Justice Lab was in operation during school years 2016-17 and 2017-18. Students represented client organizations (including community groups, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies) in a range of systemic advocacy matters. Through this work, Justice Lab students developed expertise in finding creative solutions to legal problems, as well as in interviewing, research and information gathering, policy, legislative, and strategic analysis, written and oral advocacy, collaboration, project planning and management, professional ethics, negotiation, and media advocacy.
In 2017, Justice Lab received the Clinical Legal Education Association’s Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project, a national award recognizing one law clinic project each year. The award recognized Justice Lab’s investigation and advocacy campaign that ended Philadelphia’s decades-long practice of suing, and garnishing the wages of, working poor parents following a child’s incarceration. You can read more about the juvenile incarceration costs project and watch the NBC News story featuring Justice Lab student Wes Stevenson.
Other Justice Lab projects addressed affordable housing, cash bail reform, forensic science reform, and traffic court reform for returning citizens. Clients have included Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, Defender Association of Philadelphia, Montgomery County Public Defender Office, Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, Redeemed PA, and the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project. You can read more about these projects, access Justice Lab reports, and read press coverage on our News & Publications page.
Projects & Cases
- New lead-paint bills reflect students’ proposals
- A twofer: Sheller Center students help bring about criminal justice reforms
- Let’s end lead poisoning
- Guest post: Nick Kato on #DebtFreeJustice
- Center’s report on affordable housing goes national
- Our unfair system of cash bail
- A national award
- Ripple effects from “advocacy in action”
- A victory for families
- City Council hearing this week on charging parents for their child’s incarceration