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Director's Welcome


The School of Law is excited to launch the Center for Social Justice, which reaffirms our longstanding commitment to advancing social justice, both locally and globally. The Center showcases our faculty’s pioneering legal scholarship and advocacy, from advancing LGBTQI and gender rights to promoting economic justice and protecting immigrants. Our students are also deeply involved with social justice issues, through our robust experiential offerings and pro bono opportunities, collaboration with faculty, leadership in student groups, and mentoring young students in pipeline programs for groups traditionally underrepresented in the legal profession. The School of Law also fosters engagement with social justice issues through our courses, speakers, conferences, and workshops. I encourage you to learn more about the Center, and hope you will be inspired by our work. Please check back for news and events.

Ariel Clemmer
Director, Center for Social Justice


Clemmer obtained her B.A. summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Richmond in 2005, after which she worked as an elementary school teacher with Teach For America in New York City’s Spanish Harlem neighborhood. Clemmer received her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2010, where she was a member of the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and the Harvard Defenders.

After graduation, she started her career as a public defender at the Bronx Defenders, representing low-income clients charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes. She then worked for the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, defending clients against security class actions and other complex financial matters, while continuing to develop her pro bono practice litigating matrimonial, civil, and criminal cases.

In 2014, Clemmer was selected by the partners at Weil, Gotshal & Manges to participate in a pro bono externship at Legal Services of New York City (LSNYC). Her excellent work there resulted in her being named one of the “Top 30 Pro Bono Attorneys of 2014” by LSNYC. Clemmer also began working with clients facing difficult divorce and custody matters, which led to her joining the boutique Manhattan firm, Donohoe Talbert, LLP, where she worked as a matrimonial and family-law associate from 2015 to 2017. She also served as an active member of LSNYC’s Pro Bono Associate Advisory Board.

Most recently, Clemmer was the pro bono director at the Hampden County Bar Association where she managed all aspects of the organization’s pro bono activity, including directing the award-winning, nationally recognized Hampden County Legal Clinic. She continues to serve as the lead attorney in charge of the Lawyer for the Day Consumer Debt Initiative, a pro bono project serving self-represented litigants who are defending credit card collection actions filed by debt buyers in the Springfield District Court Small Claims session. Clemmer also volunteers as a pro bono attorney with a number of organizations, including the ACLU of Massachusetts’ Immigration Protection Project, PAIR, and Springfield No One Leaves.

Clemmer is currently an adjunct faculty member at WNE School of Law teaching Law and Social Change. She was chosen as a JCC 2020 Women inPower Fellow and is participating in the Women Innovators & Trailblazers (WIT) Mentor Match Program this spring. Clemmer was also recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School and serves on both the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services and as Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission Consumer Debt Working Group Subcommittee. She recently received the 2020 Excellence in the Law Award in the category of Excellence in Pro Bono, presented by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.