Community Law Clinic
Based in East Palo Alto, a low-income community four miles from the law school campus, the Community Law Clinic is the closest thing to a traditional legal services office among Stanford’s clinical offerings. The signature feature of the CLC is its off-campus location, which gives students the unique opportunity to work in a community-based, storefront, legal aid office. The office affords CLC students extensive client contact, as well as a feel for daily life in East Palo Alto, a small community whose residents are overwhelmingly people of color, and which has had for decades a poverty rate well above the national and state rates. The Clinic's areas of focus are wage and hour, housing, and criminal record expungement matters, but the program's practice areas shift in response to local threats and opportunities. The CLC also works on policy projects, legislative advocacy, and community legal education in areas that affect its clients.
Students represent clients on a range of civil matters and are supervised by Professor Juliet Brodie, along with law school lecturer Danielle Jones, and (current) Jay M. Spears Fellow, Nisha Vyas. Students are responsible for their individual client matters cases from intake through disposition. In all of their work students are assisted by the Clinic’s extraordinary administrative staff members, Lupe Buenrostro and Adelina Arroyo, both of whom are bilingual and who assist with the students in communicating with their Spanish-speaking clients.
"Our practice is made up of cases and projects that engage our two core values: delivering excellent legal services to the low-income neighborhoods that surround the law school and working on matters that are pedagogically suitable to the clinical method, where you give substantial, 'driver’s-seat' responsibility to the law students. I don't see those values as competing, but as entirely compatible; in fact, part of the long tradition of clinical education is practicing law in precisely the intersection where those two values overlap."
Juliet M. Brodie, Director, Stanford Community Law Clinic