Students in the Community Development Clinic tackle unstructured problems, work collaboratively in a multi-discipline arena, and learn how to identify and address legal issues embedded in a problem or project - necessary skills in the problem-solving profession. This clinic is designed for students with a curiosity about a wide variety of subjects and who are interested in transactional work, although client needs dictate the legal skills required. The work may be transactional, legislative or policy work, litigation, educational, or any combination of these. Students may be part of a long-term project (learning strategic thinking and planning) or a short-term project (handling a problem from beginning to end).
Students work with individuals, non-profits or community groups, and rarely know in advance the legal issues they may encounter when the client or community asks for legal help. The Community Development Clinic addresses the challenging issues of neighborhood revitalization, equitable development, and community economic development using legal skills, reflective thinking, and creative problem-solving. In the past, students have worked on a range of Central Corridor LRT projects (such as small business assistance, the Community Summit, the Affordable Housing Partners Task Force) and community projects such as affordable business space, community gardens and the impact of foreclosures on neighborhoods. Clinic students have created brochures and given presentations on topics including business preparation for major construction, restorative justice, zoning and land use, property taxation and community benefits agreements. During the course of their work, students may work with area attorneys, state and local government officials and employees, and a variety of interest groups.
Grading: Letter graded.
Subject Areas: Public Interest Law