USC Gould Search

Clare Pastore
USC Gould School of Law

Clare Pastore

Professor of the Practice of Law

Telephone: (213) 821-4410
Fax: (213) 740-5502
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA Room: 448
SSRN Author Page: Link

Last Updated: June 6, 2022

Clare Pastore teaches Poverty Law, Civil Rights, Suing the Government, Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, and the Access to Justice Practicum, while continuing to practice as a leading member of the California public interest community. Her research interests center on poverty, civil rights, and access to justice issues, and she is co-author of the leading Poverty Law textbook. She is a regular speaker on poverty, access to justice, and public interest law.

Pastore has received frequent state and national recognition as an outstanding advocate and teacher. In 2020, she won Gould’s Rutter Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 2019, she was honored with the Earl Johnson Equal Justice Award by the Western Center on Law and Poverty for her achievements and leadership in access to justice throughout her career. In 2013, she was one of ten educators nationwide to receive the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award, which recognizes educators “who have inspired their former students to make a significant contribution to society.” In prior years, she was selected as a Wasserstein Fellow by Harvard Law School as part of its program recognizing outstanding public interest lawyers (2005), named one of the nation's 45 most outstanding public interest attorneys under age 45 (American Lawyer magazine, 1997), one of California's top lawyers under 40 years old (California Law Business, 1999), and one of Southern California's "Super Lawyers" (2006-09). She was commended by an official State Assembly resolution in 2004 for her work on behalf of the poor in California.

Pastore serves on the California Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, the Board of Directors of the Wage Justice Center and the Steering Committee of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel. She is a member of USC’s Center for the Changing Family and the Los Angeles County Bar’s Amicus Briefs and Professional Responsibility & Ethics committees. She is a past member of the American Bar Association's Homelessness and Poverty Commission, and a former co-chair of the California Access to Justice Commission's Right to Counsel Task Force. 

From 1989 to 2004, Pastore was a staff attorney at the Western Center on Law and Poverty, where she litigated many state and federal cases involving poverty law and disability rights. She received one of the nation's first Skadden Fellowships to begin her work there in 1989. She was also affiliated with the ACLU of Southern California as Senior Counsel from 2004 til 2007, and Of Counsel from 2007 until 2011.

Pastore holds a BA (Phi Beta Kappa) from Colgate University and a JD from Yale Law School, where she was a senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. She clerked for Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Prior to law school, she was a Fulbright-sponsored teaching assistant in a Paris public school.


  • "An Answer for an Expected Tsunami of Evictions," (op ed), Cal Matters, August 10, 2020 
  • "Ethical Issues in Sexual Harassment Nondisclosure Agreements," Los Angeles County Bar Update, April 2020 
  •  "A Right to Counsel in Evictions: LA Can Do It Too," Los Angeles Daily Journal, April 3, 2019  - (www)
  • "Into the Breach: Progress on the Right to Counsel in Civil Matters" (with J. Pollock), 41 Los Angeles Lawyer 13 (October 2018). - (www)
  • "Edwards v. California: When Paupers Became People," in The Poverty Law Canon (University of Michigan Press, 2016)  - (www)
  • Poverty Law, Policy, and Practice (with J. Brodie, E. Rosser & J. Selbin), (Aspen Casebook Series, First Ed. 2014, Second Ed. 2020)  - (www)
  • "Gideon is My Co-Pilot: The Promise of Civil Right to Counsel Pilot Programs," 17 The University of the District of Columbia Law Review 75 (2014). - (Hein)
  • "California's Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act Tests Impact of More Assistance for Low-Income Litigants," 47 Clearinghouse Review 97 (July-August 2013)   - (Hein)
  • "Email and Attorney-Client Privilege: Cautionary Tales for Employee and Employer," LA County Bar Update, April 2011.
  • Voices from the Underground Economy: The Experiences of Workers and Advocates Seeking Meal and Rest Breaks in Low-Wage Industries, (with D. Ballon, J. Kwan, & K. Kish) (Bet Tzedek Legal Services, 2009).
  • "Caperton v Massey Coal Co: Floodgates Opening or Stating the Obvious?" LA County Bar Update, September 2009.
  • "A Civil Right to Counsel: Closer to Reality?" 42 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 1065 (2009).   - (Hein)
  • "Rescuing Legal Aid," Los Angeles Times, Feb 23, 2009. - (PDF)
  • "New Federal Rule of Evidence 502: Help is on the Way," LA County Bar Update, December 2008.
  • "U.S. Supreme Court on IDEA Parental Rights: What Advocates Need to Know," 41 Clearinghouse Review 345 (September-October 2007). - (Hein)
  •  "Life After Lassiter: An Overview of State Court Right to Counsel Decisions," 40 Clearinghouse Review 186 (July-August 2006). - (Hein)
  • "The California Model Statute Task Force," 40 Clearinghouse Review 176 (July-August 2006).   - (Hein)
  • Students & CalWORKs: A Guide to Educational Opportunities in the CalWORKs Program (co-author) (Western Center on Law & Poverty, 2003).
  • CalWORKs: A Comprehensive Guide to Welfare and Related Medi-Cal Issues for California Families (principal author & editor) (Western Center on Law & Poverty, 2000).


Annenberg Media
September 19, 2023
Re: Thomas Lenz

Thomas Lenz was quoted by Annenberg Media about the United Automobile Workers union ready to go on strike. "Strikes affect the livelihoods of those who choose to stop working. To the extent those persons aren’t earning money to spend that means stores, restaurants, and other businesses might not be as busy. If a strike lasts a long time bills might not get paid as easily, if at all," Lenz wrote.


Mugambi Jouet
August, 2023

“Guns, Mass Incarceration, and Bipartisan Reform: Beyond Vicious Circle and Social Polarization,” 55 Arizona State Law Journal 239 (2023).

Edward McCaffery
August, 2023

"The Curiouser and Curiouser Case of Carried Interest" (with Darryll K. Jones), Arizona Law Review (Spring 2024).

Scott Altman
August, 2023

"Are Parents Fiduciaries," 42 Law and Philosophy 431 (2023).