285.6 sec. 1 - Social Justice Skills & Practice Issues (Fall 2014)
"A Simulated Public Interest Law Office"
Instructor: Stephen A. Rosenbaum (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Meeting Time: MW 11:20-12:35
Meeting Location: 145
Course Start: August 25, 2014
Class Number (formerly Course Control Number) (Non-1Ls): 49844
This is a practicum or seminar-style course for students who want to explore a social justice/public interest, public sector or plaintiffs-side practice. The class is run as if it were a small law office; students (you) will designate particular issues and professional skills you wish to develop and the feedback mechanism that is most conducive to your learning style.
Through the use of simulated exercises, you will become familiar with such civil pre-trial litigation skills as interviewing; investigation; complaint drafting; propounding and responding to discovery requests; and meet-and-confer. You will also learn about non-traditional advocacy skills in the areas of media relations, social media, policy advocacy, legislative and administrative lobbying and community education and organizing. And, you will discuss related ethical and policy issues.
This is not a course about substantive law; you will select the area of interest to you (whether racial or disability justice, socio-economic equity, fair and affordable housing, accessible health care, rights of immigrants or workers, international human rights, environmental degradation, etc.).
In lieu of a final exam or paper, there will be a series of short written assignments and in-class oral exercises. The course readings include commentary by legal scholars and practitioners, community organizers and journalists; news articles and features; excerpts from practice manuals; rules of court; and statutes.
The instructor (Steve Rosenbaum, John and Elizabeth Boalt Lecturer) is an
experienced civil rights and legal services practitioner who has taught at
BerkeleyLaw since 1988. In 2002, he was named a Harvard Law Wasserstein
Public Interest Fellow and in 2013 was a recipient of the Eleanor Swift
Award for Public Service. See Faculty Profiles/Part-Time Faculty for more
biographical details. He also welcomes questions about the course at
This course satisfies the Experiential Requirement.
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Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.