Community Justice Clinic | Experiential Learning | School of Law | Pepperdine University

Community Justice Clinic

The Community Justice Clinic serves as general counsel to nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations, and other community groups who are working to promote justice and develop opportunities and resources for vulnerable, underserved people and communities. Clinic clients serve local, national, and international communities to promote human rights, economic development, sustainability, education, and justice.

The Community Justice Clinic practices in three general areas of law.  First, students provide corporate legal services for clients' formation, governance, and compliance.  Second, students provide policy research and advocacy for clients' causes and work in their communities. Third, students work with clients to solve problems and resolve conflicts to expand and improve their work in the world.

Students in the Community Justice Clinic study the substantive law of the formation and governance of non-profit organizations in California and the rules of professional, ethical practice with organizations. Students train to interview, counsel and represent clients and explore dynamics of organizational clients, community organizations and cultural competence. Under the supervision of Prof. Jeffrey Baker, students bear primary responsibility for legal services to clients and are responsible for communicating with and on behalf of clients when necessary and appropriate. Every aspect of the casework is managed by Clinic students, including client communication, research, writing, case evaluation and analysis, drafting and advocacy.

This course includes a weekly seminar component in which students learn the law relevant to non-profits and other community organizations, discuss theories of evaluation, counseling, organization and advocacy in the clients' contexts, causes and communities. The seminar component also includes case-rounds in which students present and discuss their clients and work. After case selection and initial study and training, the seminar is a forum for group discussion and decision-making regarding the cases and projects, and may also be used for moot exercises, client meetings and practicing presentations.

The Clinic collaborates with community organizations, non-profits, religious bodies, multidisciplinary professionals and clients. Our partners and clients are local, national and global, and the Clinic works to amplify and magnify our clients' capacity to serve with excellence.

For more information about the Community Justice Clinic, please contact Professor Jeffrey Baker at (310) 506-6350 or e-mail at Jeff.baker@pepperdine.edu