Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.

Title: Global Community Lawyering and Sustainable Development: Drawing on Cross-Border Collaborations to Address Vexing Social Justice Concerns

Lead Presenter: Lopez, Rachel


  1. None
  2. Brooks, Susan
  3. Omoyemen, Lucia Odigie-Emmanuel

Session Abstract: In today's globalized world in which the traditional boundaries of sovereign nations, economies, and culture are increasingly blurred, future lawyers will be required to operate in transnational settings, navigate through multiple legal systems, and employ non-traditional legal skills to confront complex cross border issues, including sustainable development. In this context, justice education will remain incomplete without global collaborations. Moreover, it is largely the role of law schools, and clinics in particular, to equip this next generation of lawyers with the core competencies they will need as global litigators and advocates. Traditionally, the legal clinics that have tackled cross-border legal issues have been human rights clinics, but in recent years new models have emerged. These clinics have taken collaborative, cross cultural/border approaches to addressing issues of common human concern across the nations. Whether it be the subjugation of women and consequent violence and gender disparities in patriarchal contexts, police atrocities in custodial detentions, disappearances or innumerable other issues, global cooperation is often needed. The academic networking and multidisciplinary collaborations among different legal education systems will not only provide inspirational models of clinical legal education but may also provide common answers to common human questions spanning across the globe. The Nigerian Law school Yenagoa Clinic takes a cross-border approach to sustainable development. Sustainable development aims at promoting peaceful and inclusive societies, and depends on ensuring access to justice for all. Achieving this goal is dependent on promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels. One indicator for this goal is increasing the proportion of victims of violence who have the opportunity to report their victimization to competent authorities or other officially recognized conflict resolution mechanisms. Community lawyering clinics can be a useful tool in achieving this goal. The Stern Community Lawyering Clinic at Drexel University will explore the possibilities, prospects and challenges of incorporating international solidarity work to complement local issue-based projects adopting a global community lawyering lens to their work breaking the traditional norm. The Stern CLC is a place-based clinic, which focused on the legal issues facing the neighborhoods in West Philadelphia. Each year, student teams undertake projects that are devoted to tackling a legal issue that has emerged in consultation with residents from our service area. This year, the Stern CLC is incorporating international solidarity work to complement its otherwise very local issue-based projects. Namely, each team is forging a partnership with an organization or clinic that focuses on the same or similar issue facing our community clients in West Philadelphia, yet in a different geographic area. The goal of this approach is twofold. First, it encourages students to examine how a particular issue manifests in diverse historical, socio-economic, and political contexts and to “de-exceptionalize” the United States experience of the issue as being somehow different than other countries. Second, it helps to connect community leaders tackling similar issues so they can share tactics and strategies and to promote solidarity across borders. The Faculty of Law, University of Delhi has three Law Centres for imparting legal education at Bachelor's level. All three Centres have their respective legal aid clinics where devoted teams of teachers and students work towards attainment of sustainable development goals through justice education and experiential learning. The tasks undertaken by the legal aid clinics are two pronged- firstly, by providing guidance and support to the people who approach the legal aid clinics for help ; and secondly, by reaching out to the people in society at community level - to generate legal awareness for protection of their legal rights.

Session Material:

No material uploaded.

See full list of abstracts here.