Wednesday, July 24, 2019

JOBS: LSU Immigration Law Clinic

LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY, PAUL M. HEBERT LAW CENTER seeks to hire a full-time faculty member with security of position to direct the Immigration Law Clinic as part of LSU Law’s Clinical Legal Education Program. The Immigration Law Clinic is a fully in-house, one-semester, 5 credit clinic in which students represent non-citizens in their defensive proceedings before the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) and affirmative applications with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Applicants should have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school, superior academic credentials, substantial experience in Immigration practice and be admitted and in good standing in a U.S. jurisdiction. Prior clinical teaching experience and fluency in Spanish is preferred.

The Paul M. Hebert Law Center of LSU is an Equal Opportunity/Equal Access Employer and is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty. We particularly welcome and encourage applications from female and minority candidates.       

Applications should include a letter of application, resume, references, and teaching evaluations (if available) to:


Melissa T. Lonegrass and Christina M. Sautter

Co-Chairs, Faculty Appointments Committee

c/o Pam Hancock (or by email to

Paul M. Hebert Law Center

Louisiana State University

1 East Campus Drive

Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-0106

July 24, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

CLEA: Social Justice in Legal Clinics: The Nonprofit and Small Business Clinic at New York Law School

Cross posted from the CLEA series on Social Justice in Legal Clinics

A post by Anna G. Cominsky, Visiting Associate Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney at New York Law School

Social justice is an integral part of Associate Professor of Law Gowri Krishna’s Nonprofit and Small Business Clinic at New York Law School. “I think of my clinic broadly as a social justice clinic,” Krishna says, “We support people and organizations that work towards economic, racial, social, and environmental equity.” Students in the yearlong Clinic provide transactional legal assistance to nonprofit organizations and small businesses. Under close faculty supervision by Krishna, students interview and counsel clients; plan and strategize on matters; research relevant questions of law; draft correspondence, memos and legal documents; manage client relationships; and negotiate agreements. Students take primary responsibility for work with multiple clients on a variety of matters such as entity formation, governance, contracts, intellectual property and regulatory compliance.

The Clinic is comprised of seminar and fieldwork experience for both fall and spring semesters. During the fall semester, twice-weekly seminars focus on substantive areas of law, ethics and lawyering skills. Students prepare for and lead case rounds in which they discuss issues raised in and reflections on their fieldwork

Clinic clients range from start-ups to more mature entities. Clients generally come from or benefit low-income communities, and all are unable to afford market rates for legal services. “We represent nonprofit groups and small businesses on non-litigation matters such as entity structure, formation, governance, contracts, leases, etc. The nonprofit organizations have varying missions that aim to improve the lives of and build power for the most vulnerable in some way, whether it is providing preschool programs for children in public housing, training immigrants for jobs in the culinary sector, or developing affordable housing policies (a sampling of this past year’s clinic clients).”

The Clinic helps students explore and understand a new economic system, commonly referred to as the solidarity or cooperative economy, which is a movement to build a just and dependable economy. “Many of the small businesses we assist are ones that fit into the solidarity economy. They value democracy and cooperation and operate their business according to these principles. Transactional lawyers adapt existing legal structures and create new ones to meet their clients’ goal of prioritizing labor over capital. They counsel clients on governance structures that offer democratic participation by all of the workers in a business. This type of legal work is cutting-edge, requiring attorneys to think creatively and lawyer in novel ways. Law school clinics, nonprofit legal services, and private law offices should seek and embrace opportunities to support a more democratic economy.”

This is a critical time in our history. Clinics, like Krishna’s, now more than ever have the ability to promote social justice by training future lawyers. The Clinic helps prepare students for work with organizational clients and introduces students to opportunities for transactional lawyers to further economic, environmental, racial and social justice. “My hope is that by getting to know their clients and their clients’ broader objectives, students will sharpen their critical thinking and creative lawyering skills and consider their role in effecting social justice.”


July 23, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Conditions of Democracy: Interdependence, Dignity, Resistance

I have the great privilege of spending this week talking about justice and society with a lot of very smart, conscientious, justice-minded people from across the American political spectrum. It's refreshing and good and reminds me of some very important lessons for our democracy and society.
First, we must absolutely remember and hold in mind our outright interdependence on each other. Like gravity and the atmosphere, we cannot opt out of it. Everything we do individually and collectively has an effect on everyone else, so we must measure everything we do individually and collectively with a moral sense of our place and relationships. If we ever begin to believe that we owe nothing to anyone else, we will die, individually and collectively.
Second, the only way that works is to acknowledge the dignity and capacity of everyone, even our adversaries and rivals. We must extend benevolent assumptions to our neighbors, even in competition. If we believe that everyone who disagrees with us is evil or stupid, we devolve into a horrible state of nature and rhetorical violence that fractures our culture. Love your neighbor. Love your enemies. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they mean well, until they demonstrate otherwise.
Third, compromise is an essential American virtue, a necessary ingredient to our enterprise. Principles are, too, but to advance those principles requires working toward compromise with well intentioned, principled rivals. If we don't, we either make no progress, or we invite total war and domination by one side over another. If I would not be dominated, so I cannot seek to dominate. If we are going to live together - and we have no other choice - then we have to work together. We cannot work together if we are unwilling to compromise and seek common ground.
This requires a faith, the hope in things unseen, that most people, however much they disagree, are doing their best and trying to do good. This requires some humility and empathy. This is not soft, and it's not a surrender. It's the hardest thing of all, and it requires real, genuine toughness and discipline. It requires courage and guts to trust our counterparts and rivals, but trust begets trust.
By all means, let's advocate and agitate for justice. Let's protest and fight, and let's do it well. Vilifying and destroying a rival or political counterpart can seem like a tempting option, but it does not ultimately advance justice. We have a duty to fight for freedom, and we have a duty to win. We don't have a duty to destroy and eviscerate. Our own dignity depends on everyone else's. True justice resists all oppression and will not oppress.
The other options are tyranny or anarchy, so we must do all we can to bring every voice to the table so that we can ensure inclusion, diversity, dignity, and resilience in our society and democracy. We cannot permit anyone to be excluded from our national, political, social, and community discourse and decision making. Law is only legitimate if the people whom it governs have a voice in the lawmaking.
Last, if our goal is the full dignity, justice, and flourishing of everyone in our interdependent, complex, diverse, and prosperous democracy, we will make very different choices than if we are only interested in our own, individual profit, comfort and power. The trick is that we will profit most individually when we give great care to our interdependent world.
It is very easy to embrace all of this, then give ourselves a pass when the "other side" acts up and is difficult, but extremity begets extremity, and it is very hard to walk ourselves back to a peaceful pace of progress together. We might have to turn another cheek or walk an extra mile, but we reap what we sow. This does not mean submitting to abuse but insisting on our own dignity by demanding the dignity of all the others.
We cannot sit still with injustice, but destroying norms and exploding relationships does not help the cause. Unless we will risk anarchy and tyranny, we must tend to these relationships with discipline so that we can build better worlds together. Our democracy is at stake under threats of a demagogue and the extreme voices he provokes. Our calling can only be to resist the temptation to rise to his hatred and cling fiercely to love for each other.

July 12, 2019 | Permalink | Comments (3)