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Clinical Law Review



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lawyering; organizations; activist


The cast of prototypic rebellious lawyers promoted by Gerald Lopez is incomplete. It leaves out a very important mode of lawyering: that of working for a progressive activist organization. To fill that gap, this essay introduces “Rosa,” a lawyer on the staff of an organization of low-wage workers fighting for workplace justice and systemic change. The essay argues that working for such organizations in a way that is accountable to the organizations is an especially effective way for lawyers to contribute to economic, racial, gender, social and environmental justice. It examines three current models of such practice: in-house, in an independent law center dedicated to collaborating with progressive activist organizations, and in a law center that is controlled by the organizations it serves. It proposes a database and discussion forum, more research and teaching about historic and current examples, and expanded opportunities for students to learn from direct experience working in lawyer role with progressive activist organizations.

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