This clinic will develop and hone civil litigation skills in the context of working on actual cases in association with the Durham and Raleigh offices of Legal Aid of North Carolina and with the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings. Cases will focus on vindicating the rights of impoverished individuals or groups who cannot otherwise adequately find justice in the civil courts. Students will be directly supervised by Legal Aid attorneys and/or the Clinic Director. Cases may include prosecuting unsafe housing claims, defense of eviction claims, prosecuting unfair trade practice claims, administrative hearing appeals for the revocation of licenses/certifications, and a variety of other matters. Initial classroom training in the various stages of civil litigation will be conducted by the Clinic Director, followed by weekly individual or group training sessions. Skill development will include interviewing clients/witnesses, review of relevant documents/discovery, assessment of cases, drafting of pleadings, drafting of discovery, taking of depositions, recognition of ethics issues, and actual court or agency appearances. All enrolled students will be required to provide a minimum of 100 hours of client legal work per semester as well as to participate in the weekly class and training sessions. Students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic. Courses in Evidence and/or Trial Practice are recommended but not required as prerequisites or corequisites.
- This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
- Students must be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
- International LLM students who wish to enroll in the clinic must seek the permission of the Clinic Director prior to the enrollment period.
- An Advanced Civil Justice Clinic can be available for a second semester, with the permission of the Clinic Director.
Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Civil Justice Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).