VETERANS JUSTICE CLINIC
(LAWI-5006) - 2 UNITS
Los Angeles County has more homeless Veterans than any other state in the nation. When surveyed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, homeless Veterans rank eight legal concerns as their highest unmet needs, ahead of permanent, transitional, and emergency housing. This unique clinic offers students first-hand experience in advocating for low-income veteran clients to ensure their economic security, promote housing stability, and remove barriers to self-sufficiency.
The course includes a two-unit classroom seminar and a one-to-two unit externship. The classroom component covers practical lawyering skills, as well as a survey of the substantive laws impacting the low-income veteran community. Students will also examine the fundamental structure of the Department of Veterans Affairs and will develop a critical understanding of the VA's role in securing veteran justice. The externship component will involve working directly with veteran clients under close instructor supervision, and will be held primarily at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles' (LAFLA) South LA office, with additional off-site opportunities at client outreach events. Students may choose one externship credit (52 hours of field work) or two externship credits (104 hours of field work). To fulfill the externship credit(s), students must commit to work at LAFLA's office one half-day to one full-day per week. The course is graded pass/fail and a passing grade satisfies the LLS pro bono requirement.
Veterans Justice Clinic Externship (LAWI-5003) (can be taken concurrently)