The Civil Legal Assistance Clinic is a two-semester clinic in which third-year students represent clients in civil matters related to employment, housing, education, and other areas of civil rights and poverty law practice.
In addition to providing direct representation in individual matters, the Civil Clinic participates in complex litigation in support of broader workers' rights, civil rights, and poverty law advocacy efforts. During any given semester, this may involve collaboration with the UNC Center for Civil Rights, the UNC Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, the North Carolina Justice Center, Disability Rights North Carolina, and other national, statewide, and grassroots partners.
How Cases Are Assigned
Faculty assign cases to third-year law students who work in teams of two or more, depending on the complexity of the case. The faculty members provide close supervision for the students as they work on their cases.
How Cases Are Handled
Students are given as much autonomy as possible in handling their cases. Students work in teams, and each team meets weekly or more with their faculty supervisor. Team members regularly consult with each other on all aspects of their cases.
Students are responsible for all aspects of their clients' cases, including conducting interviews, drafting pleadings and briefs, taking discovery, negotiating with opposing counsel, conducting hearings or trials, and arguing motions and appeals. In larger matters, students may research novel legal theories, draft briefs and supporting materials, engage in strategy sessions with co-counsel, or pursue other aspects of case development as time permits.