Fall 2013
    Law No.: LAW8618
    Sched. No.: 113820883

Mental Health Law Clinic (YR)
Section 1
X
Curry, Claire E.
Gulotta, Alex R.
Veldhuis, Nathan J.



Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):W, 1500-1700 (SL268)
Credits:3Type:Yearlong clinic
Capacity:8 **This information is current as of 04/24/2014 06:15:14 AM**
Current Enrollment:6 **This information is current as of 04/24/2014 06:15:14 AM**

Course Description:

This yearlong clinical course is offered in conjunction with the Legal Aid Justice Center. Students will earn 8 credits – 3 in the fall and 5 in the spring. Students will represent mentally ill or mentally disabled clients in negotiations, administrative hearings, and court proceedings (to the extent permitted by law) on a variety of legal matters, including conditions of institutionalization; disability benefits claims; disability discrimination claims; access to housing; and access to mental health or rehabilitative services. Students also will address systemic issues related to the provision of community-based services, the rights of the institutionalized, and the interface between the civil justice and criminal justice systems. Instruction in the substantive law of these areas will be provided in a classroom component throughout the clinic as dictated by the needs of the clients. The classroom component will provide a forum for students to learn mental health and disability law pertinent to the cases they are handling, as well as for the discussion of practice and ethical issues arising in those cases. Topics relating to the nature of psychiatric diagnosis and mental disorders, client competence and surrogate decision-making for incompetent clients and the relationship between the criminal and civil justice systems will also be addressed. Under the supervision of an attorney, students will directly perform all the lawyerly functions associated with their cases, including client and witness interviews, factual development, legal research, preparation of documents and pleadings, and negotiation and advocacy in administrative forums and courts. Students will meet weekly with the supervising attorney to receive case supervision, along with instruction concerning client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, and case preparation. The supervising attorney will accompany each student to all administrative proceedings and court appearances. In addition to representing individual clients, students will have the opportunity to engage in mental health advocacy at a systemic level, which may involve policy analysis and the development of policy proposals or proposed legislation, class action litigation, or advocacy work with community agencies. Students enrolled in the clinic are encouraged, but not required, to enroll in the Mental Health Law course.

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: Absence at first class meeting only allowed with consent of instructor.
ENROLLMENT LIMITATION: Students may enroll in one clinic per semester. On a space-available basis, students may petition to enroll in a second clinical offering after the add/drop period has ended.
PREREQUISITE: Second- or third-year status


Prerequisites:Second- or third-year status
This course is on the professional skills course list.