Course Details

Representing Clients with Criminal Records: Advocacy for employment and Housing Rights

While lawyers often use their skills to argue facts given the constraints of current law, they can also use their skills to change or create law. This course will hone students┬┐ ability to do both. Students will do this as they learn about, and fight against, the New Jim Crow laws and policies that prevent men and women with criminal records from accessing basic necessities like employment and housing. With that lens in mind, students who participate in this course will get an opportunity to: 1) Research relevant law, draft legal pleadings and possibly argue on behalf of community members seeking to access the remedies that will help them overcome barriers to employment, occupational licenses or housing; 2) Research laws and pending legislation across the nation and draft recommended legislation and policies designed to help make our criminal justice system more effective; 3) Convert legal concepts into training materials that are easily digestible by lay-people and present them in a community setting; and then, 4) Write and present a 10-page research paper detailing every facet of their policy recommendation with appendices that include concise fact sheets relating to the model legislation presented. Course Requirements: 1) Class Participation (includes attendance) - Timely class attendance and participation are an important part of this seminar and will factor into each student's grade. 2) In Class Component - Students will research, draft, and present a 10-page paper containing a proposed law addressing some aspect of the post-conviction issues discussed in class. 3) Experiential Learning Component - Each student must spend a minimum of 30 hours: participating in at least one client intake meeting; assisting in researching and drafting a pleading on behalf of a client; and presenting training materials at a community event. All work will be supervised and graded by Professor Belcore. Students may work in groups of three or fewer for any of the coursework. Grading: a. Class Participation (includes attendance): 25% b. Client Work (including training materials): 35% c. Drafted Policy/Legislation, Paper and Presentation: 40% Required Text: Seminar coursepack. Additional readings will be posted on Blackboard.

Catalog Number: LAWSTUDY 706


Course History

Fall 2015
Title: Representing Clients with Criminal Records: Advocacy for employment and Housing Rights
Faculty: Belcore, Todd (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 12     Actual: 4