Public Justice Advocacy Clinic Overview

Professor of Clinical Law and Faculty Supervisor: Jeffrey S. Gutman 

Professorial Lecturer in Law: Paula Scott

In the Public Justice Advocacy Clinic, students represent low-income clients in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the District of Columbia Superior Court and the DC Office of Administrative Hearings. Many cases are referred to us from community partners and involve claims of wage theft–where DC employers have failed to pay our clients minimum wages, promised wages and/or overtime. 

Students also represent clients in appeals of denials of unemployment compensation benefits before administrative law judges in the DC Office of Administrative Hearings, and in appeals before the DC Court of Appeals. Clinic students have also participated in federal class action litigation, cases alleging that homeless shelters discriminated against our clients based on their disabilities, and cases brought under the Freedom of Information Act. We consider representing clients in other kinds of civil cases which are appropriate for students and are likely to advance the public justice mission of the Clinic.

The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics were founded in 1971, and were dedicated in 1991 to acknowledge the generous support of Jacob Burns (LL.B. '24, LL.D. '70). Burns was renowned for his philanthropy, through which he "contributed significantly to the expanding boundaries of knowledge," and left an enduring legacy that improves the lives of many today.

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