429.01 Civil Justice Clinic

Special COVID Note:
The seminar portion of the Civil Justice Clinic will be conducted totally online via Zoom, live and synchronous during the scheduled weekly class time.  The weekly supervisory conferences and other meetings will be conducted either in person or online, depending upon student availability and preference.  Both live and online court appearances will likely be available, again dependent upon student availability and preference. For the upcoming semester, the course credit will be limited to 4 credit hours.

This Clinic will develop and hone civil litigation skills in the context of working on actual cases taken in directly by the CJC or working in association with the Durham and Raleigh offices of Legal Aid of North Carolina, with the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Attorney Generals’ office, 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 the Clinic Director and/or Supervising Attorney and/or Legal Aid attorneys. Cases may include prosecuting sub-code 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 and Supervising Attorney, followed by weekly individual or group meetings and 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 third 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.

Ethics Requirement

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).

Special Notes:


Enrollment Pre-/Co- Requisite Information

Any ethics course (Law 237, Law 238, Law 239, Law 317, or Law 539)

Spring 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Group project(s)
Practical exercises
Live-client representation and case management
Class participation
Charles R. Holton, Jesse McCoy
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.429.02.Sp21
Email list: LAW.429.02.Sp21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice
Course Areas of Practice