Poverty Law Clinic

Poverty Law Clinic

Available to: 2nd and 3rd year students

The Poverty Law Clinic permits students to assist needy clients with legal problems while learning about poverty, the practice of poverty law and the legal problems which the poor face.

Course:  Seminar –Poverty Law (2-3 cr., graded, Fall).  The Poverty Law seminar will consider theories about the poor and the practice of law for the poor, including the range of public benefits programs and the social policy under-pinnings of welfare. Students wishing to fulfill their writing requirement through this seminar will enroll for 3 credits and may complete the bulk of their research and writing during Spring Semester.  Student not wishing to fulfill the writing requirement through this course will complete a shorter paper during Fall semester. Students may enroll in the Seminar with or without the placement/clinical experience.  However, the seminar will also serve as a forum for students to reflect upon their experiences providing needed legal assistance for poor clients.

Placement:  (2 or 3 cr., P/F every semester with pre- or co-requisite) Students will learn about the poor and their legal problems by directly providing legal services to them.  Students may undertake a “traditional” civil clinic placement at Utah Legal Services, Inc. (general poverty law), the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake (family law), or the Disability Law Center, interviewing and advising clients and advocating on their behalf.

Alternatively, students may elect to participate in a project or project(s) developed with these agencies to focus upon particular groups of poor clients or particular legal problems they face.  Such projects may involve outreach activities to under-served client communities, client education, priority-setting for case acceptance, particular public benefits programs, etc.  All projects will involve direct client contact and be designed or approved by faculty supervisor.

Faculty:  Professor Linda F. Smith

Registration & Placement: Students may enroll in the course online. To enroll in the clinic, students must complete the Clinical Program Application Form; students should indicate particular interests in nature of work, in agency, and in projects. Students will then consult with Professor Smith regarding the placement.

LAW 7800-005: Current Issues in Poverty Law        Fall: Monday 3:15 – 5:15 pm

LAW 7930-002: Poverty Law Clinic                             Fall or Spring (2-3 cr.) with pre- or co-requisite course

This placement is also available as part of the Civil Clinic.  

Additional work WILL APPLY to the Pro Bono Initiative certificate.