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American University Washington College of Law    
 
    
 
  Jan 21, 2018
 
2017-2018 Catalog

LAW - 893 Public Interest Practice


(2 hrs.)

This is a course about the concept and evolution of what is most broadly referred to as “public interest” law and practice; the broad themes that practice in this area raises - themes about race, gender, class, wealth, etc.; and some of the significant cross-cutting issues in this area of practice, such as funding and scarcity of resources, competing delivery models, third party interference or resistance to the work, and client voice or autonomy within a cause. The course will examine 1) who public interest lawyers were, at the origins of the movement, and who they are today; 2) what public interest lawyers do; and 3) challenges for public interest lawyering, with particular focus on ethical dilemmas, the globalization of law, and new directions in the field. The course will examine international human rights advocacy as well as domestic advocacy, with an eye toward preparing students for careers in the field of public interest practice, whether here or abroad. These stories include topics such as the following, told through particularly noteworthy cases or crises: human rights advocacy; international law; civil rights; famous trials; and/or race stories.