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  The School of Law - Newark 2004-2006 Course Listing Clinics  

Child Advocacy Clinic (6) Students in the Child Advocacy Clinic (CAC) work on a variety of cases and projects concerning children and low-income families. In some cases, students act as law guardians (attorneys) for children who have been brought before the family court because of child abuse and/or child neglect concerns. Many of these children have been removed from the care of their parents, at least temporarily, and are residing in foster care or with relatives. In these cases, students are responsible for ensuring that the legal interests and needs of these children are being met. As part of this representation, students appear in court hearings in the Essex County Superior Court, Family Division. On other cases, students represent family members in fair hearings (like mini-trials) before administrative law judges (of the Office of Administrative Law and the Office of Hearings and Appeals) where individuals have been wrongly denied needed public benefits or incorrectly terminated from benefit programs. In these hearings, students do everything from interviewing clients to writing briefs to representing clients at hearings. Community education and outreach also are an important part of the work of the CAC. Accordingly, in addition to individual casework, students are responsible for at least one community education project each term. Past projects have included conducting educational workshops, planning and presenting at conferences, preparing written educational materials, and staffing information tables at various community gatherings. What is unique about the CAC is its holistic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary approach to addressing the needs of children and families. In all its work, the CAC collaborates closely with all of the other clinics at the School of Law-Newark and with professionals in other disciplines in addressing the multiple issues, legal and non-legal, that the children and their families may face. If issues arise that some of the other clinics at Rutgers are better equipped to handle, we will work closely with those other clinics. In addition to fundamental lawyering skills, substantive law, and professional responsibility, the CAC's curriculum teaches law students the importance of evaluating cases in a comprehensive manner and how to work effectively with persons from other disciplines.
Community Law Clinic (8) Focuses on assistance to poor clients and poor communities other than through traditional litigation. Tasks can include providing legal information and legal counseling for individuals and groups, and representation of individuals and groups in transactional work, such as not-for-profit incorporation, microenterprises, real estate improvement and development, and other matters important for improving conditions in poor communities. Students are expected to spend substantial time meeting and working with clients and prospective clients in the field.
Constitutional Litigation Clinic (6) The Constitutional Litigation Clinic, since its founding in 1970, has worked on cutting-edge constitutional reform. Through the clinic, students not only learn the law, they make the law. Clinic students have litigated a remarkable array of landmark civil rights and international human rights cases. The clinic`s extensive docket has included the nation's first suits against police surveillance of political activists; a successful challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court of Congress's authority to refuse to seat a duly elected member; a successful defense of the right of nonprofit advocates to distribute leaflets to voters door-to-door and in shopping malls; lawsuits to implement affirmative action programs and to enforce affordable housing laws; protection of immigrants' rights; protection of the rights of alternative political parties; a successful challenge to municipal ordinances barring use of public parks by nonresidents; and suits against the state police for unreasonable searches of motorists on New Jersey highways. In the past few years, the clinic has expanded its docket by litigating international human rights issues both in the United States and in international tribunals. Clinic suits have developed new laws to protect political asylum seekers, including the first decision from a federal court that U.S. officials can be sued for violations of international human rights. Students are actively involved in all aspects of the clinic's work including deciding which cases to take, interviewing clients, developing the facts, crafting legal theories, drafting legal briefs, and preparing for oral arguments.
Environmental Law Clinic (6) The Environmental Law Clinic is the sole public interest environmental law firm in New Jersey, advocating on behalf of national, state, and local environmental organizations. The clinic`s docket is a combination of litigation, administrative, legislative, and policy matters. Clinic students experience advocacy in numerous venues, including: arguing cases before trial and appellate federal and state courts; presenting testimony and oral argument before planning and zoning boards; meeting with high-level officials in state government on policy and legislative initiatives; visiting local communities to advise clients on legal strategies for addressing environmental violations; and drafting briefs for filing with the New Jersey Supreme Court and other state and federal courts. In addition, students participate in all facets of litigation, including drafting complaints, factual investigations, depositions, document production, witness preparation, legal research, and negotiations. For second-year students who are not authorized to appear in court in New Jersey, the clinic offers opportunities to present arguments and question witnesses in noncourtroom forums. The clinic classroom component also provides opportunities to present simulations of appellate advocacy, negotiations, and client counseling.
Federal Tax Law Clinic (6) The Federal Tax Law Clinic represents low-income individuals in disputes with the IRS. Students represent clients at audits, negotiate with IRS appeals, and actually litigate cases in the U.S. Tax Court. Principal educational goals include developing familiarity with tax rules and procedures and ethical considerations in tax practice. Students develop skills in interviewing, counseling, and negotiation through simulation exercises and then use these skills in their cases. Students argue a mock motion and participate in a mock tax court trial. Prerequisite: Federal Income Tax.
Special Education Clinic (8) The Special Education Clinic represents indigent parents of children with disabilities, typically in the urban areas of Essex County, seeking special education programs and services. Representation entails everything from interviewing clients; reviewing school and expert records; researching and drafting legal documents; appearing at meetings with school personnel; mediation, emergency, and due process administrative hearings; and handling federal court proceedings either on the merits or for attorneys` fees. The seminar component of the clinic includes substantive law, trial practice, and guest lecturers from both the educational and legal fields. The seminar ends with a mock mediation and then a mock administrative hearing before a real administrative law judge. The clinic is open to both second- and third-year students, because all students are eligible to appear in mediation and due process hearings under the applicable rules. Preference, however, is given to third-year students and students with prior experience in special education or fluency in Spanish.
Urban Legal Clinic (8) Represents individuals and groups in a variety of cases arising from, or exacerbated by, urban poverty. These include landlord-tenant, matrimonial, consumer protection, social security disability, criminal (nonindictable offenses), and juvenile delinquency matters. Students regularly appear at hearings or in court on behalf of clinic clients. Principal educational goals include developing skills in interviewing, counseling, fact investigation, and all phases of trial practice. Prerequisite: Evidence.
Women's Rights Litigation Clinic (4) Offers students the opportunity to work on a variety of projects related to discrimination and other harms based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. With an emphasis on sharpening strategic thinking, litigation skills, and lawyerly judgment, students work in a range of substantive areas, including harassment in schools, employment and housing discrimination, and family law. Under the supervision of a faculty member, clinic students may work on litigation, administrative proceedings, legislative analysis, and/or development of educational materials. As part of this clinic, students may also provide information and assistance to survivors of domestic violence through the Rutgers Domestic Violence Advocacy Project. A weekly seminar and regular project supervision meetings address theoretical problems in the developing law related to the rights of women, lesbians and gay men, and transgendered individuals, as well as practical skills needed to seek social change through legal action in these areas.
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