Clinical Law Center
Howard University’s Clinical Law Center provides outstanding education and training that teaches students the skills and substantive law necessary for the effective practice of law. Students learn through experience, reflection and classroom interaction. Committed to social justice, Howard’s Clinical Law Center provides leadership and service to the local, national and global community.
The Law School’s clinical courses are offered through the Clinical Law Center (CLC). The primary goal of the CLC is to provide a high quality course of training that teaches students the skills necessary for the effective practice of law. The model is one of learning through experience, while providing assistance to the poor and the under-represented of the greater metropolitan District of Columbia area.
The Clinical Law Center offers six (6) in-house, live-client clinical experiences:
- Criminal Justice Clinic (CJC)
- Fair Housing Clinic (FHC)
- Civil Rights Clinic (CRC)
- Investor Justice and Education Clinic (IJEC)
- Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic (IPTC)
- Child Welfare/Family Justice Clinic (CWC)
The Clinical Law Center offers a variety of Externship opportunities:
- General Externship
- Advanced Externship
- IRS Externship
- SEC Externship
- ADR World Bank Externship
- ADR EEOC Externship
Faculty and Staff
|Criminal Justice Clinic|
Visiting Professor and Supervising Attorney
Fareed Nassor Hayat
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney
Tamar M. Meekins
[on leave – AY 2015-16]
Associate Professor and Supervising Attorney
[on sabbatical – AY 2015-16]
Professor and Supervising Attorney
|Civil Rights Clinic|
Aderson B. Francois
Professor and Supervising Attorney
|Fair Housing Clinic|
Valerie J. Schneider
Associate Professor and Supervising Attorney, Interim Director Clinical Law Center
|Investor Justice and Education Clinic|
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney
|Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic|
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney, Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic
|Child Welfare Clinic|
Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney
Alice Gresham Bullock
Professor and IRS Externship Coordinator
Adjunct Professor and Public Interest Manager
Associate Professor and SEC Externship Coordinator
Adjunct Professor, SEC Externship
Professor, IRS Externship
|Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Externship Programs|
Homer C. La Rue
Professor and Supervising Attorney, ADR World Bank Externship
Adjunct Professor, ADR/EEOC Externship
The Clinical Law Center is located on the first and ground floors of Notre Dame Hall. The main reception office is on the Ground Floor in Room G-18, and is open to clients and visitors during regular business hours. The student work area is located in a suite of rooms also on the ground floor of Notre Dame Hall. It is equipped with client interview rooms, a library and twenty (20) computer work stations that are available to clinical students during all hours in which students have access to the Law School facility. To maintain the confidentiality of client information and lawyer work-product, the student work area is kept locked with access limited to clinical students and authorized persons only.
Student Attorneys are crucial to the maintenance of the security of the area and are advised that they may not invite persons into the area who are not enrolled in one of the clinical courses at the law school or who are not there on client-related business.
Additional client meeting space, a small conference room, a quiet work area and the Clinic’s Resource Centers are located on the first floor of Notre Dame. The Clinic’s two Resource Centers, the Public Interest Resource Center (Notre Dame 101) and the Fair Housing and Civil Rights Resource Center (Notre Dame 106-107), are both available for student research, as study areas and also include resources for our alumni and the community.
To be eligible for enrollment in any CLC clinical course, interested students must complete an Application for Enrollment (which is available in the CLC Reception office, Notre Dame Room G-18), interview and be accepted by the Supervising Attorney of the particular program for which the student has applied. Any student who applies to multiple programs must be interviewed by the Supervising Attorney for each program. However, students may enroll in only one (1) in-house clinical program or Externship and may not enroll in the General Externship multiple times (including the Summer Externship course when offered, unless permission is granted by the Clinical Director). Students must turn in their applications to the CLC Reception office prior to the interview with one of the Supervising Attorneys. The Application requires that a resume be attached and that the student complete a brief personal statement of interest.
Students who are accepted into any of the clinical programs will be notified by e-mail and/or posting prior to the start of the registration period for the upcoming semester. When a student has been officially accepted into any of the Clinical programs or externships, the student’s name will be submitted to Law School’s Records Office for registration.
Participation in each clinical program requires that students attend and participate in a mandatory orientation program prior to, or during, the first week of classes, which will be scheduled by the Clinical Director and/or Assistant Director. Students should take into account the orientation requirement and schedule their summer break activities accordingly.
Any student who is unable to attend, or fails to attend the orientation program, may be dropped from the clinical course, and a student from the waitlist will be allowed to register in his or her place.
Students accepted into and who enroll in the Criminal Justice, Fair Housing, Civil Rights, Investor Justice & Education, ADR, Child Welfare or the IP and Trademark Clinic may be required to obtain student bar licenses or certifications issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals or other government agencies. Students must follow all instructions provided by the Clinical Law Center to obtain these licenses or certifications.
Students accepted into and who enroll in the IP/Trademark Clinic will be required to apply separately to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for their temporary practice number. Students must complete their USPTO applications in dark ink and submit the originals to the Supervising Attorney for that program.
Additionally, the IRS and SEC Externships require that students apply to these specific government agencies directly. You should speak with the professors supervising these programs for further instructions if you wish to apply.
Criminal Justice Clinic
Fareed Nassor Hayat Adjunct Professor - Kelli Neptune, Visiting Assistant Professor
The Criminal Justice Clinic (CJC) is a one-year clinical course for which a student receives twelve (12) credits. Because the course is year-long, a student receives no credit if he/she does not complete the second semester of the course.
The CJC course includes actual client representation and a classroom seminar. The classroom portion of the clinic includes two (2) seminar sessions per week, each of which is an hour and fifty minutes in duration.
The classroom component includes review of Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure and Evidence, as well as case rounds, analysis of ethical, strategic and client representation issues, and litigation skill development. The legal work includes the representation of indigent adult persons charged with criminal misdemeanors in the District of Columbia Superior Court.
Students are responsible for all aspects of the representation of the client, under the direct supervision of the supervising attorneys, including preparation for presentation of the case at all stages of the proceeding. Such preparation includes, client and witness interviews, interaction with the Office of the United States Attorney and the Metropolitan Police Department, legal research, and the drafting and filing of litigation pleadings. Students also appear in court at pretrial hearings, trials, sentencing proceedings, and parole revocation hearings.
Eligibility and Prerequisites:
- Successful completion of four (4) semesters of law school study;
- Successful completion of a course in Evidence, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Procedure (either Criminal Procedure I or Criminal Procedure II) prior to the semester in which the student will be enrolled in the CJC (concurrent enrollment in the CJC and the above-mentioned courses is not permitted);
- Eligibility for admission to engage in the limited practice of law in the District of Columbia pursuant to Rule 48 of the Rules of the D.C. Court of Appeals;
- Timely completion of an application for enrollment in the CJC.
- Approval for enrollment by the faculty of the CJC.
- Attendance at a mandatory pre-semester orientation program.
Enrollment in the CJC is limited to sixteen (16) students per year. A student must apply for the CJC before during the Law School’s registration period in the spring.
Civil Rights Clinic (CRC)
Aderson B. Francois, Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney
The Civil Rights Clinic litigates on behalf of indigent clients in civil rights and social justice cases. Students in the clinic represent pro se plaintiffs in federal and state appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the United Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Cases include a range of civil rights matters such as employment and housing discrimination, police brutality, denial of full voting rights, unconstitutional prison conditions, and procedural barriers that preclude indigent litigants from effective access to the courts. Students work with faculty in classroom-seminar and clinical-practice settings to review the trial court record, prepare the appendix for appeal, consult with the client, research and write the appellate briefs, and prepare and conduct oral argument when such argument is granted by the court.
The pedagogical goal of the Clinic is for students and faculty to critically examine the analytical and linguistic challenges of effective courtroom advocacy, the legal and strategic considerations of the appellate process, the ethical and professional obligations of client representation, and the social and political implications of civil rights advocacy.
The CRC is a four-credit (4), one-semester clinic and will be open to a maximum of 10 students, depending on the cases that the Clinic accepts.
Eligibility and Prerequisites
- Successful completion of (4) semesters of law school study;
- Successful completion of a course in Civil Procedure, and Constitutional Law prior to the semester in which the student will be enrolled in the CRC. (Students are also strongly encourage to complete a course in Federal Courts and Civil Rights);
- Submission of a legal writing sample;
- Eligibility for admission to engage in limited practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit pursuant to Local Rule 46A, before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit pursuant to Local Rule 46g, and in the District of Columbia pursuant Rule 48 of the Rules of the D.C. Court of Appeals;
- Timely completion of an application for enrollment in the CRC; and
- Interview and approval for enrollment by the faculty of the CRC.
ADR/EEOC (ADR) Clinics
Alternative Dispute Resolution - ADR Experiential Learning Program (ADRELP)
Homer C. La Rue, Professor and Supervising Attorney
The ADRELP is a collaboration between the Law School and various units of the Internal Justice System (“IJS”) of the World Bank Group (the “WBG”). The World Bank Group is an international development institution that extends financial and technical assistance to developing nations to combat poverty and promote economic growth. The WBG employs more than 9,000 individuals in over 100 offices worldwide. A significant number of the staff (approximately two-thirds) works in the WBG’s headquarters in Washington, DC. The Bank’s IJS conflict resolution system provides both informal and formal means of addressing staff complaints. The work of the students in the ADRELP will be in one or more of the units of the IJS.
The participating units of the IJS of the WBG in which students may be placed include but are not limited to: (1) Mediation; (2) Office of Integrity; (3) Office of Business Ethics; (4) IJS Coordinator; (5) HR Case Management; (6) The Administrative Legal Unit; and (7) Peer Review. During the course of the year-long program, a student may rotate from one unit to another.
The ADRELP is also a unique collaboration between the Law School ADR Clinic and the General Externship Program, to provide Howard Law students with a capstone ADR experience. In the IJS of the WBG, law students will be afforded an experiential opportunity to learn how alternative dispute resolution mechanisms function in an international organization.
The ADRELP is an eight (8) credit, year-long clinical course offering. The course is open to a maximum of ten (10) students each year. Students wishing to enroll in the ADRELP must take the ADR survey course as a prerequisite to enrolling in the ADRELP. Although courses in employment law and international relations and law are not prerequisites, consideration will be given to those students who have a demonstrable interest in employment law and international relations.
Students must be available to work between 12-16 hours per week at the site of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, and must be available to do so in both the Fall and the Spring semester. Preference for enrollment will be given to rising 3Ls, who have taken the ADR Survey course, and who have a demonstrable interest in employment law and international relations. Enrollment in the ADRELP will be based on an application and an interview. There will be a seminar classroom component which meets once per week for seventy-five (75) minutes. This classroom component may be taught by a combination of full-time faculty at the Law School and adjunct faculty. Students will receive a total of eight (8) credit hours for the course, four (4) credits per semester, with the understanding that a student must complete both semesters of the course in order to receive any credit for the program overall.
Fair Housing Clinic
Valerie J. Schneider - Associate Professor and Supervising Attorney, Interim Director Clinical Law
In the Fair Housing Clinic, students work directly with clients on housing discrimination and landlord-tenant matters as advocates, researchers and advisers, and engage in innovative and targeted community education and outreach projects. In addition to working directly with clients, students may be trained as “Fair Housing Testers,” allowing them to identify and investigate discriminatory housing practices, which may ultimately form the basis for a Fair Housing lawsuit.
The Fair Housing Clinic has two sections to accommodate students who wish to take a second semester of the clinic. Each section is offered as a four-credit, semester long clinical course. In the classroom component, students will study various aspects of the provision of public and private housing in the United States, including the laws prohibiting discrimination, based on race, gender, disability, family size, etc. Particular emphasis will be placed on the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and amendments of 1988, as well D.C. laws and regulations related to tenancies and housing conditions.
Students in the Fair Housing Clinic may be required to obtain student bar licenses issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Advanced Fair Housing Clinic students also receive 4 credits for the semester long clinical course and will take on leadership roles in casework and in the design and implementation of outreach and education programs. The clinic is open to second and third year students.
Investor Justice & Education Clinic (IJEC)
Bruce Sanders, Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney
The Investor Justice and Education Clinic (“IJEC”) officially opened in Fall 2010, following the award of a generous grant by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. Second and third year law students are allowed to apply for enrollment in the IJEC. IJEC is operated as one semester course, for four (4) credit hours. Students who successfully complete the basic IJEC course have the opportunity to enroll in the IJEC for an additional semester as an advanced student. The IJEC is generally open to a maximum of 10 students per semester. In order to enroll in the IJEC, students must submit an application, be interviewed by the Supervising Attorney, and be accepted into the IJEC by the Supervising Attorney or CLC Director. In order to qualify for the IJEC, students must successfully complete a pre-requisite course, or take a co-requisite course, in Securities Regulation, Broker-Dealer Regulation, Introduction to Investment Law and Practice, or Corporations. We also recommend that students take courses in evidence, trial advocacy, accounting for lawyers, and alternative dispute resolution.
IJEC combines classroom instruction with work on actual investor cases. Students attend two hours of classroom instruction per week to provide them with the requisite understanding of the financial markets, investor protection laws and regulations, and securities arbitration and mediation to successfully handle and resolve investor claims. The instruction includes topics such as the regulation of securities by the Securities Acts of 1933 and Securities Exchange Act of 1934; the regulation of securities broker-dealers by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA-DR”) and the Securities and Exchange Commission; how to analyze investor documents, including securities account statements and customer agreements, and recognize securities trading violations; the FINRA-DR arbitration and mediation procedures available to resolve investor–broker disputes; securities portfolio theory and risk avoidance analysis and strategies; how capital markets and financial instruments work and interact; the purchase of complex financial instruments in the securities markets; and statutory and rule interpretation. Class instruction also involves case presentations, mock arbitration case practice, analysis of ethical, strategic and client representation issues, as well as litigation planning and skill development.
Students work on actual investor cases accepted by the Supervising Attorney, and do the following: interview investors by telephone and in person; conduct factual investigations; analyze investor and broker documentation; investigate and research legal issues; draft memoranda; determine if investors claims are eligible for FINRA-DR arbitration; determine theories of damages regarding investor monetary losses; draft FINRA-DR arbitration pleadings, including Statements of Claim, Requests for Documents and Information, Motions, Briefs, Subpoenas and Orders for production of documents and witness appearances at Hearings; conduct pre-Hearing conferences with Arbitrators and opposing counsel; and conduct settlement negotiations with opposing counsel.
Additionally, students design, implement, and participate in at least one investor education and outreach program for the underserved investing community each semester. These programs are designed to provide investment education to the community by, among other things, conducting investment workshops and seminars to teach investors their rights and help them protect themselves from harmful investment schemes. These programs also inform the community of the free legal services offered by the IJEC. These programs also help the IJEC develop and leverage contacts and relationships with many community groups, faith-based organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, senior living organizations, fraternities, sororities, and other organizations. The IJEC conducts these programs at sites in the community, as well as at the Law School.
Intellectual Property and Trademark Clinic (IPTC)
Mariessa Terrell, Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney
Howard University School of Law participates in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Law School Clinic Certification Program (Trademarks). As a result, this 4-credit semester-long course was created, for which a maximum of ten (10) students will be selected.
The IP & Trademark Clinic course includes a classroom seminar and actual client representation. The one time per week, two-hour classroom seminar includes a review of trademark law & federal registration procedures. The practice includes the representation of individuals and small businesses in their efforts to secure federal trademark registrations with the USPTO.
Student-attorneys are responsible for all aspects of representing clients, under the direct supervision of the IPTC faculty. The practice includes, but is not limited to: adhering to the USPTO’s ethics rules; client interviewing and counseling (e.g., gathering information; reviewing & reporting-out Office Actions & Notices); trademark selection and clearance (e.g., conducting searches; ordering & reviewing search reports; rendering availability opinions) and all aspects of preparing, filing & prosecuting trademark applications before the USPTO (e.g., reviewing Office Actions and drafting responses thereto, and legal research).
- Pre-requisite or Co-requisites: Trademark Law.
- Successful completion of the Trademark Law course.
- Timely completion of an application for enrollment in the IP & Trademark Clinic.
- Interview and approval for enrollment by the Supervising Attorney of the IP & Trademark Clinic; and
- Timely completion of a separate USPTO application for temporary admission to practice before the USPTO in trademark matters.
Child Welfare/Family Justice Clinic (CWC)
Rahkel Bouchet, Esq., Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney
Howard Law’s Child Welfare/Family Justice Clinic is the result of a contract awarded by the D.C. Superior Court’s Counsel for Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) Office. This Clinic will be offered for credit to third year law students who are eligible for admittance under the Student Practice Rule of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. The Clinic is an eight (8) credit, year-long course. The Clinic will serve up to 12 students per year. In order to enroll in the Clinic, students will have to apply, be interviewed and accepted by the Supervising Attorney or the CLC Director. Eligible students must have taken a course in Criminal Procedure and Evidence, and to have undertaken prerequisite or co-requisite courses such as Family Law, Family Law Practice, Children and the Law, Domestic, or Adoption Law. Preference for admittance will be given to those students currently participating in our previously established Family Law Certificate Program.
The Child Welfare/Family Justice Clinic will combine classroom instruction with work on actual cases. Students will attend three hours of classroom instruction per week, to include the necessary law, legal, ethical and advocacy training and skills required to successfully represent adults involved in child abuse and neglect cases, including Client Interviewing Skills, Trial Advocacy Skills, Family Division Practices and Procedures, DC Rules of Professional Conduct, DC Code Title 16 and Child Abuse & Neglect Attorney Practice Standards. Classes will also include case rounds, analysis of ethical, strategic and client representation issues, litigation planning and litigation skill development. Students will work on cases appointed to the Clinic by the Family Court Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court and accepted by the Supervising Attorney. They will work on actual case matters with assignments to include interviewing clients by telephone and in person, case analysis and adherence to Child Abuse and Neglect Practice Standards. Their case work will include factual investigation and research of various issues and claims, court appearances, team meetings with other service providers, and community outreach projects, as well as research and preparation of pleadings, motions, memoranda and oral arguments on relevant pending cases. Students will staff the intake system (which is an integral component of the clinical program at Howard Law) by devoting in-office hours each week to the Clinic and which include interviewing and triage of requests for representation which come from write-ins, walk-ins, e-mails via our clinical program’s website www.law.howard.edu, and referrals from outside organizations.
This course is designed to introduce students to a broad array of advocacy and advisory skills and substantive law to enable them to provide direct legal representation to parents who have or are alleged to have neglected or abused their children in a way that has resulted in state intervention.
General Externship Program
Nita Mazumder, Adjunct Professor and Public Interest Manager
The objective of the Externship Program is to teach students, through practical experiences, about the operation of the legal system and the role of lawyers in that system. Students enrolled in externships work for one semester at a designated field placement at a public (i.e. nonprofit or government) institution or agency in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area.
During the semester, students must commit to working twelve (12) hours per week for thirteen (13) weeks, and must attend a two hour weekly class. The class will explore different factions within the public sector and engage students in a consistent reflection of what it means to be a public interest lawyer. A variety of topics will be presented including, but not limited to, the development of lawyering skills, problems arising at the placement site, ethical issues, discussion of other issues relating to placements, and career opportunities for public interest lawyers.
No enrollment will be permitted, or credit given, for a paid externship. Evaluation will be based on the student’s performance at the placement site (by the law school supervisor and the field supervisor), participation in classroom sessions, student journals, in-class presentations, and a final paper. A grade of “pass or fail” will be awarded.
The Externship is a four (4) credit, one-semester program. A student enrolled in the Externship Program shall not be permitted to enroll in a “live-client” clinical course offering during the same semester in which the student is enrolled in the Externship Program.
Students are encouraged to identify potential employer placements before applying for the externship program; however, students need not have secured a placement prior to applying. Students are encouraged to discuss placement options with the Adjunct Professor as well as research placements on their own using resources such Symplicity.com and
To be eligible for the General Externship, students must demonstrate: 1. Successful completion of two (2) semesters of law school study; 2. Successful completion of a course in Legal Reasoning, Research & Writing; 3. Selection of a placement which has been approved by the Adjunct Professor or Clinical Director; 4. Written agreement from the Attorney Field Supervisor at the identified placement indicating that the placement will adhere to the responsibilities imposed by the Law School; and 5. Receive approval for enrollment by the Adjunct Professor or the Clinical Director.
(Not offered in the Fall)
The Advanced General Externship Program (2 credits) is an option for students who have already successfully completed the General Externship Program (either during the academic year or summer) and are interested in pursuing a second externship placement continuing with their original placement.
Students must commit to working twelve (12) hours per week for thirteen (13) weeks, but are not required to attend a weekly seminar. Instead, students who are approved for the Advanced Externship will have regular individual meetings with their externship professor to ensure quality of work at placement sites. Students will have to submit weekly one-page journal entries, weekly time sheets to their professor and may have to submit a final paper on an approved topic. A grade of “pass or fail” will be awarded.
Cheryl C. Nichols, Associate Professor and SEC Externship Coordinator
The SEC Externship provides an exceptional opportunity to learn about aspects of securities law and practice otherwise unavailable at HUSL. The SEC Externship is regularly taught by Professor Cheryl Nichols, or Adjunct Professor Bruce Sanders, who are both experts in securities regulation and related areas. Students who are accepted into the program are placed in the SEC’s Law Student Observer Program which provides exposure to the workings of the Commission and to the regulation of securities and securities markets. Externs are assigned to one of the Commission’s Divisions or Offices at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Externs will have the opportunity to work on projects such as investigations of industry and issuer practices, administrative and civil enforcement actions, drafting of proposed statutes and rules, and analyzing international securities regulations and rules. In addition to the field work component, HUSL externs are required to attend educational seminars taught by senior Commission staff and prominent members of the private securities bar on a weekly basis. HUSL Externs are also exposed to excellence in governmental and public interest lawyering, which facilitates development of insights into the skills required for lawyering unobtainable in a conventional classroom. Students are required to attend and participate in a weekly 75-minute seminar taught by the professor. The seminar focuses on a variety of issues and topics including, but not limited to, an overview of the mission and operations of the SEC, ethics in securities law practice, development of lawyering skills, problems arising at the placement site, discussion of other issues relating to placements and career opportunities for securities lawyers.
The SEC Externship is a four (4)-credit course graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Externs are required to work 15-20 hours per week for at least 13 weeks. Students may not be paid for any portion of the field placement for which they are receiving credit. Evaluation will be based on the student’s performance at the placement site (by the law school supervisor and the field supervisor), participation in classroom sessions, periodic reviews of the student’s journal, and other assignments by the professor. Students may have additional application requirements, such as submitting application materials directly to the SEC, and must follow up with the professor regarding all application requirements.
Alice Thomas, Associate Professor and IRS Externship Co-Coordinator
Alice Gresham Bullock, Professor and IRS Externship Coordinator
The IRS Externship places students in the Internal Revenue Service Field office in Washington, DC. In the class component students are introduced to the practices, policies and procedures of the IRS, as well as the substantive tax laws that govern the work of the Service. Externs secure a field placement with the IRS’ General Counsel’s Office and are assigned to work on a variety of projects.
The IRS Externship is a four (4)-credit course graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Students are required to work 15-20 hours per week for at least 13 weeks (or other requirement set by the Externship coordinators and supervising attorney). Evaluation will be based on the student’s performance at the placement site (by the law school supervisor and the field supervisor), participation in classroom component, periodic reviews of the student’s journal, written work and/or other assignments by the externship coordinators. Students may have additional application requirements, such as submitting application materials directly to the IRS, and must follow up with the externship coordinators regarding all application requirements.
Environmental Justice Clinical Externship
Benjamin Longstreth, Environmental Justice Clinical Externship Coordinator
In this clinical offering, Howard Law professors in conjunction with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), attorneys, public interest and environmental professionals, as well as government officials, will expose students to different aspects and perspectives in environmental law. Students will use experiential learning techniques to reflect upon the work of the environmental lawyer, public interest lawyers in general and litigation in non-profit agencies.
The EJCE will accept up to a maximum of eight (8) students per semester. Students will receive four (4) credits for successful completion of the course, which will be graded on a pass/fail basis. While there are no prerequisites for the course, recommended companion courses are Administrative Law, Introduction to Environmental Law, Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice. Students must submit applications to the CLC during the regularly scheduled application period and will be interviewed by the Externship Coordinators or Professor Patrice Simms (Associate Professor of Law). While third year students are preferred, second year students with a particular interest in the field will be considered.
Students in the Environmental Justice Clinic will meet for a two hour classroom session each week. These sessions will be devoted to the discussion of environmental law and policy and many will include a substantive presentation by an NRDC attorney or a distinguished visiting speaker. Students will be engaged in discussions on current issues in environmental law, environmental policy, and/or environmental lawyering skills, advocacy, legislative strategy, or administrative environmental regulation. One session per semester or extended class periods will be dedicated to a moot court exercise relating to a pending environmental case or timely issue. Each student will be expected to give a brief presentation to the class during the second half of the semester on an important environmental law or justice issue.
The Environmental Justice Clinic emphasizes environmental policy and litigation with a public interest perspective. Participants will work under the supervision of attorneys at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C. Approximately 10 to 15 hours of work per week is required. Students will be exposed to a variety of environmental issues including: protection of Washington, DC’s drinking water, Anacostia River, energy efficiency, global warming, public health, clean air, and water pollution.
John Woods, Adjunct Professor and Supervising Attorney
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Clinic is an eight (8) credit, one year externship offering. The course is open to a maximum of ten (10) students. Students wishing to enroll in the ADR Clinic must take the ADR survey course as a prerequisite or a co-requisite to enrolling in the ADR Externship.
The ADR Externship has a classroom component as well as a practical dispute and case management component. The classroom component includes a weekly seminar where students study the choices available to lawyers concerning the resolution of disputes. Through the use of simulated exercises, the classroom component will give students an opportunity to learn how to represent clients in dispute resolution processes other than litigation. Finally, students will also learn the skills necessary to function as an effective third-party in various disputes. Dispute resolution processes that will be examined during this course include, but are not limited to, mediation, arbitration, negotiation, conciliation, and collaborative law.
The practical component provides students with the opportunity to address actual disputes and cases with the assistance of lawyers and professional ADR practitioners. Disputes and cases to be addressed by students will come from several sources. Students will be placed with and provide intake and ADR services (i.e., mediation and conciliation) the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for partner agencies and organizations.
The objective of this course, in part, is to provide participating students with (1) ADR skills development; (2) training to become problem solvers; (3) in depth analysis of ADR systems and processes; and (4) hands-on practical experience that bridges theory and practice.
revised: October 15, 2015