Build Power / Fight Power: a 5-Part Course on Movement Lawyering

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A group of movement lawyering practitioners & educators, in collaboration with Movement Law Lab invite you to register for Build Power / Fight Power: a 5-Part Course on Movement Lawyering.

Times of upheaval are also times of great opportunity and change. Lawyers and legal workers of conscience are needed now more than ever to support the people’s resistance be it the Movement for Black Lives, COVID-19 rapid-response, workers’ rights, climate change, immigrant rights, and more. Yet movement lawyering is not what most of us we were exposed to in law school or  what we are trained and encouraged to do as legal practitioners. 

Some of us are ready and willing to support these movements, but aren’t sure how to help. Others of us don’t know what movement lawyering means, but know that doing case after case isn’t going to solve the problems of our clients. Finally some of us are already connected and volunteering for movements, but this moment presents new challenges that we haven’t seen before. We believe, this moment asks us to think differently about our work. To find news ways to approach our cases, new partnerships, new thought-partners and new strategies. We created this course to help all legal advocates—the experienced and the newly committed—learn and reflect together on how we can use our skills to support movements fighting for transformative change rooted in people power. 


This course is an introduction on how to use law to build the power of social justice movements. It will offer you guidance no matter which movement or organized community you are trying to support. From movements of low-wage workers, youth of color, climate justice activists, indigenous communities, the immigrants’ rights movement, survivors of abuse, people coming out of prison, or people fighting to end systemic racism—if you want to use your legal skills to build a world that is better for people and the planet, then this course is for you.


This course is being organized by Movement Law Lab and taught by a collective of experienced movement lawyers across the country. We work at a range of institutions, we represent different progressive movements, we have a diverse expertise and skill-sets, but we are united in our belief that law is best used as a tool to shift power, culture and systems.


The course will consist of presentations on: key theories of social change and concepts of movement lawyering, storytelling from experienced movement lawyers, as well as tools and resources to help integrate movement lawyering approaches into your current work. In addition, we hope to build a meaningful learning/practice community that will extend beyond the sessions and continue to build a national community of lawyers dedicated to supporting mass movements and grassroots organizing. 


This course consists of five interactive online sessions running from July 8 – September 11, 2020. Sessions 1, 2 and 5 will be in plenary format—all of us will be in one session. Sessions 3 and 4 will be reoccurring and participants will have the ability to choose amongst a variety of dates. All sessions will be between 1.5 to 2 hours and will be recorded. There will be a course website with a discussion board and access to session recordings. The sessions build on each other and were designed to be taken sequentially. Participants are strongly encouraged to register only if they can commit to attend all five sessions.


Any lawyers, legal workers, or law students interested in learning how to use law to create social change and support movements. All levels of experience are welcome. We strongly encourage legal advocates coming from marginalized and/or non-traditional backgrounds to register—this space is for you: i.e. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous or other people of color), women, queer/transgender people, people from low-income backgrounds, and/or people who are formerly incarcerated.


The course is free. However, we encourage those who can to make a donation to help cover the costs of the course. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.


All sessions will be virtual using Zoom and/or streaming to Facebook and will have either ASL or live-captioning.


Please contact

Please visit our website for course dates, descriptions of each session, and registration:

Posted in: PUBLIC INTEREST LAW CENTER (PILC) | Tags: , , .