CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION PRACTICUM
(LAWC-4003) - 4 UNITS
The course will run over two semesters. In the fall semester students will take a four unit course on civil rights/civil liberties law and advocacy. Two hours of class time per week will be devoted to a seminar on civil rights/civil liberties law. Students will study the NAACP litigation strategy that culminated in the Brown v. Board of Education decision. They will read and discuss cases developing key civil rights and civil liberties theories in areas such as women's rights, gay and lesbian rights, affirmative action, free speech and freedom of the press. Classroom discussion will consider the current state of the law in each area, and critiques of the litigation strategies that have generated that law. This portion of the course will satisfy the writing and breadth requirements. In each area we will cover political and social theory in addition to legal theory, and each student will write a paper on a civil rights or civil liberties subject.
Two hours of class time per week will be devoted to skills training. The skills covered in this portion of the course will include case investigation (client and witness interviewing, fact investigation, and client counseling), pleading practice (drafting pleadings and crafting case theories), law and motion practice (including advanced brief writing and oral argument), discovery practice (drafting and answering interrogatories, taking and defending depositions), and trial practice (direct and cross examination, trial objections, opening and closing arguments, etc.).
Upon successful completion of the fall course, students will enroll in the 4 unit spring clinic. Each student will be placed in a civil rights or civil liberties litigation organization, where they will participate in the day-to-day work of the office. The student's work during the spring semester will be monitored through journal reports and regular meetings with Professor Gary Williams.