Home » Amy M. Reichbach and the role of Rebellious Lawyering in education reform lawsuits

Amy M. Reichbach and the role of Rebellious Lawyering in education reform lawsuits

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“According to Professor Gerald López, lawyers should embrace a ‘rebellious lawyering’ model, one which demands that lawyers and those with whom they work ‘nurture sensibilities and skills compatible with a collective fight for social change.’ Rebellious lawyers practice collaborative advocacy, connecting with the community they serve and working with their client community, not just on its behalf. They must adopt a problem-solving orientation appropriate for working with others. This model involves brainstorming, designing, and executing strategies that respond immediately to particular problems, while at the same time fighting social and political subordination.  This multi-layered approach is consistent with Professor Stephen Ellman’s observation that lawyers working on behalf of those who would otherwise lack adequate representation to achieve social reform must find strategies that ‘target broad situations rather than individual circumstance[s].’ These strategies are necessary because problems are often related to social conditions and because the needs faced by the poor will always exceed their lawyers’ capacity to meet them.

From Amy M. Reichbach, LAWYER, CLIENT, COMMUNITY: TO WHOM DOES THE EDUCATION REFORM LAWSUIT BELONG, 27 B.C. Third World L.J. 131 (2007).

Amy Reichbach is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law. She teaches Civil Procedure. Throughout her career as an urban public school teacher, delinquency-prevention program director, and lawyer, Professor Reichbach has focused her work and her scholarship on the interrelated issues of access to quality education and the continuum of policies and practices that push youth – particularly poor youth of color – out of school and in to the juvenile and criminal justice systems, also known as the school-to-prison pipeline. Reichbach regularly conducts workshops and trainings on these issues for a variety of audiences and has published several articles in law reviews. Reichbach clerked for Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall at the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and for the late Judge Reginald C. Lindsay at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the ACLU of Massachusetts and most recently worked as a trial attorney with the Child & Family Law Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services. Reichbach received her law degree from Boston College Law School, her Master’s in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and her bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

 

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