Civil Justice Clinic

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The Civil Justice Clinic represents a unique partnership between Duke Law and Legal Aid of North Carolina in which students work on cases relating to housing, benefits, and protection from domestic violence, among others.

Working under the supervision of clinic faculty and staff attorneys in Legal Aid's Durham office, students directly represent clients in matters that include actions arising from unsafe housing, landlord-tenant disputes, foreclosures, incidents of domestic violence, and unemployment and food stamp benefit claims. Doing so allows them to develop practical litigation skills that are transferable to a wide range of cases and practice areas, while addressing the critical lack of legal representation among low-income North Carolinians. Students appear as primary counsel before courts and administrative agencies and work with teams of attorneys and peers on other cases. During a weekly seminar at the Law School, they discuss techniques and strategy as well as substantive law relevant to their caseloads.


The clinic has been a phenomenal experience. The clients are fantastic and couldn’t be more appreciative – and in many cases a few thousand dollars can make the difference between having a home and being homeless.

Karlee Blank '15

‘It Does Something to Your Soul When Jesse McCoyEveryone Losing Their Homes Looks Like You’

In a feature story in POLITICO Magazine, Civil Justice Clinic Supervising Attorney Jesse McCoy discusses how he brings his personal conviction to the clinic's innovative Eviction Diversion Program, which was launched in 2017 to help low-income Durham residents avoid being kicked out by landlords.

In the News

Clinic Faculty

Charles R. Holton

Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Civil Justice Clinic


Jesse McCoy

Clinical Professor of Law
Supervising Attorney, Civil Justice Clinic


Course Description
Clinic student with Professor Holton
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Civil Justice Clinic, 429

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 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.

Contact Us

If you have a need for civil legal services in the Durham area, contact Clinic Director Charles Holton at (919) 613-7131 or Supervising Attorney Jesse McCoy at (919) 613-6936 and we will determine whether you meet the clinic’s acceptance criteria.