Law 541 - Problem Solving in the Public Interest

Faculty listed in alphabetical order – please see faculty specific description for requisite information.

G. Blasi S. Cummings I. Eagly J. Nanda V. Narro J. Schwartz


General Course Description:

This seminar focuses on public interest lawyering through a close analysis of case studies and the discussion of recurring issues in public interest practice. In this course we explore social problems from number of different perspectives, highlighting the many different ways of solving problems of the sort public interest lawyers confront. The seminar covers questions of how public interest problems come to be framed; how clients, lawyers and their allies think about problem-solving strategies; and how public interest lawyers use different modes of advocacy to address problems. Students in this seminar will complete an individual paper project that address a real world problem that incorporates the modes of advocacy studied in the course.

This seminar is a required course for the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy and enrollment is limited to Epstein Program students.

Desired Student Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. Recognize the variety of possible legal and policy responses to any particular social problem, including how this variety recurs across multiple topic areas.

2. Identify the process by which social problems are defined and constructed.

3. Appraise the interaction between problem definition, proposed solution, and different modes of advocacy lawyers use in addressing important social problems.

4. Assess fundamental questions about public interest lawyer accountability to clients and broader constituencies, and the effectiveness of law as a tool of social change.

5. Complete a written project that requires problem solving on a real social issue, utilizing skills of fact gathering, case analysis, and chosen modes of advocacy.

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Ingrid Eagly 16F 541 SEM 1 M 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM 3.0 No Per instructor's discretion
  Law 541 is limited to students in PILP. Enrollment process by the Records Office.
Victor Narro 16F 541 SEM 2 M 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM 3.0 No Per instructor's discretion
  Law 541 is limited to students in PILP. Enrollment processed by Records Office.
Previous Course Offerings:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Scott Cummings 14F 541 SEM 1 M 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM 3.0 No Per instructor's discretion
  Law 541 is limited to students in PILP. The Records Office will process enrollment for this course.
Scott Cummings 15F 541 SEM 1 M 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM 3.0 No Per instructor's discretion
  Law 541 is limited to students in PILP. Enrollment process by the Records Office.
Joanna Schwartz 15F 541 SEM 2 M 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM 3.0 No Per instructor's discretion
  Law 541 is limited to students in PILP. Enrollment processed by Records Office.