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How to argue: opposing the government and powerful business to interests to 'help the financial productivity of the state'.

And after students at a state-financed law school clinic at Rutgers University in New Jersey sued to stop a developer's plans for a strip mall in Franklin Township, the developer filed suit against the clinic under the open-records law seeking copies of internal documents, saying he planned to expose how the clinic used taxpayer money to discourage investment in the state.

Back in Maryland, Rena Steinzor, a law professor at the University of Maryland and a former director of the environmental law clinic there, rejected the idea that law clinics in her state or elsewhere were trying to harm industry. "The clinics represent people or groups that can't otherwise afford lawyers and by definition, this work often puts the clinics on the opposite side of the government or powerful interests," she said.

"If Maryland has a clean environment, a fair legal system and an unpolluted bay," she added, "doesn't that help the financial productivity of the state?"

School Law Clinics Face a Backlash
Published: April 3, 2010
Law clinics are facing strong pushbacks by the companies they are challenging, and legal experts say the attacks are creating a chilling effect on the clinics.


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