About Earl Carl Institute for Legal & Social Policy, Inc.


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The Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy at the Thurgood Marshall School of Law was  stablished in 1992, as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, to serve as a research and writing think tank to assist Thurgood Marshall School of Law students with their research and writing skills. The Institute was named in honor of Professor Earl Carl, a founding faculty member of the law school.

The Institute seeks to empower underserved and disenfranchised populations by addressing systemic social issues through legal representation, research, education, and advocacy.

The vision of the Institute is to serve as one of the nation’s preeminent think tanks for research and advocacy on legal and social issues affecting underserved communities. We will serve as a leading voice in promoting social justice and be recognized for excellence in our programs and the quality of our community engagement.

Current Legal Services Programs:

  1. The Opal Mitchell Lee Property Preservation Project – maintaining housing stability and growing generational wealth
  2. Thurgood Marshall School of Law Innocence Project – exonerating the wrongfully convicted
  3. ECI Juvenile Justice Project – juvenile criminal defense and representation in school disciplinary actions
  4. ECI Clean Slate Cooperative - creating a pathway to a better life by clearing criminal records

Policy related Initiatives & Research Projects:

  1. Safe & Supportive Schools Collaboration– reducing disproportionate discipline and criminalization of Black students
  2. Black Girls Initiative– examining, through a race-gender equity lens, a slate of issues that disproportionately impact Black girls, including overrepresentation in adjudication for juvenile status offenses, exclusionary discipline actions, human trafficking, foster care involvement, education attainment disparities and homelessness
  3. Race, Gender, and Social Justice Transformation– providing resources and education to support change
  4. Modal Law Project for non-justice involvement solutions for schools to address drug use or possession sentence cases in K-12.
  5. ECI Journal – The Bridge: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Legal & Social Policy
  6. Student Research & Writing Projects which currently includes articles on Mandatory Implicit Bias Training for Law Enforcement, Qualified Immunity and police misconduct, School-to Prison Pipeline, and topics related to the Black Girls Initiative