The Consumer Justice for the Elderly: Litigation Clinic is a one-semester, four-credit clinic offered in the fall and spring. It is open to students who have completed their first year of law school − two semesters of full-time attendance plus all required first-year courses.
The Clinic is demanding, and students should carefully consider this in light of their other commitments and goals. Students wishing to take the Clinic must possess a high degree of maturity and the willingness and ability to shoulder the substantial responsibilities of a practicing attorney. Given this demand, part-time employment is strongly discouraged for clinic students. It is also discouraged due to the risk that a student’s outside employment, particularly legal employment, will create a conflict of interest for the Clinic and the student.
Clinic students devote a minimum of 13 hours per week to their clinic cases. Office hours must be kept four days a week, Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., scheduled in increments of at least two consecutive hours. While students hold most of their office hours at the Law School’s Clinical Office, they might spend some of the time making court appearances (most clinic students go to court one to three times during the semester), conducting library research or doing other clinic work.
In addition to keeping regular office hours, students attend a seminar class on Tuesdays, from 4 to 6 p.m. The seminar covers lawyering skills, such as interviewing, negotiation, and ethical decision-making, as well as some substantive areas of law related to the Clinic’s practice. The seminars are interactive, and discussions often draw upon student experiences in client representation and litigation. Some seminar assignments will include simulation exercises in interviewing and negotiation.
Students receive a letter grade based on their:
- Performance on clinic cases
- Fulfillment of weekly office hours
- Ability to take ownership of cases
- Professional responsibility
- Legal research and writing ability
- Case preparation and strategy
- Interviewing and advocacy skills
- Improvement over the course of the semester
- Attendance and participation in the Clinic seminar
At the outset, we do not expect students to know how to accomplish the many lawyering tasks their clinic cases involve. However, we do expect them to demonstrate a willingness to learn, strengthen their skills and work diligently on their cases.