social Justice Workshop: Public Interest and Social Justice Practice

Certificate(s): Public Interest and Social Justice Law

Course Description:

The Seminar will provide both an overview of the problems faced by the indigent and subordinated as well as offering an opportunity to enhance the lawyering skills you will need to assist clients in the future. The class will also discuss the public interest problems confronting low income, multi-ethnic communities, including the availability of legal services (or the lack thereof). Throughout the semester, we will look at a variety of approaches to dealing with these public interest law problems including litigation, legislative, administrative, media work, community organizing and coalition building. The Seminar will also offer some introductory training in lawyering skills including interviewing, counseling and theory development. As part of the Seminar, each student will complete a written project trying to develop creative strategies for dealing with some problem area involving public interest law. We encourage students to work in pairs on these projects. Potential project areas might include child abuse, civil rights, consumer law, domestic violence, education law, elderly law, employment law, homelessness, housing, human rights, immigration law, and juvenile rights. There is no final examination for this course, rather the class will be graded based on your Seminar participation and your presentation and written project.

Class Notes:

Experiential course.

This experiential learning seminar undertakes a project-based approach to addressing a range of issues critically impacting the most marginalized, vulnerable members of our local community. Partnering with public interest lawyer-mentors from organizations such as the Silicon Valley Law Foundation, students will work in teams to provide research support and creative problem solving in an effort to respond to the most pressing needs generated by the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and poverty. Class will proceed in the style of a graduate seminar, featuring independent research, class presentations, and ongoing reading, writing and re-writing projects. To obtain a permission number to register, contact Professor Oberman at