Home » Alina Ball on the Role of Rebellious Lawyering in Community Economic Development

Alina Ball on the Role of Rebellious Lawyering in Community Economic Development

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“Through their participation in [Community Economic Development], reentry lawyers will witness and be involved in the collaborative aspects of CED. If reentry lawyers are exposed to and included in the process of CED, then they will learn strategies for rebellious lawyering.”

“Rebellious lawyers are those lawyers who work with, not just on behalf of, subordinated people. In his book, López explains that “‘rebellious’ lawyers work face-to-face with their client, recognizing the dignity and power of those they try to help.” These lawyers “open themselves to being educated by the subordinated and their allies about the traditions and experiences of subordinated life.” A fundamental characteristic of rebellious lawyering is that these lawyers know how to collaborate effectively with other professionals to provide the most comprehensive problem-solving approaches for their clients.”

“The essence of rebellious lawyering can be learned and observed in the principles and practices of CED. Reentry lawyers who have a commitment to rebellious lawyering will provide better legal advocacy to one of the most marginalized populations within poor, inner-city neighborhoods. This collaborative approach to reentry services is necessary because research shows that reentry work is most effective when it is coordinated through multiple agencies and tied to larger community strategies. Thus, if reentry lawyers and their work are involved in the process of CED, it will also improve the effectiveness and success of the reentry services they offer to formerly incarcerated populations.”

Excerpted from Alina Ball, AN IMPERATIVE REDEFINITION OF “COMMUNITY”: INCORPORATING REENTRY LAWYERS TO INCREASE THE EFFICACY OF COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES, 55 UCLA L. Rev. 1883 (2008).

Professor Alina Ball directs the Social Enterprise & Economic Empowerment Clinic at UC Hastings College of Law.  The clinic prepares students for a career in corporate law and provides them an opportunity to critically explore how transactional lawyering can advance issues of economic and social justice.

Prior to joining the faculty at UC Hastings, she was a Clinical Teaching Fellow with the Harrison Institute for Housing and Community Development at Georgetown University Law Center.  In that role she worked with low-income residents to preserve affordable housing in the District of Columbia by representing tenant associations in the acquisition of their residential buildings and limited-equity cooperatives in the refinancing and operation of those buildings.

Before her career in academia, Professor Ball was an associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP, in San Francisco and Washington, DC, where her practice focused on representing private and public companies in debt, venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions transactions.  She also advised nonprofit organizations on issues relating to entity formation, regulation of exempt organizations, and corporate governance.

She received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2008, with a specialization in Critical Race Studies, and a B.A. degree from Wellesley College, majoring in Mathematics and Spanish, with a concentration in Latin American Studies.

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