Clinic Professor and Director of the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice & Gillis Long Poverty Law Center
J.D., Seattle University, 2002
M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1998
- College of Law
- Clinical Teaching
- Housing Justice
- Poverty Law
Davida Finger, Clinic Professor and Law Clinic Director, has taught the Community Justice section of the Law Clinic, Externship course, and the Law & Poverty course. She and her clinic students represent on cases such as: landlord-tenant, post-disaster housing, housing discrimination, and on other civil rights matters. In addition to litigating cases, Professor Finger strives to provide support and collaboration on community advocacy for anti-poverty and justice initiatives. Professor Finger serves as the Rene August and Mary Jane Pastorek Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law. She also serves as Director of the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center.
The U.S. State Department has named Professor Finger a Fulbright Specialist, an honor that will allow her to continue to teach at the College of Law while being available as a specialist to Fulbright institutions through 2026.
Professor Finger served as the Co-President, 2018-20, of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), a national organization that works to expand the power of law to under-served communities. She has served on the SALT Board of Governors since 2014 and has played a leadership role through SALT on issues related to diversity in legal education. Professor Finger also serves on the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Board of Directors.
Professor Finger frequently presents on topics related to clinical education and is engaged with the national clinical community through scholarship and service. In 2016, she was awarded the Bellow Scholars fellowship by the Association of American Law Schools Section (AALS) on Clinical Legal Education’s Committee on Lawyering in the Public for empirical research designed to improve the quality of justice in communities.
Professor Finger's empirical research on housing justice presented the first comprehensive look at the eviction crisis in New Orleans. In 2020, the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) named Professor Finger co-editor of the Best Practices blog, which grew out of CLEA's best practices committee and serves as an information hub on current reforms in legal education. Professor Finger has been on the planning team for the Southern Clinical Conference for the last decade.
Professor Finger was the founding director of the College of Law’s Incubator Program for solo practitioners working for social justice. She also founded the Education Project to represent low-income families on special education matters.
Professor Finger served as the 2011-12 chair of the AALS Poverty Law section. Prior to joining the clinical faculty at Loyola, she practiced law in Seattle.
While in law school, Professor Finger was the founding Editor in Chief of the Seattle Journal for Social Justice and an Associate Editor on the Seattle University Law Review. At graduation, she received the Faculty Scholar Award for excellence in high academic achievement and substantial service to the law school community. In 2007, Seattle University Law School named her an inspiring alum.
Professor Finger’s scholarship interests include poverty law, clinical education, community lawyering, access to justice, delivery of legal services, housing, and post-disaster government accountability.