Public Justice Advocacy Clinic Overview
Professor of Clinical Law and Faculty Supervisor: Jeffrey S. Gutman
Professorial Lecturer in Law: Paula Scott
The Public Justice Advocacy Clinic focuses primarily on employment law and disability law. Under faculty supervision, students represent low-income clients in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, D.C. Superior Court, D.C. Court of Appeals, and in administrative courts in cases involving wage and hour, unemployment compensation, disability, and other issues. 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. Students’ case responsibilities include client interviewing, factual development, legal analysis, drafting of pleadings, discovery, motions, briefs, oral advocacy, and settlement negotiations. Students may also work with nonprofit and community organizations on public policy issues. The classroom component focuses on law and poverty, and on developing a variety of lawyering skills, including client interviewing, case analysis, oral advocacy, litigation document drafting, and negotiations.
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.