Title: New Initiatives for Expanding Justice Education by Collaborating With Marginalized Communities and Public Service Organizations
Lead Presenter: Marianne Artusio
Session Abstract: This diverse panel, bringing together four presenters from Afghanistan, Nigeria and the United States, will explore, through interactive methods, recent initiatives that promise expanding justice education enabling students to engage with community and community leaders on projects extending access to justice to people living in disadvantaged and rural populations and in prisons. The initiatives give students a wider exposure to the many ways that students learn how lawyers and community members can work together to bring about change that promotes social justice. The initiatives are: (1) an Afghanistan project promoting public awareness of rights with faculty and students in collaboration with the Independent Commission for Overseeing the Implementation of the Constitution, by sending students to prisons educating prisoners about their rights, both in a major city for female prisoners and in outlying areas for male prisoners, and broadly for laypersons in outlying areas; (2) a Nigerian Legal First Aid Clinic, run as a public interest unit of a law firm and operated as a Community Law Center staffed by volunteer students, lawyers and clinic faculty, who primarily serve women, prisoners and address human rights issues. In addition to organizing “street law” programs, the Legal First Aid Clinic provides initial advice and assistance, and engages in mediation services to resolve legal problems; (3) an innovative, Second Chance program within a United States criminal clinic in which students collaborate with community and justice officials to enable defendants, who missed court dates and received arrest warrants, to return without fear of arrest and obtain a new court date; 4) a Public Advocacy Center that houses public interest and pro bono organizations within a United States law school, and invites human rights lawyers to become an integral part of the life of the school by teaching classes and introducing students to many opportunities to do pro bono work with community advocates in a wide variety of projects. The audience will join with the presenters in a simulated Public Interest Conference to evaluate and refine these initiatives.
See full list of abstracts here.