Impact Litigation: Theory and Practice
One model of social change entails the strategic use of carefully planned litigation to achieve law and policy reforms. In this seminar we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of the impact litigation model, compare impact litigation to other models of public interest law, and consider its ethical and professional implications. Then, turning to two local case studies involving criminal justice reform, we will examine how impact litigation can work in practice. How were these cases selected and developed? What strategic decisions had to made along the way? How were the cases shaped by procedural limitations and extrajudicial considerations? Students will be tasked with either undertaking their own case study or proposing a new case that fits within the impact litigation model.
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