The Consumer Protection Clinic will be offered both in the Fall and in the Spring. It is a one semester clinic. Using federal, state and common law, this clinic helps victims of fraud and other unfair or deceptive trade practices to enforce our consumer protection laws. Cases may involve home improvement contractor fraud, home foreclosure defense, auto repossession defense, debt collection defense or other matters faced by consumers in financial distress.
This will be a litigation oriented clinic, but also involves counseling and negotiation. Each student can expect to perform intensive document reviews of case files, perform in-depth client interviews, prepare and execute a pretrial litigation plan, and appear in court once (and possibly more times) per semester to represent a consumer in an ongoing lawsuit. Students will generally work in teams of 2 students per case.
Classroom time is spent on a mix of skills building, professionalism issues, and access to justice issues. In the past, we have had frequent guest lecturers from public interest organizations, Legal Aid and private practitioners who prosecute and defend consumer claims.
Specific skills learned in this clinic include: client interviewing and counseling; statutory analysis and construction; drafting of pleadings, motions and discovery; pretrial civil litigation; trial tactics and strategy; use of Case Map, Time Map and Time Matters; litigation file organization; and how to work in teams and under deadlines.
This clinic also has a heavy focus on Professional Responsibility, law reform and access to justice issues. Students may work with other governmental or non-profit public interest organizations to perform consumer education and outreach in the form of lectures, creating brochures or videos, and creating model pleadings for use by self represented litigants.
Active participation in class by each student is a perquisite to fulfilling the requirements of this clinic. In addition, a weekly journal of between one and two pages in a prerequisite to fulfilling the requirements of this clinic.
|This course is not currently scheduled.|