In the Community Lawyering in Education Clinic (CLEC), students will have the opportunity to provide direct education representation to Los Angeles system-involved youth, or youth who are at-risk for system-involvement. This is an opportunity to deepen your litigation skills, engage in multi-modal community advocacy, and explore the nexus between schools and prisons in Los Angeles County.
The bulk of CLEC work will be representation of students in school disciplinary hearings. However, throughout the semester students will have the opportunity to engage in multi-model advocacy depending on their interests. Students will work on a school discipline case and choose one from two advocacy projects. Below are some examples of CLEC work.
- Direct Representation: Clinical students will have the opportunity to provide representation to 1-2 youth in expulsion hearings or appeals before the Los Angeles County Board of Education. Students in the Clinic will serve as first chair for a small number of cases. This project includes client interviewing, investigation, client counseling, legal research and writing, oral advocacy, and direct and cross examination.
- Policy Advocacy: Students will provide limited-scope representation to CADRE, a Los Angeles-based organization working to improve L.A. public schools through parent organizing and community-led campaigns. The Clinic will provide legal support to CADRE as they advance their latest campaign: Families Belong Together. This campaign highlights family separation through the education system and proposes community-based alternatives to separation and punishment. Students will interview the client, attend organizing meetings to assess client goals, draft an engagement letter, and provide legal research and writing support to CADRE. This project will involve extensive memo writing and client meetings. Students will develop research skills, memo writing skills, and oral advocacy skills as they present their findings to the client.
- Community Education: Clinical students who are interested in community education campaigns will have the opportunity to design and execute a training for the Los Angeles Juvenile Public Defenders Office. Clinical students will have the opportunity to select a workshop topic, design curriculum, and execute the workshop. This project will involve extensive research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.