Fall 2023 • Clinic
Housing Law Clinic
To learn more about the Clinical Curriculum and Registration, please visit our Clinical Registration Center.
You can also find more information on How to Register for Clinics and How Clinical Credits Work.
For more information about this clinic, please visit the Clinic Website and OCP Blog Highlights.
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 18, 2023.
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. 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 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. The Housing Clinic staffs the Attorney for the Day table at Housing Court and on Zoom on Thursday mornings (from 9:00 to 12:00). Students find the experience of assisting unrepresented tenants rewarding and try to arrange their schedules to allow for clinic work on Thursday mornings.
Housing Clinic students will work in one of three clinic tracks, all which represent low-income tenants facing loss of housing in various ways. The tracks are Community Lawyering, Housing Justice for Survivors Project, & Housing Medical Legal Partnership.
In the Housing Justice for Survivors Project students represent tenants who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 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, appeals, and in affirmative cases.
In the Housing Medical Legal Partnership students work collaboratively as part of a larger team of care providers (including physicians, social workers, and non-attorney housing advocates) to represent tenants who receive care at local community health centers. Students meet weekly with non-housing advocates to collaborate on tenant representation and build advocate capacity.
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, email@example.com, Director of the Housing Justice for Survivors Project, Julia Devanthéry (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Director of the Housing Medical Legal Partnership, Samir Hanna (email@example.com).