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: 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)