Penn Program onDocumentaries & the Law

Penn Law

Penn Law's 2007 Visual Legal Advocacy Roundtable

Visual Legal Advocacy and the Public Interest

October 19, 2007
9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Gittis Hall, Room 1

VLA reel


The Visual Legal Advocacy Roundtable will bring together private and public interest lawyers, community-based documentary filmmakers, and representatives from Cinema Studies, the Annenberg School, the School of Design, the Graduate School of Education, the Law School, and the Penn Video Network to consider:

  • Existing forms of visual legal advocacy, their efficacy, and the possibilities for extending visual advocacy to additional areas of social justice law practice;
  • The economics of visual legal advocacy and strategies for making visual legal advocacy available to clients who are unable to pay the costs;
  • Obstacles to securing access to film and record in institutions that control the lives of social justice clients (such as schools, prisons, and hospitals);
  • The ethical obligations of the visual legal advocate;
  • The use of new media to disseminate information regarding social justice claimants, cases, and causes; and
  • The role law schools should play in teaching their students and the practicing bar visual literacy skills and the mechanics of producing and directing visual and audio texts on behalf of clients.

Watch videos of the roundtable here.

Agenda for the Roundtable:

  9:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast
  9:30 a.m. Welcome
Michael A. Fitts, Dean, Penn Law School
  9:40 a.m. Visual Legal Advocacy at Penn Law
Regina Austin, William A. Schnader Professor and Director of the Penn Program on Documentaries & the Law
  10:00 a.m. Visual Advocacy for Personal Injury Plaintiffs, Public Benefits Claimants, and Victims of Social Injustice
Shanin Specter, Esq., Kline & Specter, P.C.
Martin Brigham, Esq., Raynes McCarty
Edward L. Edelstein, Esq., ADR Options
  11:45 a.m. Lunch (at the Goat)
  1:00 p.m. Advocacy Videos: Production and Distribution Issues
Emily Kunstler, Off Center Media
Sarah Kunstler, Esq., Off Center Media
Todd Wolfson, Ph.D. Candidate, Penn Anthropology Department
  3:00 p.m. Roundtable Wrap-up
Sharon Dietrich, Esq., Community Legal Services, Inc.
  3:45 p.m. Adjournment

Online biographical information about the speakers can be found here and links to websites containing examples of visual legal advocacy done by panelists and Penn Law students as well as other important information can be found here.