Legal representation of community groups presents unique ethical questions, especially when those groups are not legally incorporated. The rules of professional conduct generally envision a lawyer's duties to an individual client within the bounds of a formal lawyer-client relationship. Community lawyering often presents challenges that differ from this more traditional pattern. The Center for Civil Rights will address these ethical questions in an upcoming ethics CLE presented by the UNC Center for Civil Rights.
On December 1, the Center for Civil Rights will present: The People's Lawyer: A Course and Case Study in Community-Based Lawyering.
In addition to the ethics portion, the CLE will also include a case study of the Center’s community based advocacy to combat school resegregation in North Carolina. The Center will present its work with community groups in Halifax County who are working together to address the continuing challenges of inter-district segregation and educational improvement. The CLE will examine law and policy associated with public school segregation and education quality in North Carolina, and will examine litigation and non-litigation methods of addressing the issues.
A recent article in Lawyers Weekly addressed the “careful role” that lawyers across the country are playing in advising or representing individuals and organizations that are part of the burgeoning Occupy movements. Read the full article: Lawyers play careful role in Occupy movements, Lawyers Weekly, Oct 31, 2011.
Center for Civil Rights attorney-fellow Peter Gilbert commented on assisting unincorporated community groups that “ethical rules are insufficient at this point to guide you along that path, but there are some best practice models.” Gilbert says that throughout a lawyer’s involvement with such groups, it is important to know how the group makes decisions and must be aware of exactly who is and is not part of the group.
The People's Lawyer: A Course and Case Study in Community-Based Lawyering
Thursday, December 1, 2011 8:00 AM -12:30 PM
UNC Center for School Leadership Development, 140 Friday Center Drive; Chapel Hill, N.C.
Registration is now open.
Ethics of Representing Community Groups
Peter Gilbert, Community Inclusion Attorney Fellow, UNC Center for Civil Rights
Desegregation Law with a Rural Case Study: Legal Implications of Maintaining Three Public School Districts in Halifax County, N.C.
Taiyyaba Qureshi, Education Attorney Fellow, UNC Center for Civil Rights
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Mon. November 14, 2011 4:11 PM
Categories: Halifax County, Professional Development, Segregation