About the Clinic

The goal of the Strategic Advocacy Clinic is to encourage students to become independent thinkers able to engage multiple avenues of persuasion simultaneously to push for structural change in service of criminal justice reform and democratic function. The clinic provides a real-world laboratory for students to tackle pressing issues related to criminal justice and inequality using a coordinated and interdisciplinary array of advocacy tools including strategic litigation, administrative advocacy, coalition building, media, and communications.

Avery GilbertThe Clinic is directed by Clinical Lecturer in Law Avery Gilbert. Gilbert is also a Partner at Engage Strategies. She has 20 years of experience in strategic advocacy including state and federal policy advocacy as well as social justice and impact litigation. Gilbert previously worked at the Center for a Sustainable Advocacy, analyzing the savings impacts of President Clinton’s Climate Change Tax Incentives and as an associate at Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP, litigating complex commercial disputes involving a wide range of antitrust, contract, intellectual property, and tort claims. She has since built an impact litigation practice to reduce mass incarceration. Gilbert also worked with the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where she helped craft a multi-state greenhouse gas litigation strategy. Gilbert holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a B.A. from Skidmore College. 

Professor of Law Issa Kohler-Hausmann is the faculty sponsor of the Clinic.

Case Documents

Complaint: Doe v. Bard College, filed Aug. 25, 2022

Press & Media

“Voices that weren’t heard on Election Day,” an op-ed in the Connecticut Post by clinic student Lauren Beccue ’23, who has been working on voting rights issues in Connecticut along with Kyle Bright ’23.

“The Unyielding Racism Of The ‘Elite’ Liberal Arts College,” a piece covering the clinic’s employment discrimination case against Bard College.

Learn about the Fines and Fees Freedom Fund, a new organization built by Alejandra Uría ’23 and Liam Grace-Flood from the ground up through the clinic.

The clinics at YLS offer students incomparable experiences in representation of poor and marginalized individuals and communities, real-world engagement in complex fields of law, and the development of strategic judgment critical to effective lawyering.”

Professor Muneer Ahmad

Deputy Dean for Experiential Education