Rebellious Lawyering is an alternative lawyering model
“…Gerald López’s ‘rebellious lawyering’ critique… jolted individual lawyers from their entrenched practices. Rebellious lawyering gave rise to productive self-reflection and external critiques, resulting in the now canonical models of collaborative lawyering, client-centered lawyering, and critical lawyering. In addition to revising our thinking about the lawyer-client relationship, rebellious lawyering led to the development of alternative lawyering models, including community-based law offices, lawyering connected to community organizing, and community development advocacy. These models reflected a distrust of the law and a ‘view that the law is not capable of protecting the interests of the poor and subordinated.’”
“Regarding lawyers and clients, the rebellious call to reject lawyer-client hierarchy and to respect the cultural and communal factors that shape our lawyering remains important. Social justice lawyers must be vigilant against the creep of privilege (whether based on education, class, race, gender, sexuality, or language) and the temptation to dominate the client.”
Excerpted from E. Tammy Kim, LAWYERS AS RESOURCE ALLIES IN WORKERS’ STRUGGLES FOR SOCIAL CHANGE, 13 N.Y. City L. Rev. 213 (2009).
Read this article in its entirety at: https://cdp.urbanjustice.org/sites/default/files/etkim_jan11.pdf
E. Tammy Kim is Staff Writer at Al Jazeera America. Previously, she was a lawyer for low-wage workers in New York City, as well as a unionist and adjunct professor. Educated at Yale and NYU School of Law, Tammy was raised by working-class Korean immigrants in Tacoma, Washington. Her journalism has been supported by the Ms. Foundation for Women, The Nation Institute and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.