October 2014
Clinical Law Review;Fall2014, Vol. 21 Issue 1, p283
Academic Journal
Law clinics across the country in a range of subject areas are increasingly engaging in advocacy work on behalf of and alongside institutional clients such as nonprofits, coalitions, tribes, and a range of formal and informal organizations. This article explores how clinicians may employ tools from negotiations pedagogy to teach students how to diagnose and address the complex problems that institutional clients bring to clinics. The article posits that, to effectively represent an institutional client, students must navigate relationships with external players as well as within the institutional client itself. Negotiations pedagogy provides a framework for teaching students how to understand and engage with the relationships that an institutional client--for instance a nonprofit--may have with external players such as governmental regulators, local governments, foundations, other nonprofits, constituents, allies, and opponents. The article examines tools from negotiations pedagogy that assist in teaching students to handle these external relationships as well as relationships within the institutional client, such as with a board of directors, an executive director, and other staff. Maya and Daniel are law students in the Immigrants' Rights Clinic who have been assigned to work as a team to represent Equal Rights for Immigrants (ERI), a longtime collaborator and client of the Clinic. ERI has asked the Clinic to assist with the development of a policy report about local police practices regarding immigration enforcement. ERI hopes to submit the report to the local city council, to convince council members that the city should reconsider its practice of assisting in immigration enforcement. The report is one of many strategies that ERI is using to fight immigration enforcement by local police. ERI is also considering litigation, pursuing public education, and assisting individual immigrants with their deportation cases. Maya and Daniel's contact person at ERI is Imelda, a junior staff attorney in charge of ERI's work on local enforcement issues. ERI is a mid-size nonprofit, with a staff of ten individuals and a 15-member board of directors.


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