University of Miami School of Law Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2016

Course Description
Building on basic legal concepts and skills, this three-credit course teaches advanced lawyering techniques in litigation or policy contexts involving larger communities, causes, or movements. These kinds of complex scenarios call for systemic solutions to intractable social problems. Rooted in the lessons of civil rights struggles in the U.S. and globally, “social impact advocacy” therefore refers to a framework and skill-set focused on crafting systemic solutions to persistent social problems.

To craft such solutions, lawyers, educators, organizers, and policy researchers often work in cross-disciplinary teams to produce multi-faceted analyses, strategies, and tactics that supplement traditional legal practices. This sophisticated work frequently is organized around two key action frameworks that focus on social change: issue-oriented campaigns and community economic development projects framed around local and global problems.

The first part of the course examines the roots of today’s persistent social problems and surveys ongoing efforts to redress the resulting “access to justice” gaps in legal, social, political, and material terms. We then turn in the second part of the course to advanced forms of analysis before concluding in the third part with a group project, which is presented to the class and community representatives at the end of the semester. Upon conclusion of the course, the most successful students will be considered for placements in local externships with community organizations devoted to advocacy for social change.

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
01-11-2016 - 04-20-2016   TR  11:00 AM-12:20 PM F402

Course Frequency
Occasional course offering

Course Information

Credits: 3
Pass/Fail Option: No
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Because advance preparation, timeliness, consistent attendance, and thoughtful participation are important aspects of legal education and hallmarks of successful professionalism in law practice, course grades are based on three areas of individual and group performance: (1) weekly hands-on exercises, (2) consistent professionalism and participation throughout the course, and (3) final group projects with individual presentations at the end of the semester.
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Writing Requirement
Special Attributes: None
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s):
Government & Regulation - Related
Social Justice - Related
Bar Subject(s): None
Social Justice & Public Interest (Area of Focus)   More information
Social Justice & Public Interest (Concentration)   More information

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Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-4318
Office: D339


Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-1780
Office: G369