Housing Litigation (formerly Litigation & Housing Law)
This yearlong clinical course is offered in partnership with the Legal Aid Justice Center, and course meetings are typically held onsite at the firm. LAJC’s clinics are designed to educate students about the range of strategies used by attorneys to identify, investigate and attack systemic injustices, encouraging holistic and community-partnered approaches to lawyering.
The caseload includes trials, administrative proceedings and interaction with low-income clients. Students handle eviction and voucher termination cases, abatement of substandard building conditions and other enforcement of residents' rights, although specific assignments vary according to the cases available during the year. The course also incorporates classroom instruction during the fall semester in the substantive and procedural aspects of landlord-tenant law and litigation skills.
Under the supervision of an attorney, students perform most lawyer functions associated with their cases, including client and witness interviews, factual development, legal research, preparation of pleadings and negotiation. Additionally, clinic students use a range of strategies used by Legal Aid Justice Center attorneys to identify, investigate and attack systemic injustices, encouraging holistic and community-partnered approaches to lawyering. Third-year students who have their Third Year Practice Certification are eligible to appear and argue in court. The necessary course work for the certification can be completed in the 2L year or finished in the fall semester of 3L. Students who do not qualify for Third Year Practice Certification, including 2Ls, may conduct negotiations, assist with factual and legal case development, sit second chair and, in most years, argue an administrative hearing.
IMPORTANT: All clinic participants must attend an “Orientation to Law Clinics at LAJC” session at the start of the semester. This session will provide clinic participants with necessary information about working with LAJC and its client community. It will be held on Monday, Aug. 29 from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: Enrolled students who do not attend the first class session and the mandatory orientation will be dropped unless granted prior approval by the instructors.
The positions that the clinic takes on behalf of its clients are independent of the views of the University of Virginia or the School of Law.