Civil Rights Clinic

Who can apply? Rising 2Ls and 3Ls

Prerequisite Course(s): Prerequisite – Civil Rights Clinic I: Constitutional Law I and Civil Procedure I; Civil Rights Clinic II: Civil Rights Clinic I

Recommended Courses: Any course in Federal Courts, Civil Rights

Is this program year-long or semester-long? Semester-long with option to enroll as an “advanced” student in a second semester, with the professor’s approval.

How many credits? 6

The Civil Rights Clinic litigates on behalf of indigent clients in civil rights and social justice cases. Students in the clinic represent pro se plaintiffs in federal and state appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the United Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Cases include a range of civil rights matters such as employment and housing discrimination, police brutality, denial of full voting rights, unconstitutional prison conditions, and procedural barriers that preclude indigent litigants from effective access to the courts. Students work with faculty in classroom-seminar and clinical-practice settings to review the trial court record, prepare the appendix for appeal, consult with the client, research and write the appellate briefs, and prepare and conduct oral argument when such argument is granted by the court. The pedagogical goal of the Clinic is for students and faculty to critically examine the analytical and linguistic challenges of effective courtroom advocacy, the legal and strategic considerations of the appellate process, the ethical and professional obligations of client representation, and the social and political implications of civil rights advocacy.

Students are also strongly encouraged to complete a course in Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law I prior to the semester in which the student will be enrolled in the CRC, students are also strongly encouraged to complete. Applying for the CRC requires submission of a legal writing sample, timely completion of an application for enrollment in the CRC and, if necessary, an interview and approval for enrollment by the faculty of the CRC.

Students accepted into and who enroll in the Civil Rights Clinic program for Fall 2016 may be required to obtain student bar licenses issued by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals or other court. If so, Professor McKanders will give you a date that your application is due. CLC will then obtain the Dean’s certification and submit the applications to the appropriate office.