Rebels With a Cause
This past weekend hundreds of law students, legal practitioners, and community activists from around the country descended on Yale Law School for the 14th Annual Rebellious Lawyering Conference. The entirely student-run conference, one of the largest of its kind, brings together individuals committed to serving the public interest to discuss innovative, progressive approaches to law and social change.
The Rebellious Lawyering Conference, better known at Yale as Reblaw, was started in 1994 by two then-current students who wanted to create a symposium for other students interested in pursuing public interest career paths. Not only does Reblaw serve as fertile ground for the exchange of ideas and information, it provides a sense of community for public interest-minded students who face the temptations of traditional big-law practice.
There is no particular theme for each year’s Reblaw: many different topics are discussed. To give you a sense of the diversity of Reblaw’s offerings, here are the titles of just a few of this year’s panels and workshops: Emerging Issues In Environmental Justice Advocacy, Human Rights and Corporate Accountability in the Global Economy, The Ongoing Struggle for Minority Ballot Access, and Reforming the Judicial Appointment Process. A complete list of the sessions offered at Reblaw 2008 and 2007 can be found here.
In addition to the numerous panels and workshops, Reblaw attendees have opportunities to network with their fellow students and colleagues and with the panelists, many of them leading practitioners at community organizations, public interest law firms, law schools, and in the government. Discussions at the sessions continue as casual conversation during the many breaks and meals, as well as at Friday’s happy hour and the parties held both nights of the conference. A list of panelists and a schedule of events can be found at the Reblaw website.
Reblaw is traditionally held the last weekend of February, so mark your calendar now and check out the Reblaw website in December for registration information.