Overview of our Clinics
The Sheller Center houses three clinics: the Social Justice Lawyering Clinic, supervised by Clinical Professor Jennifer Lee; the new Systemic Justice Clinic, to begin operation in spring 2020, supervised by Professor Shanda Sibley; and the Access to Justice Clinic, supervised by Professor Len Rieser.
Another clinic, Justice Lab, operated from 2016 to 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Colleen Shanahan. Justice Lab is not currently in operation, but information about its work is available here.
Social Justice Lawyering Clinic
In the Social Justice Lawyering Clinic (SJLC), students primarily represent low-wage workers and organizations engaged in labor, immigration, criminal justice, civil rights, and other advocacy impacting immigrants and workers. The clinic docket includes employment cases at all stages of proceedings before the state and federal courts. The clinic’s non-litigation work consists of the representation of grassroots organizations, legal nonprofits, and other entities involved in policy and legislative reform efforts, media advocacy, and community education. All students handle at least one litigation and one non-litigation matter. The SJLC seminar meets weekly and is centered on a practice-oriented examination of advocacy, where students can collectively strategize about their work while engaging in critical self-reflection about social justice lawyering.
Systemic Justice Clinic
In the Systemic Justice Clinic, students will work with community groups and public interest legal organizations on one of the most pressing concerns in civil rights today – that almost any interaction with the mechanisms of the criminal legal system can result in a lifelong deprivation of a person’s rights, and that these interactions and resultant deprivations fall disproportionately upon racial minorities and the poor. Projects will include policy campaigns and legislative advocacy around collateral consequences such as barriers to employment, education, housing, and public benefits; civil disabilities; and fines and fees associated with private contractors. Students may also have the opportunity to work on criminal justice reform, policing, and inmates’ rights issues, and to engage in community education projects.
Access to Justice Clinic
In this new clinic, students will work on systemic projects aimed at increasing the availability of legal help to people of low and moderate means who are currently forced to navigate the civil justice system on their own. These projects will be conducted in collaboration with local organizations, such as legal non-profits, bar associations, and courts, that are actively seeking to improve access to civil justice for low- and moderate-income individuals.