The law is only one strategy, and the lawyer one instrument,
of many, in the struggle for social change.
The Community Activism Law Alliance is a new legal services organization in Chicago that has emerged in response to the increasingly complex web of challenges confronting civil legal services today: massive cuts in funding, the impact of centralization and specialization on access to justice for particularly vulnerable communities, and the disjuncture between the legal process and community needs. We propose community activism lawyering as a possible answer to these challenges. Community activism lawyering is a model of lawyering that strives to innovatively confront these contemporary issues by sending attorneys into the communities they serve to collaborative with activists to explore new strategies, practices, and goals with which to serve, and more importantly empower, disadvantaged communities. Through these partnerships, we hope to bring legal aid to those clients overlooked or rejected by other organizations, in locations geographically convenient to them.