Youth and Education Advocacy Clinic: Clinical Practice
The Youth and Education Advocacy Clinic offers students the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of educational rights and reform work, including direct representation of youth and families in special education and school discipline matters, community outreach and education, school reform litigation, and/or policy research and advocacy. All students will have an opportunity to represent elementary and high school students with disabilities in special education proceedings, to represent students in school discipline proceedings, or to work with community groups in advocating for the provision of better and more equitable educational opportunities to their children. In addition, the clinic may pursue a specific policy research and advocacy project that will result in a written policy brief and policy proposal. nStudents working on special education matters will have the opportunity to handle all aspects of their clients' cases. Students working in this area will interview and counsel clients, investigate and develop facts, work with medical and mental health professionals and experts, conduct legal and educational research, create case plans, and represent clients at individual education program (IEP) team meetings, mediation or special education due process hearings. This work will offer students a chance to study the relationship between individual special education advocacy and system-wide reform efforts such as impact litigation.nStudents working on school discipline matters will interview and counsel clients, investigate and develop facts, interview witnesses, conduct legal and educational research, create case plan, and represent clients at school discipline hearings such as expulsion hearings. Such hearings provide the opportunity to present oral and written argument, examine witnesses, and present evidence before a hearing officer. If appropriate and necessary, such proceedings also present the opportunity to represent students on appeal before the school district board of trustees or the county board of education.nThe education clinic includes two or three mandatory training sessions to be held at the beginning of the term, a weekly seminar that focuses on legal skills and issues in law and education policy, regular case review, and a one hour weekly meeting with the clinic instructor. Admission is by consent of instructor. nSpecial Instructions: nGeneral Structure of Clinical Courses nThe Law School's clinical courses are offered on a full-time basis for 12 credits. This allows students to immerse themselves in the professional experience without the need to balance clinical projects with other classes, exams and papers. nStudents enrolled in a clinic are not permitted to enroll in any other classes, seminars, directed research or other credit-yielding activities within the Law School or University during the quarter in which they are enrolled in a clinic. Nor are they allowed to serve as teaching assistants who are expected to attend a class on a regular basis. There is a limited exception for joint degree students who are required to take specific courses each quarter and who would be foreclosed from ever taking a clinic unless allowed to co-register. These exceptions are approved on a case-by-case basis. nClinic students are expected to work in their clinical office during most business hours Monday through Friday. Students are also expected to be available by e-mail or cell phone when elsewhere during those hours. Because students have no other courses (and hence no exams or papers), the clinical quarter begins the first day of classes and runs through the final day of the examination period. Students should not plan personal travel during the Monday to Friday work week without prior authorization from the clinical supervisor. nnThe work during a typical week in a clinic is divided into three components. First, as they are for practicing attorneys, most of the hours of any week are taken up by work on client matters or case work (this time includes meetings with instructors to discuss the work). Again, as is the case for practicing lawyers, in some weeks these responsibilities demand time above and beyond "normal business hours." Second, students will spend approximately five-to-seven hours per week preparing for and participating in weekly discussions or other group work in their individual clinic (scheduling varies by clinic). Third, over the course of the quarter each clinic student (with the exception of those enrolled in the Criminal Prosecution Clinic) is required to prepare for and attend approximately five inter-clinic group sessions. Students will be awarded three separate grades for their clinical quarter, each reflecting four credits. The three grades are broken into the following categories: clinical practice; clinical methods; and clinical coursework. Grading is pursuant to the H/P system. nEnrollment in a clinic is binding; once selected into a clinic to which he or she has applied, a student may not later drop the course except in limited and exceptional cases. Requests for withdrawal are processed through the formal petition and clinical faculty review process described in the clinic policy document posted on the SLS website. Students may not enroll in any clinic (full-time or advanced) which would result in them earning more than 27 clinical credits during their law school career. nThe rules described here do not apply to advanced clinics for students who are continuing with a clinic in which they were previously enrolled. For information about advanced clinics, please see the course descriptions for those courses. nFor more information about clinic enrollment and operations, please see the clinic policy document posted on the SLS website. nCross listed with the School of Education. This clinic is cross-listed with Education 334 (A,B,C).nElements used in grading: Projects and class participation.nWriting (W) credit is for 3Ls only.
Instructors for this courseWilliam Koski