A recent white paper authored by Professor Deborah Rhode and Dmitry Bam for a consortium on access to justice concluded that access to justice issues are insufficiently covered in many law school curricula. For example, one national survey found that only one percent of law school graduates recalled coverage of pro bono obligations in their professional responsibility class or orientation program. Although many students are exposed to access issues in their clinical courses, rarely do these classes find time to “provide in-depth coverage of structural concerns in the delivery of assistance.”
To help address this situation, the Stanford Law School Center for the Legal Profession is compiling on its website law syllabi and course material relevant to key access to justice issues, including (but not limited):
• Limitations in the right to counsel and its enforcement;
• Landlord tenant, environmental justice, consumer, discrimination, immigration, and urban development concerns;
• The role of alternative delivery structures and non-lawyer providers of assistance;
• Professional responsibility, poverty, and public interest law;
• Pro bono responsibilities.
The Access to Justice Project welcomes contributions relevant to standard first year courses (such as civil procedure, torts, contracts, property, criminal law, and constitutional law) to advanced core courses such as corporations, family law, administrative law, civil rights, and professional responsibility, as well as clinics and skills classes. In other words, any curricular offerings that either incorporate access to justice as a central theme, or where the issue is threaded in part into a course that may not typically cover such issues.
Professors with questions or materials that are relevant to our project can contact the project’s research assistant LaToya Baldwin Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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