Access to Justice Clinic

In the Access to Justice Clinic, students work with legal aid organizations, courts, and other organizations that are exploring ways of expanding legal help to people who are currently unrepresented. Projects reflect the priorities of collaborating organizations, but may include efforts to expand the availability of counsel; changes in rules and procedures; innovative uses of technology; the development of court-based “help centers;” and more. The focus will be on identifying barriers to access to justice and advocating for systemic solutions rather than on individual representation. Students gain skills and experience in collaborating with lawyers concerned with access-to-justice problems; in understanding how administrative agencies and courts operate, and how people of limited means experience our judicial system; in identifying barriers to justice and developing strategies for change; and in written and oral advocacy. The Clinic is a 4-credit graded course and is taught by Prof. Len Rieser.

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Systemic Justice Clinic

In the Systemic Justice Clinic, students will work with community groups and public interest legal organizations on one of the most pressing concerns in civil rights today – that almost any interaction with the mechanisms of the criminal legal system can result in a lifelong deprivation of a person’s rights, and that these interactions and resultant deprivations fall disproportionately upon racial minorities and the poor. Projects will include policy campaigns and legislative advocacy around collateral consequences such as barriers to employment, education, housing, and public benefits; civil disabilities; and fines and fees associated with private contractors. Students may also have the opportunity to work on criminal justice reform, policing, and inmates’ rights issues, and to engage in community education projects. The Systemic Justice Clinic is a 2-credit graded seminar plus a 4 credit pass/fail clinic, and is taught by Prof. Shanda Sibley.

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Community Lawyering Clinic

Focus On: Community Lawyering

In the Community Lawyering Clinic and related Advanced Clinical Intensive, students are placed in the primary lawyer role for individuals in litigation and transactional matters.  Our present client base includes people with severe illnesses, like cancer and HIV, and people with severe disabilities.  Our most common representation is in administrative hearings in public benefits cases and with simple estate planning, like wills and living wills.  Students work with clients both in the Temple Legal Aid Office and at community medical and social service centers throughout the city.  In the fall semester, the class is paired with a serial writing class, Poverty Law (Law 1041), which allows students to learn about poverty law issues from a theoretical context while practicing poverty law in the clinic.  Registration for Poverty Law is handled separately. The Community Lawyering Clinic is a 3-credit clinic taught by Prof. Spencer Rand.

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Elderly Law Project Clinic

Focus On: The Elderly Law Project

The Elderly Law Project Clinic provides legal assistance and direct representation to Philadelphia residents who are 60 years and older.  We focus upon public benefits, both income maintenance and health care entitlements helping the most vulnerable seniors in our community.  We handle other civil areas of law like consumer matters, landlord/tenant problems, and estate planning just to name a few.  In addition, we write Wills and Health Care directives for free.  The goal of this in-house clinical is to assist seniors in as many areas as we can and to also get to know the aging network of providers so we can make appropriate referrals if we cannot assist directly. The Elderly Law Project Clinic is a 3-credit clinic taught by Prof. Debra Kroll.

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Family Law Litigation Clinic

Focus On: Family Law Litigation

The Family Law Litigation Clinic provides direct legal representation to low-income litigants in child custody, child and spousal support, adoption and other family law matters. Under the supervision of the Clinical Professor, clinic students handle all aspects of clients’ cases, including intake interviews, case selection, development of case plans, drafting of pleadings, counseling of clients, negotiation with opposing counsel or parties, development of trial strategy, trial preparation and court appearances. The Family Law Litigation Clinic is ideal for students who are interested in gaining more direct individual client experience and in-court trial advocacy experience. The Family Law Litigation Clinic is a 4-credit clinic, consisting of a 2-credit pass/fail clinic and a 2-credit graded seminar, and is taught by Prof. Sarah Katz.

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Social Justice Lawyering Clinic

Focus On: Social Justice Lawyering

 

In the Social Justice Lawyering Clinic, students engage in the multifaceted practice of social justice advocacy to benefit underserved communities in and around Philadelphia. Students provide legal support to individuals, community-based organizations, and legal advocacy organizations by:

  • Providing direct representation to clients
  • Engaging in community education
  • Authoring policy briefs and white papers
  • Participating in legislative advocacy
  • Collaborating with community members, organizers, and legal advocates

The Social Justice Lawyering Clinic is focused on promoting low-wage worker rights and advancing opportunities for immigrant communities. The Clinic is a 2-credit graded seminar plus a 4-credit pass/fail clinic, and is taught by Prof. Jennifer Lee.

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Additional Resources

In-House Clinics At-A-Glance (PDF)