Explore Social Justice

ATJI offers countless ways for students and the law school community to deepen their understanding of social justice issues. Below is a listing of current offerings that help students connect academic learning with real-world issues and action. Please visit our Pro Bono Portal for the latest information on upcoming events or contact atji@seattleu.edu.

Social Justice Mondays

A weekly series that aims to create a forum to bring awareness and encourage discussion about the many issues that surround the idea of "social justice" in order to help strengthen the social justice community of students, faculty and staff at the law school.

Trainings

The Access to Justice Institute hosts a one-time workshop each semester designed to introduce law students to the basic legal skills necessary to succeed in pro bono and public interest volunteer opportunities, internships, and future practice. Topics include Client Interviewing 101, Professional Responsibility and Professionalism for Legal Volunteers, and Cross-Cultural Competency. These sessions provide students an opportunity to practice basic skills and learn about where to go for more intensive learning and support.

ATJI occasionally offers a more regularized series of trainings to prepare students to engage in pro bono and social justice work. For more information, view the past "Wednesday Workshop" skills trainings from 2013-2014 and past offerings from our "Lawyering in a Diverse World" series

Annual Conferences

ATJI facilitates student participation in several state, regional, and national social justice conferences throughout the year. In the past, ATJI has been able to provide some financial assistance for conference fees or travel costs for the Equal Justice Works Conference & Career Fair (October 23 & 24, 2015), Fairfax, VA), the Legal Foundation of Washington's Goldmark Luncheon (February 26, 2016, Seattle, WA), and the Society of American Law Teachers' (SALT) Trina Grillo Public Interest and Social Justice Retreat (Date and location TBD). The Student Bar Association also offers financial assistance to attend conferences through an application process.

Connecting to the Equal Justice Community

ATJI serves as a connection point to local justice-minded communities and entities. For example, the Washington State Access to Justice (ATJ) Board was established by Washington Supreme Court Order in 1994 to achieve equal access to the civil justice system for those facing economic and other significant barriers. The ATJ Board accomplishes much of its work through its many committees which welcome law student members. Committees include the Justice without Barriers Committee, the Leadership and Nominating Committee, and Technology Committee. Law students can also get involved with Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) opportunities like the Washington Young Lawyers Division's Public Service/Pro Bono Committee. Nationally, students can get involved by serving on boards like the Equal Justice Works National Advisory Committee. The National Advisory Committee provides a way to guide and advance the organization's goal of having students develop a lifelong commitment to working on behalf of underrepresented individuals, communities and causes. If you are interested in getting involved in leadership opportunities such as these, please contact atji@seattleu.edu.

Other Offerings

  • Legal Writing Collaborative: Several years ago ATJI initiated a partnership with the Legal Writing faculty to bring real-world social justice issues into the classroom. The Legal Writing Collaborative has since been adopted by our world-class Legal Writing Program.

  • Racial Justice Leadership Institute (RJLI): RJLI is a professional development opportunity for SU law students, faculty, and staff in-line with our commitment to the University mission. RJLI is designed to foster leadership skills for working in all areas of the profession in ways that resist systems of privilege and oppression. Though on hiatus in 2014-15 ATJI and its partners are working to develop opportunities to deliver this content in the coming years.

Sullivan Hall