Course Details

Creating Change as a Lawyer

In this course, we will explore the role lawyers and other individuals play as advocates for social, political, and civic change. Students in this class will engage in real-life and class-based learning. There will be three principal assignments: 1. Students will work for an approximate total of 30 hours during the semester with a community-based or change-oriented organization. “Change-oriented” means any organization working actively to move the needle on a particular issue or set of issues. The professor can help you find an organization that would specifically interest you or you can pick an organization in need of help. Regardless, the organization needs to be approved by the professor. (You should begin looking for an organization prior to the semester on your own. If you struggle to find an organization, have questions, or need help, contact the professor for assistance.) 2. Students will complete a final project with the same organization. The final project should yield a product that an organization would find useful in their efforts to create change. The 30 hours described above are separate from the time devoted to the final project. A substantive part of the final project will be in writing, but there is no specific page requirement because the length may depend on your organization’s needs. In the past, for the 30 hours and/or the final project, students have helped organizations by: strategizing with community members and different stakeholders on how to identify and resolve particular issues, crafting the message of a campaign, doing issue and legal research, reviewing and analyzing pending legislation, attending legislative sessions, writing press releases or different types of articles, surveying and interviewing community members and different stakeholders, preparing a report on pertinent issues, creating fact sheets and manuals, planning events, and conducting "know your rights" presentations for particular communities. 3. Students will have assigned readings and/or a small assignment relating to course topics every week, which will sometimes be provided by the guest speakers for that week. Small assignments in the past have included posting a comment on an article or a video of an interesting campaign on Canvas, interacting with fellow students online, or students writing their goals for the class. Topics we will cover include: organizing and different theories of change, the tools and strategies of lawyers working for change, the history of lawyers working with different movements and communities, and how race, class, and power affect particular movements and your work. There are also weeks when we discuss whatever topics students suggest. We will have discussions based on the assignments, student suggested topics, and your experiences at your organizations. Guest speakers will join us for some classes. In the past, they have included communications experts, organizers, nonprofit leaders, and lawyers working for change. This class meets the Research Writing Requirement. If you have questions about any aspect of the course, please contact the professor. The professor is willing and eager to answer any questions about the course by phone or email at anytime.

Catalog Number: LITARB 683
Additional Course Information: Experiential Learning


Course History

Spring 2018
Title: Creating Change as a Lawyer
Faculty: Llorente, Monica
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 7

Spring 2016
Title: Creating Change as a Lawyer
Faculty: Llorente, Monica
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 15     Actual: 12