Mission statement

Through teaching, practice, research and networking, CPIAC seeks to enhance the role of law and legal practice in achieving social, economic, and environmental justice in all dimensions. Searching for innovative and holistic solutions to contemporary social justice challenges, we work across disciplines; we engage with academic, professional, advocacy and grassroots communities; and we develop approaches to legal education geared toward this mission.

Core Values

  • Upholding democratic values and working as a catalyst for systemic transformation on behalf of and in collaboration with vulnerable populations and communities that promotes the realization of social justice.
  • Promoting action-oriented research and public-policy initiatives, strategic collaborations and experiential, cross-disciplinary learning.

Institutional Goals

  • To assure that NUSL remains the premier public interest law school
  • To develop the best law school-based, interdisciplinary public interest law center
  • To develop the premier public interest “pipeline” by recruiting and training the next generation of social justice lawyers, and facilitating their entry upon graduation into fulfilling public interest careers.


Professor Lucy Williams, an internationally recognized authority on welfare law and low-wage labor, as well as international comparative social and economic rights, directs the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration. 

Lili Ibara is the managing director of the Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration. An attorney and licensed independent clinical social worker, she brings her social work training and experience to her legal practice, with a focus on community lawyering. 

Professor Susan Maze-Rothstein is the center's pro-bono coordinator. She eaches Dynamic Lawyering for Systemic Change, an innovative project incubator that seeks to prepare students for future leadership by fusing theory into practice and practice into teaching.