Legal Services Housing Clinic
Students enrolled in the Legal Services Housing Clinic will be representing tenants with complaints against landlords in the Western Massachusetts Housing Court. The Legal Services Housing Court Clinic is currently cooperating with Community Legal Aid (CLA). Through CLA, students will acquire clients who have cases pending in the summary process (eviction) session of the Hampden County session of the Western Massachusetts Housing Court. Under the supervision of the Clinic's Supervising Attorney, students will litigate cases on behalf of tenants as well as provide limited assistance representation. Depending on the case, students may handle all phases of the case, including case evaluation, client interviewing and counseling, legal research and factual development of the claims, settlement negotiations, and representation of the litigants in court proceedings. If the case does not settle, trials are before a single justice of the Housing Court. Trials may include direct testimony of the witnesses, cross-examination, opening statements and closing arguments. Housing Clinic students are required to be SJC Rule 3:03 eligible.
Students participating in the Legal Services Houisng Clinic must complete a lawyering skills seminar as a prerequisite to their semester of field placement. The skills seminar focuses on substantive law and issues related to poverty law practice, and developing basic lawyering skills, including professionalism and ethics, client interviewing, counseling, fact investigation, oral advocacy, negotiation and litigation skills.
Credits: 1st Semester Skills Seminar is 2-credits
Students are expected to commit a minimum of 8 hours per week in the Housing Unit at Community Legal Aid (CLA) for the fieldwork component. Students must be available to attend court on Thursday mornings, when the Western Massachusetts Housing Court conducts its summary process session, and a limited assistance clinic held on Friday afternoons in the Law School Clinic Building. Students are required to be SJC Rule 3:03 eligible.
Students must enroll in a seminar concurrent with their semester of field placement. The seminar will meet for approximately 14 hours during the semester, and will serve as a forum for reflection on the fieldwork component, case review, and other topics.
Credits: 2nd Semester Field Placement (2 credits) with Concurrent Seminar (1 credit). Total of 3 credits.
Spots available: 4
Application: Accepting applications for Spring 2015 Skills Seminar/Fall 2015 Field Placement. Students apply through Symplicity.
Application Requirements: Resume, unofficial transcript, and Legal Services Housing Clinic application.
Application DEADLINE Date: Thursday, October 9, 2014