Rebellious Lawyering: One Chicano's Vision of Progressive Law Practice
Public interest law practiced on behalf of the "disempowered" has always appealed to the most idealistic of lawyers. Too often, however, the well-intentioned efforts of activist lawyers working within low-income communities have not been effective. In this brilliant study of the practice of public interest law, Gerald Lopez argues that these failures can be traced to the inability of activist lawyers to shake off the tacit assumptions of their own legal culture. Their deeply ingrained views on the practice of law ultimately tend to reinforce rather than to alter the conditions they had hoped to change.
Weaving his argument around constructed illustrative accounts--scenarios based on years of observation and experience--Lopez builds a powerful case that progressive lawyering demands rethinking of the practice of law, the needs of the community, and the relationship between the two.
Elegantly written and combining personal testimony with analytic power, Rebellious Lawyering is certain to become an instant classic. It is essential reading not only for progressive lawyers but also for policymakers, social workers, community organizers, public health officials, and indeed anyone who desires to make a difference in the lives of oppressed people in their communities.
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