What is the Family Law and Benefits Clinic?
The Family Law and Benefits Clinic is a real law office operated by the law school in which students actually represent clients under supervision of a faculty member and receive course credit. The course is offered for four (4) hours credit in the fall and spring and three (3) hours credit in the summer. This is a graded class beginning in Fall 2017. Class meetings are held twice a week. Students also work in the law clinic offices for eleven (11) to eighteen (18) hours per week, depending on the semester. The Clinic represents indigent clients in the following areas: Social Security and SSI disability benefits, family law cases, family violence cases, issues relating to children and simple Wills, plus a variety of veterans legal issues.
Who is eligible to enroll?
Students who have completed at least 45 hours and are in good standing with no Honor Code violations are eligible.
How does this benefit me as a law student?
You will represent real clients in real cases and real court hearings. You will interview and advise clients and you will prepare pleadings and legal briefs on behalf of your clients. You will conduct hearings as first chair with an experienced attorney at your side as a “safety net.” This type of hands-on experience is difficult to obtain prior to graduation and is highly valued by employers.
How do I enroll?
Enrollment is limited to 16-24 students per semester, depending on the semester. Interested students should complete and submit the Family Law and Benefits Clinic Student Application and attach their resume to the application which is electronically submitted to the Registrar.
Are evening students eligible?
Yes, provided you have a schedule that is flexible enough to allow for appearances at scheduled hearings with reasonable advance notice.
What are the requirements of the course?
You will have 2.5 hours of class each week (three hours in the summer). You will also have eleven (11) to eighteen (18) scheduled office hours per week depending on the semester, which are scheduled around your other obligations. You must also appear at hearings and spend whatever additional time is required to work your cases.
The Professional Responsibility course is a prerequisite but may be taken concurrently with this Clinic.
What is a Third-year Bar Card?
This is a LIMITED LICENSE to practice law granted by the state bar, allowing a law student to practice law and appear in court under attorney supervision on behalf of consenting clients.
Will I get a Third-year Bar Card?
Yes. All Clinic students are eligible and will obtain a Third-year Bar Card.
Where can I obtain additional information?
Come into or call the Family Law and Benefits Clinic at your convenience at (817) 212-4123.