Clare R. Norins
B.A., M.S.W., J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
First Amendment Clinic
Clare R. Norins is an assistant clinical professor and the inaugural director of the School of Law’s First Amendment Clinic. Supported by the Stanton Foundation, the clinic defends and advances the rights of free speech, press, assembly and petition via regional litigation and advocacy. The clinic provides law students with the practice and real-world experience to become leaders on First Amendment issues while also serving as a resource for organizations, journalists and citizens on issues of free expression.
Norins joined the law school faculty in 2020 with 15 years of civil rights experience in private practice, government enforcement and higher education. She was previously an associate attorney at Beldock Levine & Hoffman, specializing in Section 1983 litigation of First Amendment and other constitutional claims. While at Beldock, she served as class counsel on behalf of 1,200 political demonstrators, journalists and bystanders arrested in connection with protected expressive conduct during the 2004 Republican National Convention. She also represented multiple individual citizens and public employees on First Amendment discrimination and retaliation claims in federal court against the city of New York.
Thereafter, Norins served as an assistant attorney general for the state of New York in the Civil Rights Bureau. In this capacity, she investigated and negotiated resolutions that redressed racial inequities in the provision of public accommodations, increased language access to municipal law enforcement services, and obtained monetary and equitable relief for skilled trades women who had suffered discrimination – including sexual harassment – in their employment with New York’s largest utility company. Partnering with the Consumer Protection Bureau, Norins also litigated against three of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders and their agent company for consumer abuses, achieving a settlement for broad injunctive relief. For this work, Norins received a 2012 Louis J. Lefkowitz Award for outstanding performance.
Immediately prior to joining the law school’s faculty, Norins was assistant director of UGA’s Equal Opportunity Office, where she investigated civil rights complaints asserted by members of the university community, including employment discrimination and Title IX grievances.
Norins graduated Order of the Coif from the School of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following law school, she clerked for the Judge Michael H. Dolinger in the Southern District of New York.