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Russell Engler
Contact Information

Areas of Expertise
  • Public Interest
  • Unrepresented Litigants
  • Professional Responsibility (Lawyers)
  • Pro Bono Legal Services
  • Poverty Law
  • Mediation
  • Legal Services for the Poor
  • Legal Ethics
  • Legal Clinics and Clinical Education
  • Lawyering Skills
  • Civil Rights
  • Civil Litigation
  • Access to Justice

Russell Engler

Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs


BA Yale University
JD Harvard Law School

Professional Background

Professor Engler directs the law school’s clinical programs. He teaches the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic and The Lawyering Process, and co-teaches clinical component courses. He writes about ethical issues, the delivery of legal services to the poor, Civil Gideon, and legal education. He directs the Public Service Project of the law school’s Center for Law and Social Responsibility. Before joining the New England Law faculty in 1993, he was the director of the Housing Law Unit at Brooklyn (New York) Legal Services. He clerked for the Honorable Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr., of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. During the 1999–2000 academic year, he was a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School. He was the 2004 chair of the Association of American Law Schools Standing Committee on Clinical Legal Education, and serves on the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission and the Boston Bar Association’s Task Force on Expanding the Civil Right to Counsel. In 2013, he was appointed to a new Boston Bar Association Statewide Task Force on Civil Legal Aid in Massachusetts.  See recent papers on his SSRN page.

Selected Publications

Turner v. Rogers and the Essential Role of the Courts in Delivering Access to Justice, 7 Harvard Law & Policy Review 31 (2013)

Examining the Civil Right to Counsel on the 50th Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, Boston Bar Association Conference (2013) available at:

A Law School Guide to Designing Experiential Courses Involving Real Lawyering, 56 New York University Law Review 517 (2012) (with Deborah Maranville, Mary A. Lynch, Susan L. Kay & Phyllis Goldfarb)

Opportunities and Challenges: Non-Lawyer Forms of Assistance In Providing Access to Justice for Middle-Income Earners, Middle Income Access to Justice 145 (2012) (Michael J. Trebilcock, Anthony J. Duggan and Lorne Mitchell Sossin eds.)

The Toughest Nut: Handling Cases Pitting Unrepresented Litigants Against Represented Ones, 62 National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges Journal 10 (2011)

When Must Counsel Be Appointed, and When Might Access to Justice Mean Less Assistance?, 9 Seattle Journal for Social Justice 97 (2011)

Integrating Public Service Legal Work Into Nonclinical Courses, Techniques for Teaching Law 2 (2011) (Friedland, Hess, Schwartz, and Sparrow eds.) (reprinted article)

Reflections on a Civil Right to Counsel and Drawing Lines: When Must Counsel Be Appointed, and When Might Access to Justice Mean Less Assistance?, 9 Seattle Journal for Social Justice 97 (2011) available at:,ReflectionsonaCivilRight.pdf

Connecting Self-Representation to Civil Gideon: What Existing Data Reveal About When Counsel is Most Needed, 37 Fordham Urban Law Journal (2010)

The Twin Imperatives of Providing Access to Justice and Establishing a Civil Gideon, 93 Massachusetts Law Review 214 (2010)

Pursuing Access to Justice and Civil Right to Counsel in a Time of Economic Crisis, 15 Roger Williams University Law Review 472 (2010)

Approaching Ethical Issues Involving Unrepresented Litigants, 43 Clearinghouse Review 377 (2009)

Ethics in Transition: Unrepresented Litigants and the Changing Judical Role, 22 Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 367 (2008)

Shaping a Context-Based Civil Gideon from the Dynamics of Social Change, Right to Counsel – Constitutional Perspectives (2008)

Towards a Context-Based Civil Gideon Through Access to Justice Initiatives, 40 Clearinghouse Review 196 (2006) available at:

From the Margins to the Core: Integrating Public Service Legal Work into the Mainstream of Legal Education, 40 New England Law Review 479 (2006) available at:

Shaping a Context-Based Civil Gideon from the Dynamics of Social Change, 15 Temple Political & Civil Rights Law Review 697 (2006) available at:

Revising the Role of the Court-Connected Mediator To Achieve Fairness for Unrepresented Litigants, 11 NE-ACR Newsletter (2005)

The Legal Community’s Response to 9/11: Normalcy After 9/11: Public Service as the Crisis Fades, 31 Fordham Urban Law Journal 983 (2004) available at:

From 10 to 20: A Guide to Utilizing the MacCrate Report Over the Next Decade, 23 Pace Law Review 519 (2003)

What Counts As Pro Bono/Public Service? One View, 2 The AALS Pro Bono and Public Service Section Newsletter (2002)

The MacCrate Report Turns 10: Assessing its Impact and Identifying Gaps we Should Seek to Narrow, 8 Clinical Law Review 109 (2002) available at:

Integrating Public Service into Non-clinical Courses, The Law Teacher 13 (2001)

And Justice for All—Including the Unrepresented Poor: Revisiting the Roles of the Judges, Mediators and Clerks, 67 Fordham Law Review 1987 (1999) available at:

Out of Sight and Out of Line: The Need for Regulation of Lawyers’ Negotiations with Unrepresented Poor Persons, 85 California Law Review 79 (1997) available at: