Public Interest Law (SD 383)


This seminar is meant to provide a foundation for students: 1) working in the self-help program; or 2) for students interested in public interest law; or 3) students interested in access to justice issues. This course will provide a better understanding of the socio-economic underpinnings of the population served, the resources available, as well as practical substantive law knowledge. This seminar explores the availability of legal services in the United States and the unmet legal needs of low and moderate income individuals. We will explore the role of courts, legal services organizations, law schools and the private bar in advancing free and affordable legal services. We will read about the structure of the legal profession, the current state of government funded legal services, the cost of legal service delivery, and the opportunities and challenges faced by the private bar. We will look at substantive areas of law including housing, employment, immigration and criminal. This course will challenge your thinking on how legal services are provided, the gaps that attorneys can fill in providing these services, and cause you to creatively think about alternate structures for meeting the needs of low to moderate income individuals.


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