Legal Clinic - Poverty Law

The Poverty Law Clinic, offered in partnership with Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV), will provide students with first-hand experience practicing poverty law – laws that apply particularly to the poor and disadvantaged members of our community in the most important aspects of an individual’s life: housing (preventing homelessness and ensuring habitable living conditions); safety (protective orders for the health and safety of families); financial stability (consumer protection matters which combat illegal business tactics and protect limited income); and elder advocacy (assisting senior citizens with personal declarative documents, fighting elder abuse, and nursing home discharge matters). The Clinic will provide classroom instruction on poverty law and a simultaneous real-world clinic experience through the assignment of LSNV cases. More specifically, the Clinic will allow students to provide direct representation to individual clients in the types of matters listed previously (housing, safety, financial stability, and elder advocacy). Students will meet with clients, research relevant law, propose case theories, draft pleadings and other legal documents, conduct trial preparation, and represent individuals in court with an LSNV attorney supervisor (for students with their Third Year Practice Certificate).

The Clinic is a year-long (fall and spring semesters) with students earning four letter-graded credits each semester (for eight credits total). Two credits each semester will be in-class credits, and two credits will be out-of-class. The Clinic is open to students who have completed their first year of law school (2L, 3L, 4E students). There are no course prerequisites.