Radical Real Estate Law School
The Radical Real Estate Law School is (1) a community of learning and practice (2) building a comprehensive library of resources and tools (3) by implementing diverse models of real estate stewardship (4) then spreading a transformative vision for humanity’s relationship to land through advocacy and movement-building.
Our vision is to decommodify land and housing so that all people can exercise their right to live, work, and gather together.
The problem is that the law legitimizes the practice of treating land and housing as commodities. The dominant model of real estate ownership and speculation drives inequality, the racial wealth gap, and ecosystem destruction. The solution is to challenge the deeply entrenched legal doctrines and cultural norms that make us believe that land justice and universal housing is impossible.
We need to put land into the hands of the people. We need to acknowledge and correct the harms caused by slavery and redlining. We need to focus on ecological and community health, and we need to value the careful and affectionate stewardship of land. In other words, we need to democratize, decolonize, and decarbonize land and housing.
In 2020, the Radical Real Estate Law School assembled a team to radically change how communities access, use, and shape the law. Check out our yearbook to see what we've accomplished in our first year together.
What we do:
💕 Create legal resources to transform our current relationships to land and housing and foster long-term community stewardship and stability.
📚 Build a curriculum to uproot every part of the white supremacist and exploitative system of real estate, including finance, ownership structures, land use and governance.
✊ Train activists to become lawyers without going to law school and spreading a community-driven model of legal education that subverts the debt- and trauma-inducing, white dominant culture of law school.
🤩 Provide legal support to clients who will take your breath away.
What do we mean by “radical?”
📖 The word “radical” means roots. We are getting to the root of deeply entrenched problems while nourishing the roots of a beautiful future. “Radical real estate” means recognizing that democratic and participatory land management are the roots that nourish decommodified land. “Radical law” means protesting the racist/ classist/ sexist roots of our current legal system by making law and policy belong to everyone! Lawyers and non-lawyers alike deserve to access and navigate the law. And finally, “radical school” means a non-hierarchical, nurturing model that views everyone involved as both learners and teachers. People learn best through practice and interaction.
🚀 Launched in June 2020 and hired our legal apprentices Hope, Dorian, and Christine.
📰 Article: Grandmas4Housing: How a Tenant-Led Community Land Trust Came to Be
📰 Article: Radical Real Estate Law School is in session
📰 Article: This Oakland Law Center Fights Housing Insecurity by Radicalizing Real Estate
📰 Article about us in NY Times: The Lawyer’s Apprentice
Ways to get involved:
📌 Radical Learning Community: Be part of our learning community! Sign up here to get updates, including invitations to workshops and webinars.
💰 Sponsors: Email Janelle Orsi ([email protected]) to find out how you can help us fund this. We have $100,000 committed to this program, and need to raise $150,000 more to achieve the impact we’re aiming for in the first year. Can you connect us to funders and help us raise the rest?