Ex. Bronx Defenders on Holistic Defense - Fieldwork

Course Information

Course Number
Curriculum Level
Areas of Study
Clinics, Externships, and Experiential Learning, Criminal Law and Procedure, Legal Profession and Professional Responsibility, Racial, Economic, and Social Justice
Additional Attributes
Experiential Credit

Section 002 Information


Section Description

An arrest is never just an arrest. It can prompt the child welfare system to take an infant from a mother's custody, trigger deportation proceedings for a legal permanent resident, and cause the public housing authority to throw an entire family out into the street. An arrest is simply the first stone in an avalanche of dire legal and social consequences.

This externship immerses students in the cutting edge of defense work on the frontier of civil rights in the South Bronx - the poorest congressional district in the country. A person of color living in the Bronx is more likely to be stopped and frisked by the police, arrested, evicted, enter a homeless shelter, be on welfare, or have their children removed than a resident of any other county in New York State. The Bronx Defenders has pioneered Holistic Defense, an innovative approach to indigent defense, in order to help clients deal with the enmeshed penalties of criminal justice involvement. Course content and fieldwork will train students as future holistic lawyers offering seamless access to services that meet clients' full range of legal and social support needs.

The Seminar

The weekly classroom component of the Holistic Defender Externship will take place at Columbia, where lecturers-in-law will help the students contextualize their experiences with their clients and the justice system. By addressing topics like racial and class disparity in the justice system, policing policy, and the social history of the South Bronx, students will be able to locate their experiences of individual client representation in the broader discussions of normative social, political, and economic policy. Role playing, simulations, as well as background reading and real-world case studies, will help inform students, and lead them toward a mastery of both the theoretical underpinnings of holistic advocacy and the practical aspects of actual client representation.

Learning Through Doing - The Placement

School Year & Semester
Fall 2021
J.D Writing Credit?

Course Limitations

Instructor Pre-requisites
Instructor Co-Requisites
Recommended Courses
Other Limitations

Other Sections of Ex. Bronx Defenders on Holistic Defense - Fieldwork

Section 001

Section 001

Section 002

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