Jeffrey Selbin directs the Policy Advocacy Clinic, which he founded in 2015 as an interdisciplinary clinic to train and supervise law and public policy students to take on systemic racial and economic injustice. The clinic currently represents impacted groups in California and nationally on campaigns to abolish racialized wealth extraction (fees and fines) in the criminal and juvenile legal systems.
From 2014 to 2017, Selbin served as co-faculty director of the Henderson Center for Social Justice, and from 2006 to 2015, he served as faculty director of the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), Berkeley’s community-based clinic. Selbin founded EBCLC’s HIV/AIDS Law Project in 1990 as a Skadden Fellow, and served as EBCLC’s Executive Director from 2002 to 2007. During 2010-11, Selbin was a visiting clinical professor at Yale Law School. In Spring 2019, he was a visiting fellow at Yale and a visiting scholar at NYU.
Selbin is active in local and national clinical legal education, anti-poverty, and criminal justice reform efforts. He is a founding member and co-chair of the Advisory Board of the Fines and Fees Justice Center. He chaired the Poverty Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and co-chaired the Lawyering in the Public Interest (Bellow Scholar) Committee of the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education. He currently serves as an elected member of the Clinical Law Review Editorial Board, and served two terms as an elected member of the board of directors of the Clinical Legal Education Association.
Selbin co-authored the leading poverty law casebook Poverty Law, Policy, and Practice (2d ed. 2021). Other recent publications (some with co-authors) include: Blood from a Turnip: Money as Punishment in Idaho in the Idaho Law Review (2021), Juvenile Fee Abolition in California: Early Lessons and Challenges for the Debt Free Justice Movement in the North Carolina Law Review (2020), The Diversity Imperative Revisited: Racial and Gender Inclusion in Clinical Law Faculty in the Clinical Law Review (2019), Measuring Law School Clinics in the Tulane Law Review (2018); and Unmarked? Criminal Record Clearing and Employment Outcomes in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (2017).
Selected recent clinic reports include: Fee Abolition and the Promise of Debt-Free Justice for Young People and Their Families in California, (2019); Homeless Exclusion Districts: How California Business Improvement Districts Use Policy Advocacy and Policing Practices to Exclude Homeless People from Public Space (2018); and Making Families Pay: The Harmful, Unlawful and Costly Practice of Charging Juvenile Administrative Fees in California (2017).
In 2018, Selbin received the Society of American Law Teachers Great Teacher Award and the U.C. Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Community Engaged Teaching. He has been recognized multiple times as a Northern California Super Lawyer; was named a Harvard Law School Wasserstein Fellow, honoring outstanding public interest lawyers (2004); and was selected as a Bellow Scholar by the AALS Clinical Section for his anti-poverty and access-to-justice efforts (2003).
B.A., University of Michigan (1983)
C.E.P., L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques (1986)
J.D., Harvard University (1989)
Jeffrey Selbin is teaching the following course in Spring 2023:
295.5X sec. 001 - Advanced Policy Advocacy Clinic
Courses During Other Semesters
|Semester||Course Num||Course Title||Teaching Evaluations||Fall 2022||290A sec. 001||Policy Advocacy Clinic Seminar||View Teaching Evaluation||290B sec. 001||Advanced Policy Advocacy Clinic Seminar||View Teaching Evaluation||295.5P sec. 001||Policy Advocacy Clinic||View Teaching Evaluation||295.5X sec. 001||Advanced Policy Advocacy Clinic||View Teaching Evaluation||Spring 2022||295.5X sec. 001||Advanced Policy Advocacy Clinic||View Teaching Evaluation|
OpEd: San Francisco’s homeless sweeps are unlawful — and the city will pay for it
“Affordable housing, not handcuffs, is the only humane, effective and lawful solution to homelessness,” writes Jeffrey Selbin the Chancellor’s Clinical Professor of Law and co-director of the Policy Advocacy Clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Law.
California Will Soon Have the Nation’s Most Expansive Record-Clearing Law
Jeff Selbin, the director of the Policy Advocacy Clinic at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law discusses California’s new law that will automatically seal most criminal records for those who complete their sentences.
Stephanie Campos-Bui ’14 Wins UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Community-Engaged Teaching
Deputy director of Berkeley Law’s Policy Advocacy Clinic, Campos-Bui is honored for her impactful work on the effects of criminal legal system fees and fines.
Justice Education Project’s New Book Explains the Basics on U.S. Criminal Justice
Former Policy Advocacy Clinic teaching fellow Ahmed Lavalais discusses the clinic’s campaign to eliminate debt imposed on youth and families by the juvenile justice system
‘Terrific Teachers, Superb Scholars, and Wonderful Colleagues’: Six Professors Awarded Faculty Chairs
Professors Katerina Linos, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Abbye Atkinson, Elisabeth Semel, Laurel E. Fletcher, and Jeffrey Selbin are honored for their contributions to scholarship and legal education.
Clinic’s Winning Playbook for Abolishing Harmful Juvenile Fees Gains Momentum Nationwide
Berkeley Law’s Policy Advocacy Clinic leads the way in abolishing harmful juvenile fees nationwide, with five states eliminating fees this year alone.
Idaho Supreme Court issues ‘significant’ ruling for those who can’t afford court fees
Professor Jeffrey Selbin, director of the Policy Advocacy Clinic, says an unanimous Idaho Supreme Court decision on court fees sends a clear message that courts should not be in the business of making money off the poor
She Tried to Steal $15 Pants as a Teen. The Fines Devastated Her Family.
Professor Jeffrey Selbin, director of the Policy Advocacy Clinic, explains the damage juvenile fines and fees do to families and says families can be responsible for fees from the probation department, the state court system, and even “child support” if their child ends up in the custody of the Oregon Youth Authority
Oregon lawmakers discuss elimination of juvenile court fees
Data published by the Policy Advocacy Clinic showing the high cost of collecting juvenile fees is cited as Oregon considers a bill to end juvenile fines and fees
Change-Making at the Capitol: Governor Signs Seven Bills Driven by Berkeley Law Clinics and Centers
Governor Newsom signs a whopping seven bills that focus on protecting residents’ civil, financial, and environmental rights — all driven by Berkeley Law clinics and centers.
Professor Jeffrey Selbin, director of the Policy Advocacy Clinic, discusses the impact juvenile fees have on families and communities
Op-Ed: Moratorium on Juvenile Court Fees and Fines Can Ease Family Burdens During COVID-19
Professor Jeffrey Selbin, Director of the Policy Advocacy Clinic, with Jessica Feierman, explains why now is the time to impose an immediate moratorium on all juvenile fees and fines
Inspiration 3.0: Student Trio Honored for Exceptional Clinical Advocacy
Extraordinary 3Ls Savannah Reid, Bill Nguyen, and Camila Gonzalez wowed their supervisors, peers, and project partners en route to their awards.
Court Is Closed Due to Coronavirus. But You Still Owe Those Fines and Fees.
Professor Jeffrey Selbin, director of the Policy Advocacy Clinic, talks to The Marshall Project about the concerning history of escalating court fees and fines during recessions.
Policy Advocacy Clinic’s Report Aims to Ensure Debt-Free Justice in California
The clinic is monitoring enforcement of a law that bars California counties from charging fees to parents and guardians of youth in the juvenile legal system.
Policy Advocacy Clinic Students Driving Force Behind Nevada Youth Justice Bill
Thanks to the initiative of two Policy Advocacy Clinic students, Nevada families will no longer have to pay thousands of dollars for everything from food to a public defender when they have a child in the juvenile delinquency system.
Clinic Study Details How Business Districts Target Homeless People
The report explains how these districts have expanded in number and power while excluding the homeless from public spaces.
Music to Their Ears: Students Spur Juvenile Fees Victory in New Orleans
A Berkeley Law clinic’s yearlong effort prods the South’s first court to stop charging administrative fees to families of youth in the juvenile system.
With Two Recent Awards in Tow, Jeffrey Selbin Discusses His Clinical Passion
The director of Berkeley Law’s Policy Advocacy Clinic is honored for his effective, community-driven teaching and research.
Teacher of the Year
Clinical Law Professor Jeffrey Selbin received the 2018 Great Teacher Award from the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). The society hailed him for showing “that instilling the desire and capability to provide public service must be a fundamental charge of legal academia.” The director of Berkeley Law’s Policy Advocacy Clinic, Selbin has led clinical