SOCIAL SECURITY JUSTICE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES PRACTICUM
(LAWI-5010) - 3 UNITS
Students will learn, in a legal clinic setting, how to effectively advocate for the due process rights of people who are low income and living with a disability in obtaining or continuing to receive necessary federal disability benefits (i.e., SSDI, SSI). After attending six disability law lectures, students will then work with real clients on Social Security application cases or continuing disability review (CDR) cases at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) under the guidance of LAFLA attorneys. Enrollment in this course requires a completed Symplicity application and the Professor's approval. Completion of this course fulfills pro bono and experiential learning requirements.
In this course, students will gain valuable and memorable legal clinic experiences as well as transferrable skills that can be used in their future professions in any area of law. Students in this practicum will sharpen their legal skills by (1) mindfully communicating and interacting with their clients to obtain all the information needed to advocate on their behalf; (2) selecting relevant facts to determine whether their client meets a legal standard according to a systematic sequential evaluation process which can allow their client to obtain needed financial benefits relief; (3) drafting an objective research memorandum and/or brief advocating on their client's behalf; (4) possibly attending their client's hearing with either a disability examiner or an administrative law judge (ALJ) for reconsideration cases or new cases respectively; and (5) giving a brief class presentation summarizing and reflecting upon their clinic work learning experiences.