PA Practice PracticumNeighborhood Legal Services Practicum - Spring Term
Students who would like to enroll in this Practicum must attend one of the mandatory pre-registration informational meetings held each semester. The dates for these meetings are published in advance in the E-docket. Students must sign in at the mandatory meeting in order to verify their attendance. If a student who has not attended one of the mandatory meetings (either this semester or the immediately preceding semester) registers for this Practicum, that student will be automatically dropped from the class by the Registrar. A dropped student may attempt to re-register after meeting with the appropriate faculty member; however, there is no guarantee that there will be space in the practicum to allow re-enrollment. Second semester returning students in two-semester practicums will register after the “registration appointment period” concludes. That is, such students will register only during "open enrollment." The Registrar will provide such students with course permission numbers prior to the start of open enrollment to allow them to re-enroll.
Students must arrange their class schedules so as to be available at a minimum, for two of the following days, on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday morning (9 – 12:30) to present motions in court on behalf of indigent clients OR, if not presenting, to observe Motions Court. Students must arrange their class schedules so as to be available to meet these time requirements.
In the practicum, under faculty supervision, students will rotate among the supervisors to:
- Observe different attorney practice skills;
- Interview clients who have landlord tenant, employment law, and consumer issues;
- Advise clients on their specific legal issues and follow-up with confirming letters;
- Negotiate with landlords to assist tenants with housing issues;
- Negotiate with credits card representatives to work out acceptable payment agreements;
- Research legal issues necessary to prepare pleadings or to adequately represent clients at judicial or administrative hearings; prepare pleading in landlord tenant, or credit card cases;
- Help prepare and observe landlord tenant hearings at the district judge or Common Pleas Court level;
- Help prepare and observe unemployment compensation referee hearings;
- Help prepare and observe consumer law cases in Common Pleas Court;
- Represent tenants at the district judge of Common Pleas arbitration level.
Students will receive a pass/fail grade at the conclusion of each semester, however, in the event that a student does not complete the second semester, the student shall receive a W for the course, thus nullifying the grade for the prior semester.
Students will receive a pass/fail grade based on some or all of the following factors:
- Participation in classes and case weekly meetings,
- Drafting Skills
- Client interviewing, student’s ability to work effectively with clients,
- Advocacy skills, both written and oral,
- Research assignments,
- General competence, diligence and initiative in handling cases,