Lara Bazelon is Professor of Law and Director of Juvenile and Racial Justice Clinical Programs at the University of San Francisco School of Law. She also holds the Barnett Chair in Trial Advocacy. From 2012 to 2015, she was a visiting professor at Loyola Law School and director of the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent. Professor Bazelon was a litigator in the Los Angeles office for seven years. Previously, she was a trainee attorney for the Honorable Harry Pregerson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. “Such a legal clinic would be an important step in American legal education. This would put law schools in a position where they would deal with the facts of actual cases. It would be an experiment in training lawyers using techniques similar to those used in medical schools. Since its inception, the Mandel Clinic has been considered an excellent example of what a legal aid clinic should be. With dedicated teachers and intelligent, enthusiastic students, literally hundreds of thousands of people have been helped directly by clinic staff. And many, many more have benefited from the clinic`s lawsuits and advocacy work.
The clinic works with collaborations in San Francisco, Sonoma, and San Mateo counties and is funded by the City and County of San Francisco, San Mateo County, the Sonoma County Secure Families Collaborative, and the California Department of Human Services. The clinic also works closely with the San Francisco Bar Association and community organizations throughout California. Charlie Nelson Keever graduated from Loyola Law School in 2018 with a specialization in Public Interest Law. While in law school, Charlie worked as a legal partner for the Honorable Audrey B. Collins of the California Court of Appeals, Second District of Appeals, and was editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review. As a clinical law student and research assistant for Loyola Law School`s Innocents Project, Charlie worked to secure the release of four wrongfully convicted clients. Prior to joining USF`s Race Justice Clinic, Charlie practiced civil litigation in the offices of a national law firm in Los Angeles and San Francisco. She is a proud New York Corps alumnus of Teach for America 2012. The clinical program aims to provide students with meaningful real-life experiences while providing quality legal services to underrepresented members of the community. The goals of the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic have long been to help those in need while teaching students the practical ins and outs of legal practice. Over the past half-century, the methods and models used to achieve these goals have changed, but the desire to give students an understanding of the value and necessity of the right to public support has never wavered.
When the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic opened, Dean Edward H. Levi had spent six years writing hundreds of pages of memos, letters and proposals for his law school legal clinic project. In a 1951 memo, he wrote: Students can gain experience at the following six clinics. Clinical programs operate through six different, autonomous entities that act as separate “law firms” with their own faculty and support staff: Legal clinics give you the opportunity to represent real clients in real-life cases. Under the supervision of a professor, you will leave the classroom and enter the courtroom to work on a range of legal matters, from civil and criminal cases to juvenile justice cases and more. In the Spring 2015 issue of preLaw Magazine, the University of Idaho School of Law received an A- for practical training, which includes its clinics and internships. As a law student, you have many opportunities to apply teaching theory to practical legal practice. For example, third-year students who have earned their limited license to practice from the Idaho Supreme Court may represent clients in various courts under the supervision of a clinical school. In addition, there are two other clinics where students work on behalf of clients as part of a supervised field placement with an external organization and attend a companion seminar at the law school: the mission of the law school`s clinical programs is to teach students effective advocacy skills, professional ethics and the impact of legal institutions on the poor; study and apply legal theory while advocating on behalf of individuals who are generally denied access to justice; and reforming legal education and the legal system to better serve the interests of the poor. The Mandel Clinic provides assistance to clients in need. Students assume responsibility for all aspects of the work under the guidance of the full-time clinical faculty.
The program is designed to complement and enrich the theoretical study of law with experience in interviewing clients, investigating facts, dealing with opposing parties, cooperating with government agencies, negotiating on behalf of clients, drafting contracts and laws, and participating in judicial and administrative proceedings. In addition, the clinic attempts to familiarize students with professional liability issues and the particular issues of low-income clients and other disadvantaged groups. Students are encouraged to find solutions to recurring problems through new laws, improvements to government services and benefits, to support community groups and bar associations in their reform efforts, test cases, and other types of legal reform litigation. The most rewarding part of our work at the clinic has been the amount of real-world experience we have gained working on cases from start to finish, from interviewing the client to writing applications to pleading in court. The biggest challenge was that it was my first time in court, but Professor Bazelon was there every step of the way. This experience confirmed that I am capable of litigation, which I did not think I would like, but now I have found that I am able to do so and I look forward to moving forward in criminal defence or in my other interest, family law. So Park, born in 2014 and a participant in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic, describes the student experience in UChicago Law`s clinical program. Whether or not students choose to pursue a career in intellectual property, the practical skills learned in the clinic – from negotiating disputes to conducting risk analyses to contract drafting skills – make participants highly desirable for any law firm. These competencies include: Donations to Mandel Legal Aid Clinic Provide resources and clinical staff to support the more than 130 students enrolled in our clinics, providing over 16,300 hours of free service to low-income Chicago residents.
None of this involves the work of our clinical faculty members who work full-time at the law school and primarily serve Chicago. The clinic has more than 500 active cases. It also employs two other lawyers, three paralegals and a social services coordinator. The clinic works with people who have escaped extreme violence and trauma, and the courage and strength of clients inspires clinicians and students. In addition to case work, students have the opportunity to participate in events organized by the clinic, such as: Know Your Rights presentations in the Central Valley and excursions to immigration detention centers and the border. In 2016, the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic began working with residents of East Chicago, Indiana, in their fight to safely clean up soil contamination that has damaged the area for decades. In another project, Klinik represents Soulardarity, a nonprofit that helps Detroit-area residents launch their own solar energy projects, advocate for reliable electric service, and more. Students will engage in legal practice and gain a variety of practical skills in: The clinic has influenced lawyers who have established other legal aid clinics in schools across the country, from Vanderbilt University School of Law in Tennessee to Boalt Hall Law School at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, its scope is more than national, as several law schools outside the country have studied the Mandel Model when founding their clinics. The Immigration and Deportation Defense Clinic represents children and families of unaccompanied immigrants who are subject to deportation proceedings in San Francisco Immigration Court. The majority of clients seek asylum and come from the Northern Triangle in Central America and Mexico. Most of the children the clinic represents are also eligible for special juvenile immigrant status, and the clinic also represents these children in state courts.