Executive Director, Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic
Associate Clinical Professor of Law
- Nonprofit Tax and Transactions Clinic
- BA, magna cum laude, Harvard University
- JD, University of California, Berkeley, Order of the Coif
Elizabeth Bluestein is the inaugural executive director of the Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic, a constellation of 20-plus live-client clinics that serves as a public-interest law firm for LLS students. Bluestein arrived after a storied 15-year tenure at pro bono powerhouse Public Counsel, where she served as chief operating officer, vice president and general counsel.
In the newly created Loyola Law School role, Bluestein manages a growing array of live-client clinics that address everything from wrongful convictions and educational inequity to immigration relief and family law issues. This includes overseeing clinic directors, attorneys, social workers, investigators and other support staff, as well as a rotating group of clinical law students. Additionally, she will help raise funds for the LSJLC’s myriad pro bono endeavors.
Bluestein has seen first-hand the importance of providing representation to those who could not otherwise afford. Instilled in her as a child who witnessed classmates with undocumented or temporary protected immigration status face uncertain futures, her appreciation of the value of pro bono work blossomed after she graduated Berkeley Law.
“I’ve seen the difference it makes when clients have a lawyer, compared to navigating our complex legal system on their own,” she said. “A person who doesn't have the resources to pay for legal representation can find it impossible to obtain the protection of our laws, which can in turn perpetuate the lack of resources and inability to achieve upward socioeconomic mobility. This is a constant motivation for me to continue to support the fight for social justice.”
A rising star at private law firms Sullivan & Cromwell and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, she enrolled in the law school’s Nonprofit Organizations class to pivot to public interest law. She went on to launch LLS’ Nonprofit Tax and Transactions Clinic as an adjunct professor. Later at Public Counsel, she grew her commitment to cultivating the next generation of public interest lawyers.
“It is important to ensure that students who are inspired to participate in our clinics can keep up the fight for justice through inevitable setbacks. This means training students in legal skills and ethics, and also in trauma-informed lawyering,” she said. “It means helping students recognize and celebrate incremental victories along the route to a larger goal. It also means modeling collaboration with other lawyers and with professionals in other disciplines, and ensuring that we have the right partnerships and staff to enable us to do so.”