Advanced Bankruptcy Clinic (3 credits)
Leif Rubinstein, Associate Professor of Law
Advanced In-House Clinic (2 or 3 credits)
Melina Healey, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs
The Advanced In-House Clinic is available to students who have successfully completed an in-house clinic. The “in-house” clinics are those clinics that are operated out of the law center, and which share clients as a single law office. They include all current clinics with the exception of the Criminal Defense and Criminal Prosecution Clinics.
Advanced Clinic provides an opportunity to take on a greater range of responsibilities in casework, to collaborate on cases across clinics through rigorous inter-clinic case rounds and consultation, and to help supervise new clinic students on client work. Students in the Advanced Clinic will continue their ongoing client cases, take on additional cases, deepen their engagement with the relevant substantive issues, and learn from the problems and opportunities presented by the casework of their fellow students.
The Advanced In-House Clinic will meet in seminar for one 50-minute session weekly and will take the learning opportunities presented by the students’ casework as its primary material, employing in weekly “case rounds” discussions planned and led by the students. They will engage in structured reflection and consultation with each other about their cases; review and provide feedback on drafts of written submissions; discuss possible strategic and ethical choices that must be made on cases; and “moot” each other to prepare for upcoming court appearances, hearings, or other advocacy contexts. In addition, students will be responsible for selecting substantive issues for more focused examination than is possible in the basic semester-long clinic. Each student or student pair will take responsibility, in collaboration with Professor Healey and their clinic supervisor, for developing a set of readings, questions, and case issues to discuss in the weekly seminar. The students will structure and facilitate group discussions of these topics.
Bankruptcy and Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic (5 credits)
Leif Rubinstein, Associate Professor of Law
Criminal Defense Clinic (5 credits)*
For the Spring 2021 semester, the Criminal Defense Clinic will focus on “Holistic Lawyering”- treating the whole client in a criminal case. Students will learn about the concepts of holistic lawyering, interviewing and communication with the client, bail reform, integrating social work services to help clients navigate the court system, discovery reform and review, investigation, omnibus motion writing, mitigation, plea bargaining, trial prep and collateral consequences. The seminar will include intensive pretrial and trial-level criminal defense simulation. The simulation cases will be real, previously closed cases of The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County. Due to court limitations on student work, and in order to accommodate our Flextime and Evening students who are interested in criminal work, the casework portion of clinic will focus on post-conviction advocacy remotely via phone and video consultations. Students will work with Clinic Professor Justesen and the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society/Touro Breaking Barriers program to help clients obtain their RAP sheets (Report of Arrest and Prosecution) from Albany, review and help correct potential errors, evaluate for post-conviction relief and assist clients in applying for certificates of rehabilitation and sealing motions. Casework can be completed primarily during Sunday and evening hours. Students must have taken Evidence and have taken, or be taking, Criminal Procedure Students must submit a resume and participate in a virtual interview prior to acceptance.
* Due to COVID-related restrictions in Suffolk County courts, the clinic will be offered as 3 credits in the Spring 2021 semester and casework will focus on post-conviction advocacy.
Criminal Prosecution Clinic (5 credits)
John Buonora, Adjunct Professor
Education and Youth Justice Clinic (5 credits)
Melina Healey, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Programs
Clinic students provide educational advocacy to justice-involved young people in matters such as school suspension and expulsion hearings; special education proceedings; and impartial hearings. They also represent those young people in delinquency and adolescent offender cases. Students collaborate with peers in schools of social work and education to ensure that clients’ educational and therapeutic needs are met and their outcomes in court cases are maximized. Students also, work on impact litigation and policy and legislative efforts to address the patterns of injustice they encounter in client representation. The Clinic includes simulated investigations; client interviewing and counseling; and a trial. Seminar explores the problem of widespread under-education and over-incarceration of youth of color. Students will examine the school-to-prison pipeline, including the responsibilities of family and schools, the role of implicit bias, how current laws and policies contribute to the pipeline, how trauma-informed practices can inform our laws and policies, what reforms might better serve youth, and how practitioners across disciplines can address these problems.
Family Law Clinic (5 credits)
Danielle Schwager, Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor of Law; Director of the Family Law Clinic
This Clinic offers students the opportunity to represent clients in matrimonial proceedings and assist with divorce mediation. Work may include uncontested divorces, child custody disputes, child support modification, orders of protection, and inquest litigation. Students will interview and counsel clients, and represent clients where relevant in virtual court hearings as well as conferences with judges and with other attorneys. Students are required to spend an average of 12 – 15 hours per week on clinic work, in addition to the weekly 3 hour seminar meetings.
Immigration Law Clinic (5 credits)
Landlord-Tenant Mediation Clinic (3 credits)
AveMaria Thompson, Adjunct Professor of Law
Clinic students in the Landlord-Tenant Mediation Clinic are trained in the basics of mediation and are given the important responsibility to facilitate mediations in active landlord-tenant cases in Suffolk County District Court. Students will learn the basics of landlord-tenant law and mediation techniques. Seminar will include simulations exploring negotiation and alternative dispute resolution. For case work, students will be paired in groups of two and, under the supervision of a court-certified mediator, will act as mediators with the goal of resolving cases. This clinic will provide a critically important service to litigants and judges in landlord-tenant matters. It is anticipated that housing courts will receive a crush of cases due to the expiration of eviction moratoriums, uncertainty of unemployment insurance benefits, and other challenges posed by the pandemic. Students will also develop negotiation skills, proficiency in mediation, and knowledge of landlord-tenant law and court procedures.
Senior Citizens Law Project
Small Business and Not-for-Profit Clinic (3 credits)
Clinic students work an average of eight hours each week on client matters, typically in the evenings; they also participate in a weekly seminar covering the laws and procedures that apply to non-profit groups and corporations. (Evening division students receive enrollment preference.)
Veterans' and Servicemembers' Rights Clinic (5 credits)
Craig Bruno, Staff Attorney
- Debt relief/collection
- Mortgage Foreclosure
- Driver’s license restoration
- Child support modification
- Unemployment insurance
- Warrants and fines
- Income tax
- Benefits applications and appeals
- Discharge upgrades
This clinic was featured in the New York Post