Housing Law Clinic

Housing Law Clinic

Ms. Maureen McDonagh
Fall 2021 clinic
3, 4, or 5 clinical credits

Students who enroll in this offering may count the credits towards the JD experiential learning requirement.

Enrollment in this clinic will fulfill the HLS JD pro bono requirement.

Required Class Component: Housing Law Clinical Seminar (2 fall classroom credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in this clinic will automatically enroll you in the required course.

Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.

By Permission: No.

Add/Drop Deadline: August 13, 2021.

LLM Students: LLM students may apply to the clinic through the LLM General Clinic Application.

Placement Site: WilmerHale Legal Services Center (Jamaica Plain).

As part of a broad coalition of legal services providers and community organizers, The Housing Clinic represents low-income tenants who are facing eviction and at risk of homelessness. Students defend evictions and prosecute affirmative cases to improve housing conditions and prevent utilities terminations. Students engage very actively in client interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, pre-trial discovery (including the taking and defending of depositions), negotiation, and motion practice, as well as trying cases in court. Students also have the opportunity to engage in community lawyering and mobilization efforts with long term community partners and to work on legislative and other law reform initiatives. Students participate in a Boston Bar Association Attorney for the Day Program and offer "game day" advice to unrepresented litigants in Housing Court on the day of the litigants hearing or trial. As eviction cases are first scheduled by rule on Thursday mornings, students find it helpful if they are available for clinic work on Thursdays (from around 8:30 to 1:00) as many opportunities arise through the Attorney for the Day Program to argue contested motions and negotiate live client cases.

Housing Clinic students may also participate in the Housing Justice for Survivors Project which represents tenants who are survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Housing Justice for Survivors clients may be facing loss of housing as a result of abuse, or may need to quickly relocate to safer alternative housing. Students provide trauma-informed representation to survivors facing housing instability as a result of abuse in a variety of different settings including: housing court, housing authority/administrative proceedings, and affirmative cases.

The clinic is part of the Legal Services Center (LSC), a general practice community law office in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. LSC's diverse clinics provide clinical instruction to second- and third-year law students and serve as a laboratory for the innovative delivery of legal services. Students are taught and mentored under the supervision and guidance of clinic directors, instructors and fellows and have an opportunity to meet students and advocates working in many areas of the law.

For more information on the Clinic, contact Lecturer/Clinic Director Maureen McDonagh, mcdonagh@law.harvard.edu.

Subject Areas: Procedure & Practice