The Trial Practice Clinic is not currently offered at Hamline University School of Law, as Visiting Professor of Law Larry McDonough has returned from his sabattical to his work as Managing Attorney of the Housing Unit at the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis. For current clinical offerings at Hamline, go to http://law.hamline.edu/clinics/clinical-programs.html.
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Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 Trial Practice Clinic
Visiting Professor of Law Larry McDonough
Mondays 2:00-3:50 pm
The Trial Practice Clinic is a three-credit, one-semester clinic on landlord-tenant law. Students work under the supervision of Visiting Professor of Law Larry McDonough, a veteran housing attorney in Legal Services programs for 27 years, who will supervise students in representing tenants facing eviction, housing repair problems, privacy violations, utility shutoff and lockouts in Housing Court.
Tight rental markets and an aging housing stock have made access to safe, decent, and affordable rental housing a significant political policy issue for many years. How this problem affects low income tenants on an individual basis is the context in which students participate in the Trial Practice Clinic. Given the difficulty of tenants in finding new housing, it is critical that they are able to fight unjust evictions, utility shutoffs and lockouts, enforce housing repair and privacy standards, and stop retaliatory measures.
The Trial Practice Clinic also provides a unique opportunity to handle cases from beginning to end. Housing Court cases are very active cases which move faster than many other types of civil litigation. The Trial Practice Clinic cases may include interviewing, investigation, drafting pleadings, discovery, motion and trial practice, and appeals. Often students obtain final decisions or settlements in cases which they started. Some of these decisions have helped to develop the common law of landlord and tenants in Minnesota! Some cases may involve the delicate act of advising a client that the client does not have a good case. Each student may handle 2-5 cases during the semester.
The two hour classroom component includes interviewing, clinic computer network training, professional responsibility, substantive housing law topics concerning the types of actions handled in the clinic, and case simulations in which students participate in interviewing, drafting, motion practice, trial and negotiation simulations patterned after real housing cases. Students also meet Professor McDonough on a weekly basis to discuss issues and cases, in addition to preparation for and representation in housing cases.
For more information, contact
Managing Attorney, Housing Unit
Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis
430 First Avenue North, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401