At Temple University Beasley School of Law, we believe that the pursuit of justice requires that we equip our students with a range of tools. That's why we envision the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Center for Social Justice as a place where Temple Law students and new graduates can build their legal toolkits while partnering with a variety of community organizations to address the ways in which our country falls short of the promise of "justice for all."

Sometimes litigation is the best option to solve a problem – and when it is, the advocates at the Sheller Center for Social Justice will pursue it with skill and with passion. But legal representation is about much more than litigation. Through the Sheller Center, Temple Law students will also engage in community outreach and education concerning issues of systemic and private discrimination, civil rights and liberties, threats to environmental protection, consumer fraud, and consumer protection. The students and lawyers at the Sheller Center will also help members of the community craft a range of legal solutions to problems like lack of access to healthcare, adequate housing, or education. And as they do, they will learn to make creativity, courage, and compassion as integral to their practice as advocacy and argument.

The Sheller Center will employ three basic tools in carrying out its work. One is partnership with the community organizations that know best what problems stand in the way of access to public resources for those who need them. When the solution calls for changes to policy, students and lawyers at the Sheller Center will work to make those changes through white papers and legislative proposals. And when litigation is required, they will pursue that zealously as well.

Justice is rarely as simple as right versus wrong. Our communities need lawyers who are equipped with the skills not just to litigate conflicts, but to solve problems. That's why we've created the Sheller Center for Social Justice at Temple Law, and it's why we hope you'll join us.

JoAnne A. Epps, Dean

Community Partnership

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP

Temple Law has a long, rich history of partnering with local organizations to perform both outreach and education about the issues confronting their communities. These efforts will be continued and enhanced by the work of the Sheller Center, so that it becomes not just a resource but a collaborator in the pursuit of justice. By engaging with public and private organizations addressing a spectrum of concerns, the Sheller Center will be able to identify both problems and legal solutions more nimbly than agencies with a narrower focus. It will be the place where, in a very real way, law meets life.

Legislation

LEGISLATION

Laws work best when they work for everyone. In a society governed by the rule of law, legislative bodies are charged with ensuring that our laws meet the needs of widely disparate communities. Because the core of the Sheller Center's work will be cause-driven, not assistance-driven, the Sheller Center will be in a position to pursue legislative solutions to the problems confronting our communities. At the Sheller Center, Temple Law students and recent graduates will work with community representatives to research and draft policy papers that can be used to craft effective, fair laws for the entire community.

Litigation

LITIGATION

Sometimes, litigation is the most effective path to resolution of a problem. When this is the case, students and lawyers at the Sheller Center will pursue it with skill and passion. The Center will provide free legal representation regardless of means or ability to pay in matters with the potential to impact underserved communities that would otherwise languish. In this way, students will develop the judgment to discern the right solution, and to pursue outcomes that are fair for the entire community.

INTRODUCTORY VIDEO

For more information about the Stephen and Sandra Sheller Center for Social Justice, please contact
Deborah Feldman at 215.204.8979 or dfeldman@temple.edu