Current Clinical Offerings

Civil Litigation

Tort Litigation and Trial Practice (SEPTA)

Course Description

Students represent SEPTA in handling its large and diversified tort case load. Students will advance their advocacy and litigation skills in preparing and presenting cases in the hearings before arbitration panels of the Court of Common Pleas. SEPTA appears both as a plaintiff when it seeks recovery for damages to its property and as a defendant when it is sued for first party or no-fault benefits, or in some instances, for third party pain and suffering. Each student will be expected to try several cases. Students are given assignments in various aspects of pretrial discovery and litigation, such as depositions, the preparation of witnesses, and the negotiation of settlements. Instruction in substantive (tort) law and procedures relevant to each trial/hearing, statutes and principles of Pennsylvania common carrier law will also be given.

Time Requirements

Full day Wednesdays and one other morning for court appearances. Students will arbitrate cases and are expected to work approximately 8-10 hours a week in addition to the classroom component. Students must be able to dedicate one morning a week in addition to Wednesday to participate in this clinical.

Required Certifications

Certification under Rules 321 and 322 of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is required.

Prerequisites

  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Temple Legal Aid Office: Family Law Litigation

Course Description

The Family Law Litigation Clinic in the Temple Legal Aid Office provides direct legal representation to low-income litigants in child custody, child and spousal support, paternity and adoption cases. Every day, dozens of people call the Temple Legal Aid Office looking for legal help on domestic relations cases. Potential clients are screened for issue area, conflicts and income eligibility by our office manager, and if eligible are placed on our waitlist. Potential clients are then scheduled for intake interviews with Clinic students, who then assess the case on the merits and make a recommendation for representation to the Clinical Professor. Once a case is accepted, the students have the opportunity to handle each and every aspect, from development of a case plan, to all of the tasks required to meet the client’s litigation goals, such as drafting of pleadings, counseling of clients, negotiation with opposing counsel or parties, development of trial strategy, trial preparation and court appearances. Students spend a minimum of 8-10 hours per week working in the Temple Legal Aid Office. There is also a classroom component which meets weekly. The first day is a six-hour orientation that focuses on all of the practice skills used in the clinic, such as how to complete an intake interview, issue spotting in family law cases, ethics issues, and negotiation, along with practical information about office policy and procedure and overall expectations for the Clinic. Thereafter, the classroom time is used to teach substantive law and procedure, perfect practice skills through simulations or preparation for real cases, and to highlight key practice issues that commonly arise. Students are also required to complete biweekly reflection journals and prepare 20-30 minute final presentations on a "hot practice issue."

Time Requirements

Students are required to spend 8-10 hours working in the Temple Legal Aid Office, in addition to a weekly class which meets Wednesdays 1-2:30 pm. Students are expected to complete their clinic work on at least two days per week in blocks of time of at least two hours. The first Wednesday of the semester, the class will meet all day for orientation (9 am-3 pm). While every attempt will be made to accommodate student schedules, the Clinic has little control over the scheduling of hearings; therefore, it may be necessary on occasion to miss another class while representing a client in court.

Required Certifications

Certification under Rules 321 and 322 of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is required.

Prerequisites

  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

City Solicitor: Claims Litigation

Course Description

Students serve as lawyers in the Claims Division of the City Solicitor's Office and are assigned cases involving a variety of tort actions filed against the City. Students are exposed to all aspects of the litigation process, including the initial responsive pleading, written discovery, deposition, pre-trial motions, municipal court and arbitration hearings. All work is supervised by an attorney. Because of the nature and scheduling of cases during the semester, students may be required to attend litigation proceedings on a day other than Wednesday. Every effort is made to accommodate a student's schedule. Attendance throughout the semester at a Wednesday lecture series is required.

Time Requirements

Full day Wednesdays. Students should also have a morning or afternoon other than Wednesday available to act as counsel in litigation proceedings. Students should expect to work 8-10 hours per week in addition to the one-hour classroom component. Over the course of the semester, this means that each student should log a total of 112-140 hours of practice or work time, not including the classroom component.

Required Certifications

Certification under Rules 321 and 322 of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is required.

Prerequisites

  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Temple Legal Aid Office: Civil Practice for Clients with Health Care Issues

Course Description

In this community lawyering project, students represent clients dealing with the impact of serious medical diagnoses and physical disabilities. Interacting with clients primarily at the law school but also at medical and social service centers throughout the city, students are directly responsible representing clients at all stages of their cases. Case matters include litigation, most often through representing clients before administrative law judges in Social Security and SSI disability cases. Case matters also include transactional work, most often through writing simple estate planning documents to help people plan for contingencies that can arise if they become more ill or impaired. Other litigation and transaction matters that affect the client base are also handled, depending on the clients' legal needs and the ability of the clinic to effectively manage the cases--among other things, they have occasionally included helping with medical insurance and housing issues. In addition to applying general research, writing, and accumulated legal knowledge to real clients’ cases, students will learn the following:

  1. How to effectively and professionally interact with clients;
  2. How to develop a shared definition of problems with clients and how to identify which problems have practical legal solutions;
  3. How to analyze typical problems of our client base, and how to research and analyze problems that are not ones with which students are currently competent;
  4. How to represent clients before administrative law judges and other administrative officers. The bulk of our direct representation is in administrative hearings for SSI cases before administrative law judges. While every effort is made to provide each student with the opportunity to handle at least one hearing, this will depend on the status of the individual cases; and
  5. How to prepare transactional documents, such as living wills and powers of attorney.

The clinic operates through the Temple Legal Aid Office and primarily represents poor people with medical issues or disabilities in North Philadelphia. Although most of the work is direct client advocacy, students will also be expected to do community outreach. Some initial interview work will be done in community settings, including health care and social service centers where clients get other professional services. The class may also look at legislation as it impacts the client base and consider what advocacy steps a lawyer might take to affect legislation to the clients' benefit.

Time Requirements

Monday and Wednesday, 9 am-12 pm plus six additional hours during the week. Over the course of the semester, each student should log a total of 112-140 hours of practice or work time, not including the classroom component.

Important Notes

This clinical can be combined in one semester with Law 775 Advanced Clinical Intensive: Temple Legal Aid Office: Civil Practice for Clients with Health Care Issues to allow for a total of 6 credit hours.

Required Certifications

Certification under Rules 321 and 322 of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is required.

Prerequisites

  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Recommended

  • Law 775 Advanced Clinical Intensive: Temple Legal Aid Office: Civil Practice for Clients with Health Care Issues

Advanced Clinical Intensive: Temple Legal Aid Civil Practice for Clients with Health Care Issues

Course Description

Taken along with or after having completed Law 765, students have a more comprehensive clinical experience by doing an additional project or more in-depth client work to supplement the clinical work of Law 765. Projects are picked before the end of the first week of the semester. Projects can include any of the following:

  • Writing portfolio: Students draft several types of documents that are usual in law practices, which are likely to include different types of legal briefs and memos, a will, power of attorney, advance directive and other documents that are appropriate to client work. In appropriate cases , students will present these works to other students;
  • Legal intake/site development: Students staff intake at a site at which the office already has an intake arrangement or develop their own intake site with the instructor’s help. Students then work with clients there to determine their legal issues and advise or represent them. Students write a paper describing an aspect of their work, such as the value of different legal service delivery systems or an aspect of legal practice that they are encountering regularly;
  • Student developed projects: Students with particular interests can develop their own project with the instructor, if the instructor feels that it is likely to be productive. This could include students who have previously taken Law 765 expanding on representation in a certain type of case or students developing an expertise in a certain area of law related to the office’s work but not handled by the office.

Time Requirements

8-10 hours per week. There is no classroom component beyond what is taken or was taken in Law 765.

Important Notes

This is a letter graded clinical. This clinical can be combined in one semester with Law 765 Temple Legal Aid Office: Civil Practice for Clients with Health Care Issues to allow for a total of 6 credit hours.

Prerequisites

  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy
  • Law 765 Temple Legal Aid Office: Civil Practice for Clients with Health Care Issues

Corequisites

  • Law 765 Temple Legal Aid Office: Civil Practice for Clients with Health Care Issues

United States Attorney: Bankruptcy Unit

Course Description

In this clinical course, students will represent federal creditor agencies in bankruptcy and district courts to obtain and collect debts owed to the United States. Students will review plans, draft and file complaints, objections and motions, and negotiate settlements of same, handle hearings and conduct depositions and debtor examinations. Students will develop and implement strategies to enhance recoveries and will be ""in charge"" of their cases to fullest extent possible.

Time Requirements

The classroom component will be scheduled on Wednesdays at a time to be determined at the beginning of the semester in accordance with trial needs and the instructor's schedule. In unusual circumstances, clinical work can be scheduled on other workdays, in blocks of four hours, with the instructor's approval. As usual, students are expected to work eight to ten hours in addition to the classroom component. Over the course of the semester, this means that each student should log a total of 112-140 hours of practice or work time, not including the classroom component.

Students also must have Tuesday or Thursday mornings available for occasional bankruptcy proceedings.

Important Notes

Students will be subjected to an extensive background investigation and must be a US citizen. Students are required to complete time sensitive documents four to six weeks prior to the start of the clinical, in order to be granted a security waiver.

Required Certifications

Certification under Rules 321 and 322 of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is required.

Prerequisites

  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Corequisites

  • Law 530 Bankruptcy

Criminal Litigation

Criminal Defense Advocacy: Camden Public Defender

Course Description

After orientation, including a study of legal foundations and techniques for defense of persons charged with criminal offenses, students participate in the representation of defendants including the investigation, brief preparation and trial of motions. Students are assigned to individual trial teams. Where possible, efforts will be made to accommodate students with interests in particular areas of criminal defense work. The clinical course includes a weekly classroom component on Wednesday. Court participation is encouraged.

Time Requirements

Classroom component of this clinic meets Wednesday afternoons. Students are expected to work approximately 8-10 hours a week in addition to the classroom component. Over the course of the semester, this means that each student should log a total of 112-140 hours of practice or work time, not including the classroom component. Because of the nature and scheduling of criminal cases, students will maximize their opportunities for court time if they are available for at least one or two of the following times: Friday afternoons as this is when most pre-trial suppression and other motions are heard as well as violation of probation hearings, Thursday mornings which is when bail motions are heard and Monday and Wednesday mornings which is set aside for plea negotiations and the entry of negotiated guilty pleas.

Required Certifications

Certification under Rules 321 and 322 of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is required.

Prerequisites

  • Law 532 Criminal Procedure I
  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Criminal Defense Advocacy: Defender Association of Philadelphia

Course Description

After an intensive orientation that includes the Philadelphia Court System as well as Pennsylvania criminal law, criminal procedure, and criminal trial practice, each student individually will represent clients at the Municipal Court level for motions, trials and/or preliminary hearings. Each of the days in court will be followed up by a classroom review of cases handled as well as discussion and informal mock trials of next week's cases. A full day each week is spent representing the client in court followed by class. A significant amount of additional time must be spent by the student each week in preparing the case for trial. Most students in the past have felt that the heavy workload was redeemed by the wealth of experience provided by the course. Students are advised that attendance is mandatory for the first class session and a prerequisite for enrollment. Any student on the waiting list who would like to be considered for placement in the event of an opening, must attend this first class training session.

Time Requirements

Classroom component meets full day Wednesdays for the first three weeks. Student will then be in court on Wednesdays with classroom follow up until at least 5 pm for the remaining weeks. Students should avoid classes prior to 6 pm on Wednesday. Students are expected to work between 10-12 hours each week or 140- 168 hours over the 14-week semester. Students must be available on Fridays or Mondays for a two-hour block for trial preparation and client interviewing. This is in addition to the regular Wednesday sessions.

Important Notes

Required Certifications

Certification under Rules 321 and 322 of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is required.

Prerequisites

  • Law 532 Criminal Procedure I
  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Federal Criminal Practice: Federal Defender

Course Description

This simulated course develops trial advocacy skills in the context of the federal criminal justice system with specific emphasis on the criminal trial. Students will be exposed to all elements of clinical education: instruction, observation, participation, simulation, and critique and to every stage of criminal litigation from initial court appearance to jury trials. Students will also attend a technology demonstration and training seminar on Trial Director/Sanctions or other available computer assisted litigation programs for use at trial. On many class days, simulations of pretrial hearings and non-jury trials are conducted in the United States Courthouse at 6th and Market Streets. We will be working very closely with the Federal Criminal Practice Clinical Program at the Office of the United States Attorney. Each student from both programs may have opportunities to assume the roles of defense attorney and prosecutor. Instructors from both classes act as judges and critique students from both clinical programs after each simulation. Students are also given opportunities to observe actual pretrial hearings and trials in progress. Special emphasis is placed on attending opening statements and closing arguments in jury trials in a variety of federal prosecutions. The final simulation is a complete jury trial held in a courtroom of the United States Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Time Requirements

Full day Fridays (9:30 am-4 pm with a one-hour lunch break). Toward the end of the semester, students will be required to participate in a simulated jury trial in the United States Courthouse. On that day, class hours will be 1-8:30 pm.

Important Notes

Students may not register for both Law 717 Federal Criminal Practice: Federal Defender and the clinical #724 Federal Criminal Practice: United States Attorney.

Prerequisites

  • Law 532 Criminal Procedure I
  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Criminal Prosecution: Philadelphia District Attorney

Course Description

Participants, after an intensive training period, will appear in the Philadelphia Municipal Court to handle preliminary hearings in felony cases and pretrial motions and trials in misdemeanor cases. Student experiences will be closely supervised and critically analyzed. Mock presentations and evaluations will be conducted throughout the course. Successful participants need excellent interpersonal and communication skills, flexibility and an ability to maintain their composure under stress. Students will be interacting not only with members of the judiciary before whom they appear, but also with opposing counsel, witnesses and victims of crime, some of whom may be uncooperative.

Time Requirements

During the first half of the semester, students will be litigating felony preliminary hearings. These hearings are held at the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert Street in Philadelphia. Regardless of their trial day, all students must be available during the following times:

  1. All day Wednesday for the first two weeks for training sessions.
  2. Wednesdays from 3-5 pm after the first two weeks for the classroom portion of the clinical.
  3. A full day for court (8 am-7 pm).
  4. The afternoon preceding the court day from 3-6 pm, in the DA's office, to discuss cases and prepare subpoenas.
  5. The evening preceding the court day, either in the DA's office or at home, to prepare cases and telephone witnesses.

Students may not schedule any late afternoon or evening classes on the day prior before the court day for preliminary hearings and two days before the court days for misdemeanor trials.

Classroom Segment

All students, regardless of which days they appear in court, must be available all day (9 am-5 pm) on the first and second Wednesday of the semester for two intensive training sessions. All students, regardless of the days they appear in court, are required to participate in a classroom component from 3-5 pm each Wednesday.

Court Assignment

Each student will have an assigned court day. Students will spend half of the semester assigned to felony preliminary hearings in the Criminal Justice Center. During the other half of the semester, students will be assigned to trial courtrooms in the Criminal Justice Center. Students must be available on their court day between 8 am and approximately 5 pm. After each court appearance, students must complete extensive paperwork. This must be done before the student leaves the office and entails approximately two hours of very careful preparation. Students cannot miss the class meeting to finish this work.

Day Preceding Court Assignment

Each student is required to be available from 3-6 pm on the afternoon preceding each day in court to review case files with their assigned supervising attorney, and to prepare police subpoenas. Students who select Thursday as their court day can meet with their supervisors after class on Wednesday. Students must be available for approximately five to six hours, after they pick up their files, to prepare their cases and interview witnesses by telephone (witnesses cannot be called after 10 pm). Students cannot schedule any classes after 3 pm on the day preceding their court day. No student is eligible to participate in the program unless he or she is fully available as set forth above. There will not be an opportunity during the first training session for students to return to campus to drop or add other classes. Students are advised to carefully review their schedules before electing this course. Students on the waiting list, who wish to be considered for placement in the event of an opening, must attend the first training session.

Important Notes

This is a very time intensive clinic. Pay particular attention to the time requirements. Students will be required to submit to a criminal record check.

Required Certifications

Certification under Rules 321 and 322 of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is required.

Prerequisites

  • Law 532 Criminal Procedure I
  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Federal Criminal Practice: United States Attorney

Course Description

This simulated course develops prosecutorial trial advocacy skills in the context of the federal criminal justice system, with emphasis on the federal criminal trial. Students will be exposed to all elements of clinical education: instruction, observation, participation, simulation, and critique, and to every stage of criminal litigation from initial court appearance to jury trials. Students will also attend a technology demonstration and training seminar on Trial Director/Sanctions or other available computer assisted litigation programs for use at trial. On many class days simulations of pretrial hearings, plea bargaining, and non-jury trials are conducted in the United States Courthouse at 6th and Market Streets. We will be working very closely with the Federal Criminal Practice Clinical Program at the Office of the Federal Defender. Instructors from both classes act as judges and critique students from both clinical programs after each simulation. Students are also given opportunities to observe actual pretrial hearings and trials in progress. Special emphasis is placed on attending opening statements and closing arguments in jury trials in a variety of federal prosecutions. The final simulation is a complete jury trial held in a courtroom of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Time Requirements

Full day Fridays. Toward the end of the semester, students will be required to participate in a simulated jury trial in the United States Courthouse. On that day, class hours will be 1-8:30 pm.

Important Notes

Students may not register for both #724 Federal Criminal Practice: United States Attorney and the clinical #717 Federal Criminal Practice: Federal Defender.

Prerequisites

  • Law 532 Criminal Procedure I
  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Criminal Prosecution: Bucks County District Attorney

Course Description

The Bucks County District Attorney Clinic gives Temple students an opportunity to participate, as prosecutors, in a wide range of criminal proceedings. Students conduct preliminary hearings involving a variety of crimes including drug cases, domestic violence, retail thefts and burglary before District Judges of Bucks County. During the first three weeks of the clinic, students attend class all day on Wednesday and spend an additional four hours observing court and reviewing materials. Beginning with the fourth week, students will attend class on specified Wednesdays from 4-5:30 pm in accord with a syllabus that will be distributed in class. The classroom and practice components of the clinic are designed to give students a working knowledge of criminal prosecution in Pennsylvania. Students learn to manage their own case load, and are challenged to develop non-trial skills, such as witness preparation, interviewing, counseling, statutory research, negotiation and networking with defense counsel. Students have opportunities to work with trial attorneys by helping research and write appellate briefs. Students also have the opportunity to observe court proceedings for criminal cases being conducted in the Court of Common Pleas. The clinic is structured to give students a broad perspective on the breadth and variety of criminal cases and the realities of criminal prosecution.

Time Requirements

Each student is required to dedicate 10-12 hours per week in addition to the classroom component. Beginning with the fourth week of the semester, students will be assigned to one of 20 Judicial Districts in Bucks County for one full day or two four-hour periods over two days each week. In addition, students should expect to spend approximately four hours per week preparing for court and debriefing after court. Students must have their own transportation to participate in this clinical course and will be compensated for their mileage.

Required Certifications

Certification under Rules 321 and 322 of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is required.

Prerequisites

  • Law 532 Criminal Procedure I
  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy

Pennsylvania Innocence Project

Course Description

This clinical program offers students the unique opportunity to exercise their lawyering skills by reviewing and investigating actual claims of innocence on behalf of Pennsylvania inmates and, where appropriate, pursuing legal avenues for exoneration and release from prison. Each student will be assigned cases under the supervision of the Director of the Innocence Project or one of the mentoring attorneys. In the course of investigating factual claims and researching legal issues, students will review criminal files, interact with investigators, contact other attorneys, interview the client and witnesses, gather documentation and prepare legal documents and memoranda. Although most claims will be resolved by written pleadings and briefs, any court appearances will also involve students. Each student will also review new applications of a valid and viable claim. As a consequence of this work, students will have many opportunities to develop and hone their lawyering skills in interviewing, fact investigation, factual and legal analysis, legal writing and problem-solving. The classroom component will cover topics including the definition of a claim of innocence, investigating and raising claims of innocence under Pennsylvania law, preservation of innocence claims for federal review, post conviction discovery rules, state and federal post conviction procedures and problems, investigative techniques and skills, the nature and uses of DNA and other scientific evidence and the state and federal rules governing admissibility of such evidence. As the semester progresses, students will explore the substantive and procedural issues in the context of the actual cases on which they are working as well as discuss the ethical issues common to this areas of practice.

Time Requirements

Students meet at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project office on Wednesdays each week, and are responsible to the Project for the full day. The first two weeks are full day trainings after which there are weekly check-ins on cases and hour-long presentations on various legal issues related to innocence work. Students should expect to work 8-10 hours per week, including the time on Wednesdays. Over the course of the semester, this means that each student should log a total of 112-140 hours of practice or work time, not including the hour-long classroom presentations.

Important Notes

This can be a time intensive clinic that may require your availability at irregular hours.

Prerequisites

  • Law 532 Criminal Procedure I
  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)

Hybrid

Environmental Law: Delaware Riverkeeper Network

Course Description

The River Rapids Law Clinic is designed to expose students to the broad intersection of litigation, transactional work, policy, advocacy and work with grass-roots organizations. It provides a specialized and unique course of study focused on the local region’s natural heritage, practical legal skills and special issues and pitfalls in environmental law. Students in this clinical course will work closely with the Delaware Riverkeeper as well as the senior and staff attorneys of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to provide legal support to environmental professionals and citizens to help effectively protect our environment and communities through compliance with the federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations. Under the supervision and guidance of the senior and staff attorneys, students will be expected to act as junior staff attorneys -- perform legal research; draft strategy memoranda, pleadings, briefs and other legal documents for timely filing with courts and other government agencies; and write and present comments and testimony before bodies considering proposals that will affect the environment.

Time Requirements

This clinical course is based at the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, located at 925 Canal Street in Bristol, Pennsylvania. The classroom component is scheduled for Friday mornings and is held at DRN’s offices. Students are expected to work 8-10 hours in addition to the classroom component. Over the course of the semester, this means that each student should log a total of 112- 140 hours of practice or work time, not including the classroom component. Although some research work may be permitted to be done elsewhere, students should expect to be on site Friday mornings for seminar and Friday afternoons for part of the work hour commitment. Delaware Riverkeeper Network is located directly across from the Bristol train station (SEPTA R7) and has ample parking. Whether you drive or take the train, please consult a map to ensure that your timing and transportation needs can be met.

Corequisites

  • Law 536 Environmental Law or Law 684 Natural Resources

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law Practice

Course Description

This clinical course is designed for students with a sincere commitment to LGBT equality, direct legal service and public interest work. The clinical helps students develop an understanding of the interaction between sexual orientation, gender identity, and the law through a combination of direct service, legal research and public education. Students will gain familiarity with a wide variety of legal issues, including, but not limited to, the following: discrimination in employment, education, housing, and public accommodations; family law, including marriage and marital equivalents, custody, support, adoption and dissolution; criminal law, including hate crimes, police misconduct, prisoners’ rights, and failure to protect; youth law; and advance planning as a means to securing legal protections for the family units formed by lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. Students will work closely with attorneys on a wide variety of cases, some of which involve precedent-setting legal issues.

Time Requirements

Students are expected to work a minimum of 10 hours per week, including Fridays from 12-1:30 pm, during which time the 90-minute classroom component will be conducted. Students will work other three-hour blocks during the week in accordance with their availability and the needs of the agency. Over the course of a semester, the student will be expected to log approximately 126 hours of clinical time, not including the classroom component. There is a three -hour orientation at the beginning of the semester which is held on the first day of class.

Philadelphia District Attorneys Office: Charging Unit

Course Description

This clinic will provide third and fourth year evening division students with the hands on opportunity to work in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Charging Unit. In doing so, students will gain experience applying Pennsylvania law to real cases. They will have the opportunity to learn about the current review process used by the Charging Unit including the crime investigative guidelines adopted by the Philadelphia Police Department and the procedural steps followed within the Philadelphia system when a defendant is arrested. Students will also learn about identification issues as they relate to charging decisions and discuss line-ups, photo arrays and other methods of identification. Students will consider the ethical and moral issues that a prosecutor confronts in making charging decisions and consider how the admissibility of evidence should effect the decision to charge someone with a crime. Students will be responsible (under supervision) for charging decisions in misdemeanor site arrests and arrest warrants in misdemeanor cases (the Charging ADA will approve the final charges). Students will also be responsible for review and approval of search warrants. Additionally, students will conduct arraignment court and advocate on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for appropriate bail.

Time Requirements

The classroom component is front-loaded and will be held over the weekend prior to the start of the fall and spring semesters. In addition to the classroom seminars on assigned Saturdays and Sundays (and one Monday evening) during the semester, all students will be required to participate in the practice component of the clinic on the weekends or in the evenings for 8 hours a week. All students will participate in the prosecution of crimes within Philadelphia County. Specifically, all students will be involved in the review, approval or declination of site arrests and arrest warrants in the city. Additionally, all students will conduct arraignment hearings and bail hearings.

Important Notes

This clinical is available only to evening students during priority registration. Day students may not submit requests via the priority registration system. Day students should communicate their interest to be waitlisted via clinical@temple.edu.

American Red Cross: Southeastern Pennsylvania Disaster Relief

Course Description

Third and fourth year evening division students will learn about disaster law and spend the semester gaining real world experience at the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania. By engaging in this work, students will consider the preexisting social inequalities that exist in society and the resulting vulnerabilities that exist in the face of disasters. During the semester, students will participate in four components of this clinical course. In the classroom component, students will learn the major laws, policies and programs governing disaster response, recovery, compensation and preparedness. In the intake component, students will create a legal needs assessment form, respond to disasters, and interview disaster survivors (in partnership with a Red Cross House social worker) in order to identify the most common legal issues that disaster survivors face. The core legal needs will likely involve public benefits, landlord-tenant issues and estate planning. In the research component, students will research the law that surrounds these issues, develop training manuals for handling these cases, and create material explaining the law that is suitable for internal and public dissemination. In the practice component, students will provide direct legal services to disaster survivors and local residents that will address one of the core legal issues – estate planning. Students will create a Temple Law School/SEPA Red Cross Estate Planning Day of Service which will occur at the end of the semester.

Time Requirements

The goal of this course is to provide an opportunity for evening division students to learn about the major laws, policies and programs that govern disaster response and recovery by engaging in real work at the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The classroom component is front-loaded and will be held over the weekend prior to the start of each fall and spring semester and select weekend days. For the practice component of this course, students will be required to complete 8 hours a week throughout the semester in the evening or on weekends. The SEPA Red Cross will change the work schedules of the Red Cross House social work staff to allow for flexibility in evening division student schedules.

Important Notes

This clinical is available only to evening students during priority registration. Day students may not submit requests via the priority registration system. Day students should communicate their interest to be waitlisted via clinical@temple.edu.

Medical-Legal Partnership Clinical Program

Course Description

A Medical Legal Partnership (MLP) is an innovative health care delivery model that integrates legal assistance as a core component of patient care. Based on the recognition that health is as dependent on social conditions as it is on accessing and receiving quality healthcare, MLPs place legal staff on-site at healthcare institutions as part of the healthcare team to alleviate the hardships associated with problems like unsafe housing, hunger and income insecurity that may be contributing to negative health outcomes and lower quality of life. This clinic is designed for students who are interested in learning about the delivery of legal services to low-income clients in an effort to address factors that impede good health (sometimes referred to as “social determinants of health”). In the MLP Clinic, students will learn about MLPs and have the opportunity to participate in MLPs at the PhilaKids MLP at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and MLP Philadelphia at the Family Practice and Counseling Network (three nurse-managed health centers in Philadelphia).

Time Requirements

Students are required to attend a classroom component on Thursday evenings from 4-6 pm (the class will be held from 4-8 pm for two sessions) and then commit to 8-10 hours a week in the practice component of the course at the MLPs in the city. The practice component may be scheduled Monday to Friday from 9 am-5 pm. In the practice component, students will have the opportunity to interact with legal and medical practitioners as well as patients, participate in intake on cases that have been referred for potential legal issues and provide supervised legal counsel to patients identified with legal needs.

Immigration and Refugee Law

Course Description

This clinical course offers students an intensive learning experience that will develop their advocacy skills and deepen their understanding of immigration and refugee law. They will represent asylum applicants, asylees and refugees who have been victims of torture, gender violence, unlawful arrests and other forms of persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular group. Students will help clients avoid removal to the countries of persecution, reunite with family members, and progress toward residency and citizenship in the U.S. Students will seek relief for their clients under the Immigration and Nationality Act and the U.N. Convention Against Torture. They will work in the Legal Department of Nationalities Service Center under the supervision of the Clinical Instructor. Students will perform a variety of legal tasks ranging from interviewing clients, drafting documents and petitions, researching country conditions and preparing motions and legal briefs for cases before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Students will have the chance to develop their advocacy skills by representing clients in hearings and interviews before the Immigration Court and USCIS. This is a year-long program which offers students a rich learning experience and the opportunity to handle matters from the initial client meeting through resolution.

Time Requirements

The classroom component will take place on Wednesday mornings. Most classes will take place at Nationalities Service Center (NSC). Students should expect to work approximately 8-10 hours a week in addition to the classroom component. This will vary week to week depending upon the caseload. Over the course of each semester, this means that each student should log a total of 112-140 hours of practice or work time, not including the classroom component.

Important Notes

This clinical is a two-semester commitment.

Prerequisites

  • Law 550 Citizenship, Immigration and Refugee Law

Ethics in Practice

Course Description

This clinic provides students with opportunities to study ethical issues and problems of professionalism in the context of actual practice. Each student participates in an external placement, chosen by the student, with the instructor’s approval. The classroom component will focus on issues of professionalism and ethics. Informed by their own clinical practice, students learn about attorney obligations to the client, court, profession, and society, as well as develop an understanding of their own professional values and philosophy as practicing lawyers. Students participate in both a practice and classroom component. The practice component emphasizes exposure to an area of legal practice, the development of essential lawyering skills, and an enhanced understanding of the professional challenges unique to that particular practice and applicable to all lawyers. Students can come with their own placement or work with the instructor to create a placement that is compatible with the course objectives and the student’s individual interests. Each student must identify a mentoring attorney at his or her placement who is willing to monitor student assignments, offer critique, encourage immediate reflection and who is fully committed to the objectives of the course. In addition to examining global issues of ethics and professionalism, the classroom component utilizes the students’ experience to identify and explore issues particular to their areas of practice. A maximum of six students can take this course to satisfy their serial writing requirement. Finally, students who are not taking the course to satisfy the serial writing requirement will be required to keep journals reflecting on their experiences at their placements.

Time Requirements

Wednesdays most but not all weeks at a time to be determined. Most classes will be scheduled for two hours. Students are expected to spend 8-10 hours per week at their placements.

Important Notes

This clinical is not available to students through priority registration. Interested students should contact Jen Bretschneider (215-204-2380; jennifer.bretschneider@temple.edu) regarding a seat in this clinical.

This course is not a substitute for Professional Responsibility and may be taken before or after that required course. In accord with ABA and Law School policy, students are not permitted to receive compensation for work for which they receive academic credit.

Prerequisites

  • Completion of the first year curriculum. No additional courses are required.
  • Permission of the instructor

Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project

Course Description

Working in partnership with the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project (CBAP), this clinic will provide students with the opportunity to learn, through direct representation of clients, Chapter 7 bankruptcy law and practice within the context of an impoverished client bases. Students will interview clients and provide debt counseling and budget review. In cases where debt counseling will not provide a client with the opportunity to stabilize their finances, the student, supervised by the clinical supervising attorney will represent the client in a pro bono Chapter 7 bankruptcy in order to discharge a client’s unsecured debts. Through CBAP’s Fresh Start Clinic, clients gain access to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court system and experience the powerful legal tool that bankruptcy offers. Students will become sensitized to the reality of living in poverty in Philadelphia. Clients come to CAP, as a last resort, after having tried to resolve their financial difficulty on their own. Most of the clients file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as the result of an unanticipated catastrophic life event such as a funeral, injury on the job, loss of employment, interrupted spousal or child support, illness, or loss of a car that greatly restricts employment options. As with all clinical courses, students will participate in both a classroom and practice component. The classroom component will provide students with an understanding of the complicated procedural and substantive legal issues involved in counseling and representing clients seeking bankruptcy relief. The classroom component also will provide an ongoing forum for students to explore the economic, psychological, cultural and socio-economic ramifications of bankruptcy as well as the ethical implications of consumer bankruptcy practice. The practice component will emphasize all aspects of representing bankruptcy clients from intake to final disposition.

Time Requirements

The classroom component will take place on Wednesdays at the offices of the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project in Center City Philadelphia. Note that it is essential for students to be available for the entire day on the first Wednesday on which the clinical takes place for orientation - a crash course in what students will most need to know to start working immediately. Students should expect to work approximately 8-10 hours a week in addition to the classroom component. This will vary week to week depending upon the caseload. Over the course of each semester, this means that each student should log a total of 112-140 hours of practice or work time, not including the classroom component.

Important Notes

This clinical is a two-semester commitment. Only students who have Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better) and Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy (ITA) will be permitted to represent clients in court.

Recommended

  • Law 530 Bankruptcy
  • Law 540 Evidence (Grade of C or better)
  • Law 460 Trial Advocacy I or Law 558 Introduction to Trial Advocacy (ITA)

Non-Litigation

Business Law

Course Description

This clinical program offers students the unique opportunity to provide general legal representation to small and start-up business owners in Pennsylvania area through the Small Business Development Center, a department in Temple's School of Business and Management. Students are expected to deal with a full range of small business legal problems which may include choice of business entity and entity formation, contracts, corporations, leases, franchise agreements, regulatory matters, intellectual property and environmental compliance, among others. Students deal directly with clients. Students must be comfortable communicating by e-mail. Time is spent on legal research, drafting, client meetings, and classroom seminars on various issues of business law and practice. Every student must produce a written work-product for assigned clients to obtain credit.

Time Requirements

Full day Fridays (10 am-1 pm and 2-5 pm) Students must also have time other than Friday available to meet with clients and work independently on client issues. Students are expected to work approximately 8-10 hours a week in addition to the classroom component. Over the course of the semester, this means that each student should log a total of 112-140 hours of practice or work time, not including the classroom component.

Prerequisites

  • Law 508 Corporations
  • Law 600 Taxation

Elderly Law Project

Course Description

This clinic offers students the opportunity to study a variety of statutes which particularly affect senior citizens and to represent clients of the Elderly Law Project. Students may represent clients before an administrative agency in matters involving the application of the Social Security Act and regulations which control social security, supplemental security income (SSI), social security disability, Medicare and Medicaid. Students also prepare legal documents such as wills, living wills and durable powers of attorney. They will advise clients about consumer problems, landlord/tenant matters, financial planning, long-term care, protective services and guardianship. Preparation for each case begins with the ""initial intake"" and ends with representation which may take the form of a hearing, informal negotiation or the preparation of a legal document. Students also prepare legal documents such as wills, living wills, and durable powers of attorney. They will advise clients about consumer problems, landlord/tenant matters, financial planning, long-term care, protective services and guardianship.

Time Requirements

Full day Wednesdays. Students are expected to work 8-10 hours a week in addition to the classroom component. Over the course of the semester, this means that each student should log a total of 112-140 hours of practice or work time, not including the classroom component.

Prerequisites

  • Law 5028 Law and Aging (formerly Law 591 Social Legislation: Law and the Elderly)

Mediation

Small Claims Mediation

Course Description

Students who have successfully completed the Philadelphia Housing Court Clinic are eligible to participate in the Small Claims Mediation Clinic. During the course of the semester, students serve as official court mediators for a variety of civil cases which fall within the jurisdiction of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia. Cases will be assigned prior to the mediation date to ensure that the relevant substantive law may be discussed with the instructors. These substantive areas include consumer and real estate transactions, contract and performance of service issues, property damage, and debt collection cases. Students will also have the opportunity to mediate minor criminal cases (private criminal complaints) during this clinical. Necessary training on these cases will be provided. Students are expected to become familiar with the court procedures involved in the handling of mediation cases. Instructors will be available for individualized case consultation, review and analysis both before and after the mediation sessions. Because of the nature and scheduling of these cases, some students will be required to serve as mediators on mornings or afternoons other than Friday. Regardless of the sessions when students are assigned cases to mediate, several Friday afternoon group sessions will be required.

Time Requirements

Full day Fridays for the first two weeks. Students will be advised of additional classes scheduled during the remainder of the semester. After the first two weeks, students will mediate cases during the morning hours. Students must be available for two mediation sessions per week. Sessions begin at 9 am and 1 pm. Over the course of the semester, students are expected to complete 20 mediations.

Important Notes

Because completion of the Philadelphia Housing Court clinical is required, enrollment is limited to those students who have taken the prerequisite either during the prior Spring or Fall Semester. Students who have not completed the Housing Court Clinical will not be permitted to take the Small Claims Mediation Clinical under any circumstances.

Prerequisites

  • Law 731 Philadelphia Housing Court

Philadelphia Housing Court

Course Description

This course calls for students to serve as court appointed mediators to assist landlords and tenants in resolving their disputes under the auspices of the Municipal Court of Philadelphia. After an intensive training program which will encompass both Landlord/Tenant Law and the mediation process, the mediator will meet with the parties and guide the discussion, clarify legal questions and possibly generate options for resolution of dispute.

Time Requirements

Only the first four students admitted to this clinical course will be permitted to mediate cases on Fridays. The remaining four students will mediate cases on a day other than Friday. Full day Fridays for the first five weeks. After the first five weeks, students will mediate cases during two mediation sessions each week. Students are expected to work 8-10 hours a week to complete the required 20 mediations. Mediations are scheduled for 9 am and 1 pm. Most students will be expected to work on days other than Friday.

Domestic Relations Mediation

Course Description

This clinical course offers students an opportunity to be trained in mediation skills and to obtain experience conducting mediation sessions with actual disputants referred by the Family Court. Students will assist disputants to explore and develop their own options to resolve disputes rather than resort to litigation. Duties include explaining the goals and rules of mediation, interviewing the clients in the context of the mediation sessions and drafting the memorandum of agreement for the disputants at the conclusion of the mediation session as may be needed. The focus of the clinical course will be to introduce students to an alternative method of resolving disputes as applied in the domestic relations context.

Time Requirements

Classroom Component

Intensive mediation skills training will take place on Wednesdays from 9 am-4 pm for the first three weeks of the semester. Thereafter, the students will participate in a debriefing session and are required to answer and turn in Mediator Reflection Questions after each mediation is completed. In addition to presentations designed to introduce students to a wide range of issues confronting the mediator, debriefing and feedback on the use of mediation skills in the actual sessions will be discussed.

Clinic Component:

Beginning the fourth week, after completion of the skills training, and continuing throughout the semester, interns will conduct actual mediation sessions with family court clients. There will also be opportunities to observe court proceedings such as judicial hearings and Master’s hearings. The mediation sessions are scheduled on Wednesdays.