PA Practice PracticumClass Term:
Fall Term 2020-2021Catalog Number:
4 (2 Contact, 0 Field)Graduation Requirements:
Limited Enrollment - 3rd Year PriorityFull Year Course:
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, Professionalism
This is a two-semester course, and students must enroll sequentially for both the fall and spring term to receive credit. Students are expected to commit to 2 semesters of work for a minimum of 10 hours per week. 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. The fall term offering of the course is 4 cr., and the spring term offering is 2 cr. The practicum runs the full school year, so those interested must devote both semesters to the program. The PA Practice Practicum is focused on providing students with skills needed to practice law. 104 hours of field work per semester is required. The fall term offering of the course will have a classroom component and field work, and the spring term offering is all field work. The seminar component will be held in the Pittsburgh offices of Neighborhood Legal Services during the first semester and will include sections on client interviewing and counseling; negotiating; letter writing; research; preparation of pleadings; courtroom and administrative hearing procedures; and the substantive law related to landlord tenant, employment, and consumer law. In the field component students will represent clients in both forums.