LAW 3704 - Delivering Access to Justice In a Challenged Society
The economic downturn both nationally and in New York State has forced many litigants to appear in court without an attorney. Many individuals are facing life altering legal issues such as eviction, immigration, family, foreclosure and consumer credit. The justice system is faced with numerous challenges in ensuring equal justice to all in an increasingly diverse society.
Students will explore the delivery of legal services to low and moderate income individuals within the context of bread and butter areas of the law including housing, foreclosure. consumer debt and family.
The course will explore various delivery of legal services models such as unbundling, pro bono and low fee models and the use of technology to provide legal assistance. Students will also explore cultural competency issues and its effect on access to justice. Students will be exposed to substantive New York law. The course will be conducted partially in a seminar format, but will also include interactive exercises. Students will be required to either participate in a program run by Nassau Suffolk Legal Services in the District Court of Hempstead providing assistance in housing cases by providing legal information and assistance to unrepresented litigants or a program overseen by Judge Jeff Goodstein in the Matrimonial Part of Nassau Supreme Court providing legal information and other assistance to individuals seeking modifications of child support orders. Students will be expected to spend 50 hours participating in one of the programs. Students will be required to log-in their hours of participation in the programs. Judge Fisher will work out a schedule of participation for each student. Best efforts will be made to ensure that students are assigned to the program of each student’s choice, but is subject to the capacity of each program.
Students will receive 3 credits for the seminar and the participation in one of the Court programs will satisfy the 50 hour Pro Bono Rule. Participation in both the seminar and the court component is mandatory.
Prerequisites & Notes
None. Students must take both the Seminar and participate in a Court Program
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