By Frank Askin, editor
At Rutgers Law School-Newark, students not only learn the law, they help make the law. For the past forty years, students enrolled in the school's extensive clinical program have helped shape the law on the cutting edge of the legal system under the guidance of faculty members who train future lawyers not just to make money but to make social change.
This book describes the diverse activities of the law school clinics, which range from challenging the constitutionality of the war in Iraq to providing equal funding for inner city schools. It describes how eager students have helped invalidate zoning laws that screened out affordable housing in upscale suburbs; successfully challenged inhumane conditions of confinement of immigrant asylum seekers by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service; guaranteed fair hearings for persons denied Social Security and disability benefits; protected citizens who verbally protested parking tickets from the wrath of authoritarian judges; aided families with special-needs children to navigate the institutional bureaucracy and obtain their rights; forced municipalities to open their public parks to residents from neighboring communities; secured free elections and free speech for residents of common-interest communities governed by tyrannical trustees; won hiring and promotional rights for non-whites in police and fire departments; and helped change the way the pubic views non-human sensient beings.
In 26 essays, Rutgers Law School faculty members explain how clinics in constitutional litigation, environmental law, child advocacy, special education, urban justice and animal rights used live clients and current issues to train students to represent the public interest and reform the law while learning the tools of their trade.
Editor Frank Askin is Distinguished Professor of Law and founding director of the Rutgers School of Law-Newark's pioneering Constitutional Litigation Clinic. For the past forty years, he has been litigating high-profile civil rights cases and training new generations of public interest lawyers.
Back in the McCarthy/J. Edgar Hoover Era, he brought the first cases challenging the right of government agencies to engage in surveillance of law-abiding political protesters and challenged highway profiling by state troopers. Ever since, he has been on the forefront of issues involving free speech, racial discrimination, police practices and election reform. One of his current cases challenges the legality of the war in Iraq absent a Congressional Declaration.
He is listed in Woodward & White's "Best Lawyers in America."
March 2009, 236 pages, Paperback