Racial Justice Advocacy Workshop - L8809
Professor Katherine Franke
Tuesdays 4:20 - 6:10
Room JG 701, Case Lounge
Litigation and legal advocacy play a critical role in movements for racial justice. Across a range of cutting edge issues legal advocates work closely with movement leaders to mobilize litigation as one of the tactics deployed to combat structural racism.
This Workshop will give students exposure to litigation and advocacy on cutting edge issues in racial justice such as: voting rights, police violence, privatization of parole, criminal justice debt, access to clean water, ending mass incarceration, and decriminalization of sex work.
The Workshop will bring leading advocates working on racial justice related to the topics listed above to speak at the law school every other week during the semester. These sessions will offer students the opportunity to discuss with civil rights advocates the role of law in larger social movements, the notion of “success without victory” (how losing a lawsuit can still mark success by raising, framing, and advancing the underlying issues that were at stake in the case), the relationship of litigation to strategies based in the Freedom of Information Act, community organizing, legislative hearings, media campaigns, and direct action.
Students will be expected to attend every session of the Workshop, prepare written questions in advance of the sessions with outside speakers, and write a 10 page final paper in which they critically evaluate the role of legal advocacy in racial justice movements.
Please note that some assignments will be adjusted as the semester progresses, and that the order of topics and some reading assignments may shift depending on guest-speaker availability.
September 5th: Intro to the Workshop
September 12th: Different Modes of Work – Early Paradigms in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement
- Thomas Hilbink, The Profession, The Grassroots and the Elite: Cause Lawyering for Civil Rights and Freedom in the Direct Action Era, in Cause Lawyers and Social Movements (Sarat and Scheingold eds., 2006)
September 19th: Different Modes of Work - Mapping Approaches
- Michael Grinthal, Power With: Practice Models for Social Justice Lawyering, 15 U. Pa. J. L. & Soc. Change 25 (2011)
September 26th: Different Modes of Work – Turning the System Against Itself
Jules Lobel, Success without Victory: Lost Legal Battles and the Long Road to Justice in America (2003), Introduction
Brenna Bhandar Strategies of Legal Rupture: The Politics of Judgment, 30 Windsor Y.B. Access to Just. 59 (2012)
October 3rd: Lumumba Akinwole Bandele, Senior Community Organizer, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
October 10th: Readings related to Pichon Battle talk
October 17th: Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director U.S. Human Rights Network Climate Change and Racial Justice
October 24th: Readings related to Browne Dianis talk
October 31st: Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director, Advancement Project
November 7th: Readings related to talk
November 21st: Readings related to Warren talk
November 28th: Vince Warren, Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
December 5th: Wrap Up