History of LSEJ
Founded in 2002, Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice (LSEJ) is a project designed to address broad legal issues of current importance to poverty lawyers and their clients. To guide the development of LSEJ, MJF assembled an LSEJ Advisory Committee composed of deans and faculty from the Minnesota law schools, a justice from the Minnesota Supreme Court, the State Public Defender, directors of Legal Services programs, representatives of the Minnesota Bar Association, and practicing attorneys from the private, public, and non-profit sectors.
LSEJ is designed to encourage a wide variety of legal scholarship with a practical and immediate impact on equal justice, including law review articles and notes, independent research projects, term papers, amicus briefs, and draft legislation. Potential research topics are submitted to LSEJ by practitioners, professors, and others. Each topic has a “field contact” who can provide more information about the topic and help with the research project.
Students enrolled in the LSEJ seminar produce research papers on systemic legal problems that impact legal services organizations’ clients. Classroom sessions focus on the development of project topics, research skills needed for equal justice issues, policy analysis and problem solving, working collaboratively, and additional topics of interest to the seminar participants. Class members are linked with the attorneys whose legal issues generated their projects. These attorneys serve as “field contacts” to help supervise the project. Past research topics include Hmong Marriage Legislation, Criminalization of the Mentally Ill, The Connection between Traffic Fines and Poverty, Housing Problems for Evicted Tenants, Mixed Use of Brownfield Reclamation, Using Law and Medicine to Reduce Asthma, Tenant Blacklisting, and Racism in the Child Protection System, to name just a few.
If you are an attorney with suggestions for research topics, please fill out and submit our LSEJ Research Topic Request Form.