Law and policy work is often in the "ivory tower" -- where academics or others are secluded in their discipline and communities, cut off from the "real world." Rather than working top-down and telling communities what they need, how can advocates work bottom-up and horizontally? That is, how can lawyers and policy makers make sure they use their skills to help communities how the communities want? And how can we treat each other equally, rather than defaulting to a hierarchy or power?
As I reach the end of my academic career focused on law and policy, I am looking for ideas on how I can use my skills and privilege to help communities. Do you know of any advocates who are able to make communities the driving force behind decisions? What tools or skills do these advocates use to accomplish this?