Professional skills training and development courses are offered throughout the learning continuum to effectively prepare students for the practice of law. Every student must complete at least 6 credits of experiential course. An experiential course must be a simulation course, such as trial practice or negotiation and counseling, mediation. Students may also meet the practical skills requirement by completing a law clinic, or a field placement course. Engaging in pro bono is insufficient to meet the practical skills requirement.
By completing the practical skills requirement students hone essential lawyering skills in simulation courses, such as mediation and interviewing, negotiation and counseling; and litigation courses such as trial practice. Students can meet the professional skills requirement by taking those and other practical courses, by taking a clinic course, or by completion of an approved Field Placement. This page describes the Legal Clinic offerings in the College catalog; a list of courses that meet the practical skills requirement can be found here.
The Legal Clinical Program offers third-year law students an opportunity to serve traditionally underserved clients under the supervision of the faculty, the bench and the bar. The Housing Clinic features outreach initiatives designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosures, prevent loan scams, obtain loan modifications, and obtain information regarding buying a first home. Other services include but are not limited to: Obtaining withheld security deposits; Seeking to avoid utility shutoffs and lockouts; Avoiding termination of public housing; Section 8 Assistance; Wrongful Eviction; and Landlord-Tenant Disputes.
The Homelessness and Legal Advocacy Clinic offers a comprehensive set of legal services focused on assisting and empowering low income individuals in their interaction with the legal system. Interviewing clients at the Coalition for the Homeless and the Women’s Residential Counseling Center, students in the Homelessness and Legal Advocacy Clinic seek to provide assistance in areas such as, Family Law: Divorce; Paternity; Child Support; Custody and Visitation; Consumer Law; Obtaining a credit report; Creditor Harassment; Disputing Incorrect Debts on Credit Report; Applying for Government Benefits; Social Security; Disability; Medicare; Medicaid; and Food Stamps.
The Criminal Defense Clinic (“CDC”) provides students the opportunity to represent real clients charged with crimes. Student conduct initial intake interviews, participate in discovery, prepare witnesses, negotiate with the state regarding plea bargains, prepare and present pre- and post-trial motions, and, if necessary, represent clients throughout an entire trial.
The foregoing describes the clinics that are part of the approved program of legal education. Students may access more thorough descriptions of each clinic by clicking on “”Clinical Course Descriptions” on the right side of this page. Not every clinic is offered every semester. Whether a particular clinic is offered depends on personnel availability and sufficient student demand. Students should check with the Director of Legal Clinics or the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs before each semester to determine whether a particular clinic is scheduled to be offered in an upcoming semester.
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