Nearly four years after Katrina, improvements in the lives of low-income coastal Mississippians have been painfully slow. Thousands of families still live in damaged housing or remain displaced. Entire housing complexes remain closed without a plan for them to be reopened or replaced. Individuals courageous enough to rebuild are often taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors, are unable to collect on insurance or obtain loans, or are caught in the middle of bureaucratic delay. The result is an acute and continuing crisis on the Gulf Coast.
Students in this summer clinical course will work with the Mississippi Center for Justice, a not-for-profit public interest legal organization, to provide legal assistance to low-income Katrina survivors and recovering communities on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Student work will focus on two primary areas: 1) housing, and 2) community economic development. Housing-related legal assistance will include working with public housing residents, as well as helping homeowners who have been defrauded by predatory, unlicensed and/or corrupt contractors. Community economic development work will provide students with the opportunity to support community groups, non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs who are starting small businesses, building the capacity of non-profits, organizing youth projects, and strengthening civic engagement on the Mississippi Coast.
Students will be required to travel to and reside in Mississippi for 8 weeks of the summer program. The Law School will reimburse the housing and travel costs of the students and pay a substantial part of the students’ summer tuition (depending upon terms of a grant the school will receive). The first and tenth weeks of the clinic will take place at the University of Maryland law school, and provide preliminary training and debriefing at the University. Classes and supervisory tutorials will continue throughout the weeks in Biloxi to examine the doctrinal, ethical, practical, and theoretical aspects of the legal work and delivery of legal services to our clients.
Instruction and supervision of practice will be provided by John Jopling, managing attorney of MCJ’s Katrina Recovery Office in Biloxi, and Bonnie Allen, MCJ’s training director and adjunct faculty member at Maryland, in collaboration with Maryland law faculty members Barbara Bezdek and Michael Millemann.
Current & Previous Instructors:
|This course is not currently scheduled.|