Clinical education has flourished at Berkeley Law over the last three decades, and further growth is on the horizon. It was Berkeley students who founded the Berkeley Community Law Center (now the East Bay Community Law Center) in 1988, establishing the school’s commitment to provide legal services to low-income communities and train students to use the law to promote social justice. Now the robust program — which currently houses six in-house and eight community-based clinics — plans to add three more in-house clinics and four clinical faculty members over the next four years.
Plans for expansion come at a time of rising authoritarianism and popular nationalism, deepening inequities, and retrenchment of rights. Berkeley Law’s clinics stand with threatened individuals and communities in pursuit of transformative justice through direct services, litigation, counseling, policy advocacy, and research. The turbulence of our times only deepens our resolve to disrupt and dismantle entrenched patterns of oppression, exploitation, and racism.
Among Berkeley Law students, clinical education has never been more popular. More than 300 students enrolled in clinics last year and took advantage of the unparalleled opportunities to use the conservative institution of the law in radical and innovative ways. Clinics provided a welcoming home for students who decided to become lawyers because they wanted sustaining careers that have meaning, not just to them but to the communities they serve.
View our Annual Report to learn how clinical faculty and students are working to advance social justice.
Ty Alper, co-director, Clinical Program
Roxanna Altholz, co-director, Clinical Program
Seema N. Patel, clinical director, East Bay Community Law Center