Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2022


Clinics strive to teach students lawyering skills. But clinics should also teach students how to use those skills to confront injustice and promote justice, an approach Jane Aiken refers to as “justice readiness.” Casework for clients presents many opportunities for students to become justice ready, but not all matters do so equally. Clinics come with built-in limitations. Some matters involve injustices in one area of law while leaving others untouched. And others don’t require creative advocacy for justice. Casework remains a powerful driver of justice readiness, but it cannot do the job alone.

Teaching students doctrine through a social justice lens can bridge the justice readiness gap. This Essay introduces two new pedagogical approaches cultivated within Georgetown’s new Intellectual Property and Information Policy Clinic that do just that: Doctrine x Social Justice and Deep Dives. Doctrine x Social Justice uses cutting-edge social justice case studies that illustrate themes of injustice and creatively explore lawyers’ bending the law toward justice to teach underlying doctrine in nine substantive areas of intellectual property law and information policy, setting students up to observe themes of (in)justice within the field. And Deep Dives empower students to create their own Doctrine x Social Justice sessions by using current issues of law and policy to explore underlying doctrine. Together, these approaches provide a fresh way of teaching doctrine for justice readiness.

Publication Citation

Clinical Law Review, Vol. 29, Pp. 111.