The Immigrant Family Legal Clinic Design Seminar is a clinical course that provides law students with the unique opportunity to work on the formative process to establish a new law school clinic in partnership with the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Students will be engaged in an intensive semester-long effort to understand the legal needs of the immigrant families the Community Schools serve, and design a plan for the clinic’s initial docket of cases/projects in Spring 2019. Along with the new incoming clinic director, Prof. Nina Rabin, students will plan strategically for what types of legal services would best serve three distinct and inter-connected goals: (1) to respond to unmet legal needs of immigrant families in the school district; (2) to further the pedagogical goals of the UCLA clinical program; and (3) to develop a community-based law office that serves larger social justice and policy research ends.
Over the course of the semester, students will gain exposure to legal areas of importance to the families in the neighborhood (likely to include some combination of immigration, employment, family, and housing law). Students will also learn legal ethics and professionalism as they develop lawyering skills, including client-centered interviewing, strategic decision-making, collaboration, cross cultural lawyering, legal outreach, and coalition-building. In addition, students will be engaged in the hands-on work of community lawyering, thinking strategically with the new director about how to create a clinic that best serves the needs of the neighborhood and the multiple stakeholders involved.
The Clinic will include mandatory 90-minute weekly seminars covering both substantive law and practical legal skills. For the first several seminars of the semester, students will spend half the classroom time on questions of clinic design and the other half on trainings on relevant substantive law and skills. In addition, students are expected to commit an average of 10-15 hours per week on their assigned casework and projects.
A substantial amount of the work will be conducted on-site at the Immigrant Family Legal Clinic office at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools campus in Koreatown. In addition, students will have a regular weekly supervision meeting with Prof. Rabin to review and discuss legal issues, strategies, and progress. These meetings will provide students with the opportunity to receive direct feedback and reflect on their learning goals and outcomes.
This four-unit course will be graded based upon class participation, pre-class preparation, the quality of written assignments, and ability to perform a variety of course-related assignments and activities. Case and/or project- work will be evaluated on how well students take initiative, apply skills to their work, use self-reflection and self-evaluation to maximize strengths and overcome challenges, and demonstrate responsibility and professionalism.