The current context of social justice practice demands advocacy skills that go beyond those traditionally taught in law school clinics. The erosion of the regulatory state, market-based approaches to poverty and community development, and the infusion of immigrants into the low-wage agricultural and services sectors of the American economy all have broadened the focus of social justice practice. In addition to addressing traditional law reform activities, today's public interest lawyers must work with other organizations to mobilize marginalized people to fight for their interests, particularly in the absence of protection once offered by the state.

Cognizant of these changes in the terrain of social justice practice, our clinical faculty members teach students alternative forms of advocacy such as representation and organization of community-based groups, community education, and policy advocacy in media and legislative settings. Utilizing these strategies, we are able to help build the capacity of grassroots organizations in the New York metropolitan area.

Some examples of our involvement include:
  • Immigrant Refugee Rights Clinic students' support of grassroots organizers who work with immigrant workers, as well as the families of immigrant detainees.