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Creative Advocacy Lab coming to S.J. Quinney College of Law

The cross-disciplinary clinic will be dedicated to promoting access to justice and democratizing legal information.

The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law is excited to welcome Hallie Jay Pope as a visiting associate professor. Pope will develop the Creative Advocacy Lab, a cross-disciplinary clinic dedicated to promoting access to justice and democratizing legal information. Also, this fall, Innovation for Justice (i4J) a legal innovation lab focused on social justice, expands its operations to the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business.

Hallie Jay Pope, visiting associate professor.

Pope is an internationally recognized expert in the burgeoning field of legal design. She is the founder and president of the Graphic Advocacy Project, a nonprofit that partners with advocates and their communities to create clear and engaging legal informational resources. Pope’s work focuses on using participatory design processes and visual storytelling to share legal knowledge and advance social justice. In collaboration with legal services providers and advocacy organizations across the United States, she has translated complex legal concepts like wage theft, evictions, and bankruptcy into infographics, animated videos, and illustrated guides. Pope received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2014. Before founding GAP, she clerked for the Honorable Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and served as a litigation fellow and legal cartoonist at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

Pope’s clinic, the Creative Advocacy Lab, will launch this fall. Clinic participants will explore innovative modes of legal advocacy, using creative tools like design thinking, narrative, plain language writing, and visual communication to make legal information accessible to those who need it.

“This clinic is just one example of the university’s deep commitment to furthering innovative access-to-justice efforts in Utah and beyond,” said Elizabeth Kronk Warner, dean of the College of Law.

“I am thrilled to explore creative lawyering techniques with S.J. Quinney students, and to work with them alongside advocates, civic institutions, and community members to make legal information more accessible and engaging,” said Pope.

This new clinical offering has been made possible by a generous contribution from Michael and Burgundy Caldwell-Waller.  The donation from the Caldwell-Wallers not only will support the newly launched Creative Advocacy Lab at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, but also bring i4J to the Eccles School of Business. i4J is a legal innovation lab focused on social justice, launched at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in 2018. The expansion of i4J to the University of Utah makes it the first cross-discipline, cross-institution, cross-jurisdiction legal innovation lab in the United States.

“The David Eccles School of Business is excited to partner with the James E. Rogers College of Law to create a unique learning opportunity for our Eccles School students and to find systemic ways to address the justice gap in our nation,” said Taylor Randall,  president of the U and former dean of the business school.

Beginning this month, graduate students from the U and the University of Arizona will be able to enroll in community-engaged, project-based i4J courses, which will be conducted virtually. Students from any graduate discipline at either university can enroll, and i4J expects to house students studying law, business, legal studies, public health and design this fall. This year, the lab is initiating three new projects:

  • Designing new initiatives at the intersection of regulatory reform and housing instability
  • Creating a Medical Debt Policy Scorecard that inventories the medical debt policies in all 50 states and ranks states based on existing consumer protections
  • Evaluating and redesigning the user experience (UX) of the Utah State Courts’ online self-help materials for defendants in debt collection

“Expanding to include the business school at the University of Utah is an incredible opportunity to amplify our work designing, building, and testing disruptive solutions to the justice gap,” said i4J Director Stacy Butler. “Much of our work centers on leveraging potential changes in the unauthorized practice of law to permit new types of legal services designed to meet the needs of those who cannot afford legal help under traditional models. Partnering with the University of Utah to become a cross-disciplinary lab with access to business school knowledge and resources will advance and elevate that work.”

It is anticipated that there will be ample collaboration between i4J and the Creative Advocacy Lab. Together, the Creative Advocacy Lab and i4J provide new opportunities for students at S.J. Quinney College of Law, David Eccles School of Business and the University of Arizona to collaborate and advance access to justice.

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