Date of Award

5-16-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Degree Program

Urban Studies

Department

School of Urban Planning and Regional Studies

Major Professor

Luft, Rachel

Second Advisor

Gladstone,David

Third Advisor

Crier, Shelaswau

Abstract

Cause lawyers maintain primary commitments to causes and pursue political and moral objectives that go well beyond the traditional lawyering objective of client service, which is the goal of most conventional lawyers. In this research I conduct in-depth interviews with cause lawyers involved in efforts for social change in post-Katrina New Orleans to develop a richer understanding of their roles within social movements and how they conceive of and negotiate the core tensions in their work. I investigate the lawyers' roles within social movements situated in legal, political and social climates that are overwhelmingly inhospitable to their ultimate goals. Ultimately, this research presents a portrait of cause lawyers who develop alternative modes of practice that are more commonly associated with movement organizers and more closely aligned with movement goals of individual and community empowerment than are traditional models of lawyering.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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