Public Interest Law and Policy

This course offers an overview of the issues faced by lawyers representing low income clients, lawyers who serve under-represented and disenfranchised groups, and lawyers who otherwise work in the public interest. The course will begin with an investigation of the meaning of public interest law.

Professor Shapiro's version:
The bulk of the course will address the real-world work of public interest lawyers through a focus on particular cases, legislative initiatives, and other efforts to engage in public interest law. Subjects that may be explored include income support for low income people, low income housing, medical care and disability rights, nutrition, racial justice, women's rights, the environment, and access to courts. In addition, the course will explore ethical issues that arise when lawyers represent low-income clients and professionalism questions that are raised by the special role lawyers play in providing access to justice.
(added 11/10)

Professor Staudt's version: 
The bulk of the course will cover the key cases decided and legislation passed since the 1960s when the Johnson Administration launched its war on poverty in the United States. These cases may include court decisions and legislation affecting income support for low income people including federal welfare programs, social security and state general assistance programs. Low income housing, medical care, nutrition and access to courts may also be explored. In addition, the course will explore ethical issues that arise when lawyers represent low income clients and professionalism questions that are raised by the special role lawyers play in providing access to justice. 

(added 4/06)

Course Information
Course #: LAW 464
Program: JD
Course Type: JD Elective
Area of Study: Health Law, Policy and Bioethics, Law, Government and Regulation, Public Interest Law
Credit Hours: Three credit hours.