Volume 94, No. 3, Spring 2022
By Alina Ball [PDF]

The racial reckoning during the summer of 2020 presented a renewed call to action for movement lawyers committed to collaborating with mobilized clients to advance racial equity and economic justice. During the last thirty years, community lawyering scholarship has made significant interventions into poverty lawyering and provides the theoretical framework for contemporary movement lawyers. Conceptually, community lawyering theory can be implemented in any practice area; however, prevailing narratives and models for community lawyering are based on group advocacy campaigns and, to a lesser extent, individual representation in dispute resolution. Transactional lawyers—who use private ordering to represent business entities as they form, transact, and manage risks—have been largely ignored in community lawyering scholarship, which focuses on governmental policy reform and rights acquisition.As a result, community lawyering scholarship remains inaccessible to many transactional lawyers, who are beginning to form a critical mass in antipoverty representations.Moreover, transactional lawyering theory does not meaningfully address how transactional lawyers can effectively advance social change.