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Negotiating JusticeProgressive Lawyering, Low-Income Clients, and the Quest for Social Change$
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Corey S. Shdaimah

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814740545

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814740545.001.0001

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(p.35) 3 Working for Social Justice in an Unjust System

(p.35) 3 Working for Social Justice in an Unjust System

(p.35) 3 Working for Social Justice in an Unjust System
Negotiating Justice

Corey S. Shdaimah

NYU Press

This chapter examines the efforts of lawyers and clients to work for social justice within a system perceived as oppressive and unjust, as well as their varied understanding of their work. It considers clients' belief that lawyers can be of help when navigating the legal system and other government bureaucracies, as well as some of the challenges faced by lawyers hoping for social change. It also explores why it is important for both lawyers and clients to work within the legal system even if they are using it to challenge laws or rulings or legal processes. Finally, it discusses the motivations of lawyers for choosing careers in public interest law, lawyer and client notions of social change, situated practice, and progressive lawyering. In order to serve as a vehicle for social change, the chapter argues that lawyers and clients who practice radical legal work within a liberal paradigm must recognize the dangers inherent in using the “master's tools”.

Keywords:   lawyers, clients, social justice, legal system, social change, public interest law, situated practice, progressive lawyering, master's tools

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