Law and Organizing Lab

The Law and Organizing Lab is an innovative model for expanding the application and integration of a broad range of analytical and change-making tools into legal education. 

The Lab is a first-of-its kind program focused on meaningfully expanding the boundaries of traditional legal education, and it encompasses classroom teaching, student and faculty advising, and expert staff housed in the clinical program to collaborate with clinical law faculty and law students, as well as a broad range of community clients and partners, to develop and deploy a sophisticated understanding of organizing, campaigning, realpolitik and social change.

The Law and Organizing Lab catalyzes a range of learning opportunities and provides permanent advocacy and organizing capacity to NYU Law’s Clinical Program to engage in effective ongoing power-building, coalition, campaign, and policy work. This learning and capacity helps train hundreds of clinical law students each year and leverages the existing capacity of NYU Law’s more than 35 clinics and more than a dozen externships to drive major impact on a wide range of issues.

The Law and Organizing Lab works in support of building power for traditionally marginalized communities, and prepares students and clinical faculty to provide client representation and engagement that is grounded in a deep understanding of how advocacy work can relate to and support broader efforts to advance structural change. 

The law is a powerful tool to disrupt or challenge inequality, oppression, and marginalization. But, making durable change in the world often requires a sophisticated sense of how things work well beyond the courtroom. Making ambitious change requires a sophisticated understanding of community, politics, and power. 

Organizing, public policy advocacy and issue campaigning are fields that have developed valuable tools and techniques for teaching and practicing change making. These tools and techniques can and should work hand-in-hand with legal practice.

Andrew Friedman '98 is the Lab's Organizer-in-Residence.