Legal Services Practicum
This course offers students a great opportunity to help indigent clients and to learn important lawyering skills under the close supervision of an experienced attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services Association or Laurel Legal Services. Students will work on cases involving poverty law issues such as eviction, expungement of criminal records and a few student opportunities will be available for handling protection from abuse cases and for assisting individual debtors in simple Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in a pro se clinic.
The classroom component will focus on various substantive and procedural poverty law issues, on ethical considerations, and on lawyering skills — such as interviewing, counseling, fact-gathering, legal analysis, negotiation, research, drafting, and litigation — critical to many types of legal practice. Classroom assignments will include simulation exercises and preparing a monthly journal.
The field component will focus on advising and representing indigent clients. Field assignments will be available in Pittsburgh, Bridgeville, New Castle, and Butler. This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience in the county where they live or hope to practice. Most field assignments will include courtroom experience, and most students will be able to complete the field component before final exams. Every attempt will be made to schedule the field assignment at times convenient to the student.