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Advocacy for Racial and Civil  Justice Clinic

Advocacy for Racial and Civil Justice Clinic

The ARC Justice Clinic provides students with hands-on experience working in civil rights litigation and policy advocacy in the Philadelphia region using a movement lawyering approach.

Launch Event: “The Unfinished Work of Abolition”

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The Advocacy for Racial and Civil (ARC) Justice Clinic, the Law School’s newest in-house clinic, invites you to celebrate its launch at a convening on February 3, 2023, from 12:30-5:30 pm at the Law School entitled “The Unfinished Work of Abolition.”  The event will feature three panel discussions and a keynote talk by Penn Carey Law Professor Dorothy Roberts.  CLE credit is available, and lunch will be provided beginning at noon for those who register. A reception will follow the keynote address in the Haaga Lounge.

About the Clinic

The ARC Justice Clinic provides legal support to community members in the Philadelphia region organizing to demand redress for racial subordination in areas including education, ending over-policing and mass incarceration, economic justice, and health justice. Students will represent clients in litigation at the trial and appellate level under the direct supervision of Professor McClellan. Students will also learn to work with partners to develop an integrated advocacy strategy that incorporates organizing, policy advocacy, strategic impact litigation, and communications.

In addition to fieldwork, the clinic includes a bi-weekly seminar that covers the substantive law at issue in their casework, foundational litigation skills, theory of movement lawyering, and ethical considerations important to social justice advocacy. Students have the opportunity to read about and reflect on historical and contemporary strategies for achieving racial justice. Students will also participate in case rounds, simulations, and other legal practice skills trainings.

If you are interested in learning more, please email

Apply for the ARC Justice Clinic’s Services

To apply for assistance from the ARC Justice Clinic, fill out this form. 

Examples of potential work include representing individuals who have experienced housing or employment discrimination, victims of police misconduct, and individuals who have experienced discriminatory school discipline.

The clinic has limited resources, and we can only accept a small number of the many requests for assistance that we receive. We also cannot respond to every request. Therefore, if you have an urgent need or must meet a deadline, contact a private attorney, your local public defender, or your state’s bar association. Do not wait for a response from the clinic.

The clinic operates year-round but only accepts new cases during the academic year. 

In the News

The ARC Justice Clinic will prepare students to become civil rights advocates

View Fall 2022 ARC Justice Clinic Information Session (Students Only)

ARC Justice Clinic Founding Director Cara McClellan quoted about affirmative action cases before the U.S. Supreme Court in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Clinic Faculty

Cara McClellan

Cara McClellan

Director of the Advocacy for Racial and Civil Justice Clinic and Practice Associate Professor of Law

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