Community Solutions Clinic

Information Introduction

Section 1, Fall 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 4/8
Credits: 4
Days Time Room Start Date End Date


1130-1250 SL268

Course Description

This clinic acts as consultants and counsel to local activists and social entrepreneurs, applying community lawyering principles. This clinic is ideal for students seeking a nonlitigation, community-engaged experience in which they can learn transferable leadership skills, regardless of whether they plan to practice in the public or private sector. Student teams collaborate with activists and social entrepreneurs in the community —individuals, organizations, or coalitions — to help bring their ideas for change to fruition. Clinic projects typically support community members with some combination of the following: advising community organizations in creating a mission-appropriate legal structure, along with related legal/business advice; demystifying legal/regulatory regimes as applied to a community-based idea or problem; and helping local activists develop an action plan toward a goal, and build evidence to support their advocacy. The clinic prioritizes work that advances equity and/or supports members of marginalized communities. (Go to the enrollment request form at this link to review current/proposed projects: Prior knowledge of a subject matter area is not required to participate; students will be assigned to project teams based on both interest level and the diverse skills and experiences they bring to the table, and the clinic supports the teams with the additional resources they need to provide value to the client. Aside from developing expertise in the subject matter of their clinic projects, students learn principles and ethics of authentic community engagement and client-centered advising, cornerstones of community lawyering. They also learn techniques borrowed from business consulting, design thinking, public health, and other disciplines as they define the problem, break it down into work streams, and build the evidence for potential solutions – while developing the art of team-based project management. And student teams regularly present their work to fellow clinic students, outside experts and community members, and their clients, cultivating their communication and presentation skills outside of traditional courtroom settings. Each project culminates in a final presentation to the client, along with the supporting deliverables the team has developed. Some projects may take place in multiple stages over a series of semesters, in which case the initial project team will also identify priorities and next steps for future project teams (and students may elect to take the clinic an additional semester to continue work for a client). The clinic is available to new students in both the fall and the spring. Students participating in the fall may request to continue to the advanced clinic in the spring, depending on the availability of projects. Students should both rank the clinic in the clinic lottery and submit the enrollment form by the application deadline to help the clinic prioritize projects matching student interest and capacity.

Course Requirements

Exam Information

Final Type (if any): None

Description: None

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class. Concurrencies: None

Exclusive With: None

Laptops Allowed: Yes

First Day Attendance Required: Yes

Course Resources: Alvarez/Tremblay, Introduction to Transactional Lawyering Practice 2nd Ed.

Course Notes: There may be a "boot camp" (likely the Friday or Monday immediately prior to classes starting) to jump start the semester. Seminar time after initial training will be divided between: (1) faculty-led or guest speaker sessions on substantive topics relevant to clinic projects, and (2) student discussion/presentations to the full class with Q&A at key stages of the process. There is also a weekly standing team supervision session once a week (set based on student schedules) and teams may establish their own separate standing team work meeting. Teams will also need to schedule regular meetings with clients and stakeholder to obtain information and feedback. Students should also expect to set aside time at the end of the semester for final presentations that may be outside class time, depending on client schedules. The expectation for total average weekly commitment (including boot camp, class/supervision/meeting time and all client work) is about 13-15 hours per week. However, the first 4-5 weeks of the semester tend to be lighter on client/community engagement (and somewhat heavier on reading/internal work), and the projects gain speed and require more community and team work as they progress toward the final presentation and deliverables. NOTE REGARDING CREDITS: students in this clinic will receive a grade of Honors (H), Pass (P) or Fail (F) at the conclusion of the semester. In accordance with Academic Policy, H and P grades do not earn grading points, so they do not contribute to a student's grade point average (GPA).

Graduation Requirements

Satisfies Understanding Bias/Racism/Cross-Cultural Competency requirement: Yes

Satisfies Writing Requirement: No

Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes

Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

Additional Course Information

Schedule No.: 123819941

Modified Type: Clinical

Cross Listed: No

Concentrations: Business Organization and Finance

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, November 24, 12:01 AM

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, December 08, 11:59 PM

Information reflected on this page was last refreshed at: Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 7:17 AM *

*During open enrollment periods, live enrollment data may be found in SIS.