Public Interest Law in L.A. through a Lens of Rebellious Lawyering


Mark Silva

Document Type


Publication Date



In Los Angeles, public interest law organizations and lawyers have developed methods and strategies of legal advocacy that are in a stark contrast to traditional, orthodox legal advocacy. My research examined how the methods of practice by Los Angeles public interest lawyers manifest the rebellious lawyering literature. To accomplish this, I separated my research into four parts. The first part is a literature review that analyzes the defining texts of rebellious, cause, collaborative, and democratic lawyering, as well as, rebellious advocacy. In the second part, the literature review is synthesized to pull out overarching themes that cross the literature, for the creation of five robust categorical frames to feature the L.A. based case studies. Where the frames are focused on rebellious methods of collaboration, the challenging of oppressive systems, framing the issue and developing the story of the client, empowering the client to fight their subordination, and re-defining what it means to be a public interest lawyer. The third part uses qualitative interviews from L.A. based public interest lawyers, to feature manifestations of rebellious lawyering. Lastly, the fourth part draws conclusions on the relationships between the theory of rebellious lawyering, and the practice of public interest law in Los Angeles that challenges traditional, orthodox legal advocacy.


Thalia Gonzalez




Walter P. Gerken Endowed Fellowship in Public Policy

This document is currently not available here.