Advanced Civil Procedure: Social Justice

Advanced Civil Procedure: Social Justice

Course Number: 612BB, CRN: 73799
Public interest lawyers have been making headlines lately, filing numerous lawsuits to defend and advance the constitutional and statutory rights of vulnerable communities. Whether involving the Muslim ban, police misconduct, LGBT rights, affirmative action, immigrant detention, or other hot-button issues, these cases face substantive, procedural, and strategic challenges as they make their way through the courts. This class will explore some of those challenges, as well as the promise and pitfalls of using litigation to achieve social justice goals. Among the topics that may be covered are: suits against government agencies; pleading requirements for social justice claims; class actions; standing and mootness; barriers to court; suits for damages versus injunctive relief; ethical problems unique to social justice lawyering; and the use of non-litigation strategies. The class will also consider broader questions about the role of lawyers and litigation in social justice movements. The class is open to students in the second, third, and fourth year of law school. There are no prerequisites. Grading will be based on class participation (25%) and written submissions (75%). Students will submit either (a) a series of reflections or analytical pieces responding to issues raised by the class, or (b) a research paper on an approved topic of current significance. Students who wish to fulfill the upper-level writing requirement may, with the professor’s permission, receive additional credit for guided research.
Civil Procedure