- Alumni Overview
- Giving Overview
- The Case for Rutgers School of Law–Newark
Clinical education has long been a hallmark of the education of our students and the activities of our faculty. For almost 40 years, Rutgers–Newark students have gained “hands-on” legal experience as they provide pro bono representation in real cases to underserved individuals, causes, and communities. Enrollment in one of the clinics has launched the careers of numerous prominent public interest lawyers as well as attorneys in the nation’s most respected law firms and the legal departments of Fortune 500 corporations.
To provide scholarship assistance to the many students who are drawn to the law school because of our clinical program, to support the costs of litigation, and to increase outreach to the low-income citizens of local communities, we need to expand funding for the clinics. The Clinic Fund supports all of the school’s clinics, especially the collaborative activities of individual clinics. To name an individual clinic requires a minimum gift of $5 million.
The Child Advocacy Clinic serves the needs of children and families who are at risk and living in poverty in Newark and the surrounding areas, and educates law students to be thoughtful and highly skilled practitioners. The advocacy in which the CAC is involved includes obtaining or maintaining Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for children (federal public assistance for persons with disabilities), securing needed therapeutic and medical interventions for children, and assisting kinship caregivers in meeting the legal financial, and educational needs of the children in their care. In addition, the CAC is the law guardian (attorney) for several abused and neglected children who are residing in foster care, many of whom are children with disabilities.
The Community Law Clinic is one of the nation’s first combined community development-corporate-transactional-intellectual property law clinics and the school’s only entirely non-litigation clinic. Students provide legal start-up services to public interest-oriented entrepreneurs and act as counsel to small businesses, non-profits, charter schools and to major community development corporations in an effort to help transform blighted communities by creating employment opportunities, supportive local services and institutions, and affordable housing.
The Constitutional Litigation Clinic, one of our oldest and most well-recognized clinics, engages students in large scale impact litigation. Since its founding in 1970, it has handled ground-breaking lawsuits, most recently in the application of international human rights law in the domestic setting in the Jama case, and in bringing to light the potential unreliability of electronic voting machines.
Founded in 1985, the Environmental Law Clinic serves as the sole public interest law firm for the environment in New Jersey. Clinic students advocate on behalf of national, state and local environmental organizations to stop ongoing pollution, to demand environmentally strong regulations, to protect local coastal resources and critical watershed areas, to halt environmentally degrading development, to balance the need for affordable housing and environmental protection, and to improve the ability of environmental and community groups to voice their concerns to businesses, environmental regulatory agencies, elected officials and courts of law. The clinic’s newest initiative focuses on environmental justice advocacy with community groups in low-income communities and communities of color.
The Federal Tax Law Clinic immerses students in cases involving disputes between the IRS and low-income taxpayers in New Jersey. Student lawyers represent clients in every aspect of the tax controversy, including interviewing and counseling, conducting factual and legal research, negotiating with the IRS, conducting Tax Court trials and assisting clients facing IRS collection activity. Clinic students also help the American Friends Service Committee in its outreach to the immigrant community on tax matters.
The Special Education Clinic was created in 1995 to address the critical shortage of legal assistance for indigent parents of children with disabilities in New Jersey. Student lawyers provide representation and advocacy to parents and caregivers seeking to obtain appropriate early intervention and educational services and placements, and educate parents and others involved in the lives of children with disabilities about their legal rights and responsibilities.
The Urban Legal Clinic was established in 1970 to assist low-income clients with legal problems that are caused or exacerbated by urban poverty. Student lawyers handle such civil matters as housing, consumer protection, bankruptcy, matrimonial, employment and Social Security/SSI disability issues. They also provide representation to clients who have been charged with minor criminal offenses.
The Women’s Rights Litigation Clinic, among the first gender advocacy clinics in the country, traces its roots to the concerns of such early feminist scholars as then Professor, now Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Students in the clinic, whose operation has been suspended for budget reasons, sharpen their strategic thinking, litigation skills, and lawyerly judgment in their work on projects related to discrimination and other harms based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.