Civil Rights Practicum Has Openings

Looking for some hands-on litigation and advocacy experience?
Interested in helping put together a class action complaint?
Want to make a difference in improving the criminal defense system?

Read on for more information about the Civil Rights Practicum being taught by Professor Emily Chiang on Thursdays from 3:15 – 5:15.

In the spring semester, students in the Civil Rights Practicum will finalize a report (initially drafted by last semester’s students) on the sorry state of public defense across Utah and assist the ACLU in issuing and publicizing the report.  Students will also assist in the filing of a class action lawsuit against one of Utah’s counties and the state for their failure to provide constitutionally adequate legal services to the poor by helping to finalize the complaint and  identifying named plaintiffs.  Students in the spring will also have an opportunity to work on matters pending before the state legislature, including issues involving immigration and affirmative action.

The Civil Rights Practicum class is offered for 2 credits (graded).  The clinic may be taken for 1 to 3 additional credits (pass/fail) or additional clinical work may be pro bono (no credits).  To register, complete a clinic application available in the front office or on the door of Room 220 and return the completed application to Kay in Room 221 or to the Clinical mail box in the front office.

Comments from students who took the class in prior semesters:

“I really appreciate that this clinic is so hands on.”

“Professor Chiang provides structure while also encouraging us to take the lead, and helps us consider important questions we might otherwise not consider during our fieldwork.  The class session does a great job of providing regular review of tasks and goals, keeping everyone on the same page while providing for input from everyone on our work individually and as a whole.  It’s great.”

 The class provides us with a great amount of resources to work on the clinic portion of the curriculum.  The reading in the class gives us an understanding of potential barriers and problems we may face/are facing, with suggestions to overcome them.  We also have the opportunity to reflect on and discuss our clinic work inside the classroom, and Professor Chiang gives us suggestions on how to improve our clinic work.