Home » William P. Quigley on “Rebellious Lawyering” as a “curriculum for legal education and training of students to work with, and for, the poor and powerless.”

William P. Quigley on “Rebellious Lawyering” as a “curriculum for legal education and training of students to work with, and for, the poor and powerless.”


“[Gerald] Lopez indicates one of the reasons why lawyering for empowerment or ‘rebellious lawyering’ is not prevalent is that even ‘[t]hough millions in this country live in social and political subordination and though lawyers have worked to help challenge these conditions, law schools only rarely have understood their job to include designing a training regimen responsive to this situation and this task.’ Lopez takes up this task and proposes a curriculum for legal education and training of students to work with, and for, the poor and powerless.”


Bill Quigley is a law professor and Director of the Law Clinic and the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center at Loyola University New Orleans. Bill has been an active public interest and human rights lawyer since 1977. Bill has served as counsel with a wide range of public interest organizations on issues including Katrina social justice issues, public housing, voting rights, death penalty, living wage, human rights, civil liberties, educational reform, constitutional rights and civil disobedience. Bill has litigated numerous cases with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the Advancement Project, and with the ACLU of Louisiana where he was General Counsel for over 15 years. He has been an active lawyer with School of the Americas Watch and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.  Bill served as Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights in NYC from 2009 to 2011 before returning to Loyola.

Bill teaches in the Law Clinic and teaches courses in Law and Poverty, Social Justice Lawyering, and Catholic Social Teaching and Law. His research and writing has focused on community lawyering, living wage, the right to a job, legal services, community organizing as part of effective lawyering, civil disobedience, high stakes testing, international human rights, revolutionary lawyering and a continuing history of how the laws have regulated the poor since colonial times.  He has served as an advisor on human and civil rights to Human Rights Watch USA, Amnesty International USA, and served as the Chair of the Louisiana Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights.

Bill is the author of Ending Poverty As We Know It: Guaranteeing A Right to A Job At A Living Wage (2003) and Storms Still Raging: Katrina, New Orleans and Social Justice (2008). In 2003, he was named the Pope Paul VI National Teacher of Peace by Pax Christi USA.  Bill is the recipient of the 2004 SALT Teaching Award presented by the Society of American Law Teachers.  He was awarded the Stanford Law School National Public Service Award in 2006, the 2006 Camille Gravel Civil Pro Bono Award from the Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter and the 2006 National Lawyers Guild Ernie Goodman award.  In 2007 the University of California named Bill their Social Justice Scholar in Residence.  In 2009, he was the Daynard Public Interest Visiting Fellow at Northeastern University School of Law.  In 2011, Bill was awarded the Fordham University School of Law Louis J. Lefkowitz Public Service Award and the Activist Scholar Award of the Urban Affairs Association. In 2015 Bill was awarded the Fr. Robert Drinan Pro Bono Award from American Association of Law Schools Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities Section. In 2015 Bill was appointed Co-Dean of the School of Law and Political Science of Universite Fondation Dr. Aristide (UNIFA), Port au Prince, Haiti.

J.D., Loyola University New Orleans, 1977

B.A., Purdue University, 1971


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