Community Development Clinic

The Community Development Clinic offers students interested social entrepreneurship, transactional real estate work, and community advocacy an opportunity to work on a range of legal issues that impact community viability.

By working with nonprofits that serve underserved populations, the Community Development Clinic will undertake legal matters that address issues that relate to:
  • affordable housing
  • access to legal services
  • small business development
  • environmental justice in the local community.
Students in this clinic will learn:
  • interviewing and counseling
  • contract drafting
  • public speaking
  • strategic planning
  • community legal education
  • asset mapping.

This course will be of particular interest to students who want to use their law degree to impact economic and social justice in underserved communities.

Course Information

The Community Development Clinic offers students interested social entrepreneurship, transactional real estate work, and community advocacy an opportunity to work on a range of legal issues that impact community viability. In the clinic, students will learn interviewing and counseling, contract drafting, public speaking, strategic planning, community legal education, and asset mapping.

Pre-requisites/Co-requisites:
• Professional Responsibility -- completed, or concurrently enrolled. Students who have not completed Professional Responsibility will be automatically enrolled in a section when admitted to a clinic.

Recommended Courses:
Preference given to students who have also completed or enrolled in Business Associations, Nonprofit Organizations, or Housing & Community Economic Development Seminar. 

Eligibility to Enroll:
• Completed first year of law school
• Must be in good academic standing
• No Honor Code violations

Credit Hours/Experiential Hours:
​Four (4) hours credit.
Counts towards oral skills requirement.

Terms available:
Fall and Spring

Evaluation:
​Graded

Faculty:
Professor Luz Herrera

Dropping Clinics:
Given the unique nature of clinics and the ethical obligations that arise for our attorneys when they expose students to actual client cases, students will not be allowed to drop a clinic after the first week of classes.

Considerations

Since clinics operate differently than doctrinal, writing, and other simulation courses, students must keep in mind the following before enrolling:

  • All clinical courses meet in the Clinical Program Office located in the Star-Telegram Building at 307 W. 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas. It is a 0.6 mile walk from the Law School building to the clinical space.

  • All 3 and 4 unit clinic courses require that students spend a minimum of 6-8 hours per week at the clinical space.

  • Per our Academic Standards, students are expected to submit logs of their time to their supervising attorneys to receive credit. Your instructor will provide you with direction of how to keep track of your time.

  • In order to provide all of our students with a clinical opportunity, you cannot enroll in more than one clinic in any one semester.

  • You may not enroll in an externship and a clinic in the same semester unless authorized by the Associate Dean for Experiential Education.

  • If you plan to be employed by a law firm, government agency, or other unit engaged in providing legal services during the semester, you must disclose the employer’s information so the clinical program can determine if there are any conflicts that prevent the student from enrolling in the clinic.

  • Once a student is admitted to a clinic, the student must commit to attend a mandatory clinic orientation the first Friday of the semester from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Unless a special accommodation is necessary, free student parking is not available in the clinic space. The cost to valet in the Star-Telegram Building is $10. There is additional parking in the area that ranges from $6 to $10. Street metered parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Student Application

Student applications for the Community Development Clinic are available online:

Students must upload a current resume (pdf) with their application. Applications received by the enrollment deadline are considered first; additional applicants may be added on a rolling basis for later applications.

Once a student is admitted to a clinic, the student must commit to attend a mandatory clinic orientation the first Friday of the semester from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Conflicts:
Clinics operate as law firms. Conflicts may arise if students enroll in a clinic and also work in a law firm or government agency in the first semester. If you plan to intern, extern, or otherwise, work during the semester you are in clinic, you will need to discuss with Dean Herrera. On the application you will be asked to indicate if you plan to intern, extern, or work elsewhere during the semester(s) you are applying for.