Legal Services Practicum
Students must have completed three semesters of law school.
This course offers students a great opportunity to help indigent clients and to learn important legal skills under the close supervision of experienced attorneys at Neighborhood Legal Services Association. 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.
The classroom component will focus on various substantive and procedural poverty law issues, on ethical considerations, and on legal skills — such as interviewing, counseling, fact-gathering, legal analysis, negotiation, research, drafting, and litigation — critical to legal practice. Classroom assignments will include simulation exercises and preparing a monthly journal.
The field component will focus on advising and representing indigent clients at District Judge hearings in landlord tenant cases and preparing and presenting expungement petitions in Common Pleas Court. Students may also present motions in Motions Court. A few students will assist staff attorneys with Protection from Abuse cases. Field assignments will be available in Pittsburgh.
All students will be required to participate in a morning site visit to NLSA’s Pittsburgh office on Saturday, January 4 [this will be one of the scheduled classes] for additional substantive training. Office procedures and case assignment processes will be reviewed. This is an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience in advising and representing clients and in working with other students and attorneys to resolve legal issues through negotiation.
Most students will be able to complete the field component before final exams.
Any interested student should send a copy of his/her resume, along with his/her first and second choices for a field assignment, to Ed Stevenson at Neighborhood Legal Services Association, 928 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, fax to 412-355-0168 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please call Ed Stevenson at 412-255-6700, ext. 6156.
An optional two-credit externship at the legal services program may follow successful completion of the course.
Honors/Pass/Fail Grade: based upon performance in the classroom component and upon performance in providing legal services to indigent clients. No final exam.