Consumer Law Clinic (YR)

Section 1, Fall 17

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 5/8
Credits: 4

Course Description

Ever wonder what those payday lending, title pawn and check cashing stores are all about? Ever wonder if they might be linked to the health of the greater economic system? When the Great Recession hit America, it uncovered a vast network of failures in the economic system – failures that consumer advocates serving low income communities warned about long before the recession took hold of the country. In conjunction with the Legal Aid Justice Center, the consumer law clinic will explore what some call “Poverty, Inc.,” an industry which targets vulnerable and low-income populations through hands on experience with clients, litigation and research. Students will learn basic information about various consumer protection statutes while practicing skills related to the entire range of client representation, such as interviewing clients, investigating complaints, conducting discovery and drafting court pleadings. Students will gather factual information and conduct legal research to analyze their client’s legal rights. Students will represent consumers in negotiations and will participate in court and administrative proceedings to the extent permitted by law. Prior clinics have included two class action lawsuits and several cases in federal court. Students may have the opportunity to work on policy issues impacting consumers. They will also learn about the role of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), a federal agency set up to help protect consumers. Finally, students will be given the chance to identify ways that the rules affecting consumers should be changed and to work on making such changes happen. Opportunities to work on impact litigation also may arise during the year. Students will engage in casework throughout the year.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Legal memoranda, correspondence, and pleadings; case management notes and time records; and other written policy materials as cases and projects dictate.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: 2L or 3L JD Status Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With:
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Notes: This clinic meets at the Legal Aid Justice Center, at 1000 Preston Avenue for clinical supervision in both fall and spring semesters. Clinic participants should also reserve Wednesday, September 6 from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., to attend a clinic orientation session at the Legal Aid Justice Center. Attendance at this session is mandatory unless you have a class conflict and are excused by your supervisor. NOTE REGARDING CREDITS: Of the eight credits awarded for this clinic, four will receive a "credit/no credit" grade at the conclusion of the fall semester, and four will receive a letter grade at the conclusion of the spring semester.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*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.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: