Litigation and Housing Law Clinic (YR)
Offered in conjunction with the Legal Aid Justice Center, this clinic teaches and develops trial skills using housing law as the substantive vehicle. Qualified students may appear and argue in local courts under the direction of a clinic supervisor. The clinic includes both a one-semester seminar to teach basic substantive housing law as well as refine trial advocacy skills. There is yearlong supervised client representation in housing-related cases.
The caseload includes trials, administrative proceedings, and interaction with low-income clients. Students handle eviction cases, rent escrow cases, abatement of substandard building conditions, and other enforcement of residents' rights. Under the supervision of an attorney, students perform all lawyer functions associated with their cases, including client and witness interviews, factual development, legal research, preparation of pleadings, and negotiation. Third year students who have completed a course in criminal law, professional ethics, evidence and procedure are eligible to appear and argue in court like a member of the bar. That course work can be completed in the 2L year or finished in the fall semester of 3L. Non-qualifying students, including 2Ls, may conduct negotiations, assist with factual and legal case development, sit second chair, and, in most years get to argue an administrative hearing. The actual work load is fairly balanced across the whole year, although the awarding of credits is tilted towards the spring semester.
NOTE: In the spring, the clinic will meet only at the Legal Aid Justice Center, 1000 Preston Avenue.
*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.
**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.