Course Details

Clinic: Civil Rights Litigation

The Civil Rights Litigation Clinic, taught by the professors in the MacArthur Justice Center, focuses on enforcing the civil rights of individuals who are involved with the criminal justice system through complex civil litigation. The Clinic is involved in some of the most significant civil rights cases in the State of Illinois, including Jacques Rivera v. Guevara et al. (civil rights suit arising from the wrongful conviction and malicious prosecution of a man who spent more than 20 years in prison for a crime he did not commit); Robert Taylor v. Kachiroubas et al. (civil rights suit arising from the wrongful conviction and malicious prosecution of a young teenager who spent almost 19 years in prison for a crime he did not commit); James Fontano v. Godinez (civil rights litigation on behalf of prison rape victim claiming Eighth and First Amendment violations against prison officials who retaliated against him for reporting the rape); three class actions filed on behalf of parolees who are challenging Illinois' unconstitutional parole revocation system and asserting their right to counsel when facing revocation; and a class action against Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, seeking a remedy for systemic acts of violence and brutality at the Cook County Jail. Students will be assigned to one or more case teams. The students on each team will collaborate as junior counsel with MacArthur Center attorneys in the litigation of a pending case. Typically, students research and draft pleadings and legal memoranda, including briefs to trial and appellate courts; assist with and/or conduct formal and informal discovery; and assist in the in-court presentation of evidence and argument. This course aims to provide students an opportunity to apply the principles they have learned in the classroom in a concrete procedural context where they and an experienced attorney attempt to use the law to achieve concrete goals, including the advancement of social justice. It is hoped that students in the course will face and address issues of professional responsibility in a real life context; that they will reflect upon the connection between their practice and their personal values; and that they will begin to learn how to be effective colleagues. To maximize students' opportunity to learn and participate in the Center's complex cases, students are encouraged to enroll both semesters of the academic year. Enrollment is limited to JD candidates. Second year students earn 3.0 credits. Third year students earn 4.0 credits. NOTE: There will be a mandatory clinic student orientation hosted by clinic faculty on Sunday, September 7, 2014 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.


Catalog Number: LITARB 721
Practice Areas: Criminal Law Practice AreaLegal Skills Development


Course History

Fall 2014
Title: Clinic: Civil Rights Litigation
Faculty: Bowman, Locke E. (courses  |  homepage)
Bedi, Sheila (courses  |  homepage)
Bedi, Sheila A
Shapiro, David M. (courses  |  homepage)
Van Brunt, Alexa (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 20     Actual: 14



Spring 2014
Title: Clinic: Civil Rights Litigation
Faculty: Bowman, Locke E. (courses  |  homepage)
Bedi, Sheila (courses  |  homepage)
Bedi, Sheila A
Shapiro, David M. (courses  |  homepage)
Van Brunt, Alexa (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 20     Actual: 16



Fall 2013
Title: Clinic Practice: MacArthur Justice
Faculty: Bowman, Locke E. (courses  |  homepage)
Bedi, Sheila (courses  |  homepage)
Bedi, Sheila A
Shapiro, David M. (courses  |  homepage)
Van Brunt, Alexa (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 17     Actual: 11



Spring 2013
Title: Clinic: Civil Rights Litigation
Faculty: Bedi, Sheila (courses  |  homepage)
Bedi, Sheila A
Shapiro, David M. (courses  |  homepage)
Borman, Deborah L. (courses  |  homepage)
Van Brunt, Alexa (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 20     Actual: 17



Fall 2012
Title: Clinic: Civil Rights Litigation
Faculty: Borman, Deborah L. (courses  |  homepage)
Van Brunt, Alexa (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 18     Actual: 14



Fall 2011
Title: Clinic: MacArthur Justice
Faculty: Bowman, Locke E. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Type: Clinic     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 8     Actual: 5



Fall 2011
Title: Clinic: MacArthur Justice
Faculty: Margulies, Joseph
Section: 2     Type: Clinic     Credits: 4.0
Capacity: 8     Actual: 6