Collaboration Will Afford Unique Opportunities for Law Students to Pursue Social Justice Litigation
SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 18, 2006) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced the formation of an affirmative litigation working group with the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and Yale Law School to explore innovative public policy litigation strategies in such areas as the environment, consumer protection, health care and education. The working groups will partner students and faculty from two of America’s premier law schools with a municipal law office that has won national recognition for its pioneering public interest litigation involving such diverse issues as tobacco, lead paint, reproductive rights, gun marketing practices, and marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.
The working group will provide opportunities at both law schools for students to participate in lectures and hands-on collaboration with deputies from the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, as well as with the law schools’ own world-renowned faculty. Law students will research and prepare litigation proposals for consideration by the San Francisco City Attorney. At Boalt Hall, the law students will focus their efforts on three areas: the environment, education reform, and youth and family issues. At Yale Law School, students will research and explore potential litigation in the areas of consumer protections for the working poor, affordable housing, voting rights, the environment, and health care. Proposals that develop into litigation will afford law students unique opportunities to assist in drafting and working on public interest civil actions, and include summer externships for a select number of students.
“This as an exciting collaboration that brings the idealism, creativity and intellect of Boalt and Yale law schools to bear on my office’s longstanding and effective activist tradition,” said Herrera. “The issues this working group will focus on reflect many of the same social justice imperatives that led today’s best public lawyers to practice law in the first place. I expect great results from this partnership of lawyers and law students who recognize the vital role for public law offices in making the world a better place. I’m very thankful to Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh and Boalt Hall School of Law Dean Christopher Edley, Jr. for sharing this vision of a unique, hands-on educational opportunity to tackle real-world injustices.”
“San Francisco’s affirmative litigation program leads the nation, and Boalt is grateful for the opportunity to participate,” said Dean Christopher Edley, Jr. “Service, problem-solving, and justice constitute the noble trinity of lawyering, and Dennis Herrera and his team have put it all together. There’s no better professional exposure I could imagine for our students.”
Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh said: “Yale Law School’s mission has never been to accept the law as it is, but rather, to advance a better vision of what the law might be. We are proud to join San Francisco and Boalt Hall in this innovative endeavor, which will educate our students, inform our scholarship, and creatively promote the public good.”
About the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office
Described by American Lawyer magazine in 2004 as “one of the most aggressive and talented city law departments in the nation,” the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office has been at the forefront of legal efforts to protect consumers, fight public sector fraud and abuse, and advance civil rights protections for all Americans. Its longstanding commitment to expanding opportunities for legal education can be seen in its MCLE program that is among the most robust offered by any public agency in California; in its highly competitive, year-round internship program for law students; and in the many adjunct faculty members among its staff.