Securities Arbitration Clinic

General Description

The Securities Arbitration Clinic provides students with an opportunity to develop fundamental investigatory and advocacy skills in the context of the substantive laws governing investments.  The focus of the Securities Arbitration Clinic is representation of small investors in disputes in arbitration in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA.)  The Clinic is a two-semester clinic; however, students may enroll in either the spring or the fall semesters, but must complete 2 semesters in order to receive credit. Total credits hours for the two semesters are 8 credits.

As part of its community outreach, the Securities Arbitration Clinic also provides public education about investment fraud, with particular attention to investment schemes targeting PA residents and the elderly. Substantive legal topics covered in the clinic include the scope and nature of binding arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act and Pennsylvania law, and the legal and regulatory remedies available to defrauded investors. Coursework includes training in skills such as interviewing potential clients, evaluating potential claims, preparing pleadings, conducting discovery, representing clients at hearings, and negotiating settlements.

Students have the opportunity under faculty supervision to:

  • Represent aggrieved investors
  • Provide public education to community groups regarding investment fraud targeting PA residents and the elderly
  • Prepare amicus briefs on investment and arbitration law in pending court cases
  • Engage in research on securities laws and investment products
  • Classwork includes coverage of investment products, and presentations by experts on topics applicable to evaluation of investments, including:
  • Excessive trading and “churning”
  • Suitability
  • Misrepresentation and fraud
  • Breach of fiduciary duty Products such as variable annuities and equity-indexed annuities

Faculty / Staff

Visiting Clinical Associate Professor Alice L. Stewart with Supervising Attorney Scott Lane, Deputy Chief Counsel Pennsylvania Securities Commission