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Clinical Program Restructures to Better Reflect Breadth of Curricular Opportunities

April 29, 2013 – 

The Clinical Program at Rutgers School of Law–Newark has been restructured to better reflect the subject matter and opportunities for practice skills specialization offered students by the program.

In announcing the change, Professor Jon Dubin, Associate Dean for Clinical Education, said: “For a number of years the Rutgers–Newark Law legal clinics have offered our students experiences in such areas as intellectual property, criminal and juvenile defense, and international human rights that were not clearly evident from the names of the clinics. We believe that dividing three of our current, multi-person clinics into six smaller clinics, and renaming those clinics and one other will provide greater curricular clarity for our students as well as client communities.”

As a result of the restructuring:

  • The Urban Legal Clinic becomes the Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic, taught by Clinical Professor Laura Cohen, and the Civil Justice Clinic, taught by Professor Dubin and Clinical Professor Jack Feinstein.

The Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic provides legal representation to incarcerated youths and to adults in minor criminal, parole, and actual innocence matters. The Civil Justice Clinic instructs law students in the representation of indigent clients and client groups in a wide variety of civil cases, primarily in the areas of housing, family, consumer law, probate, bankruptcy, unemployment compensation, social security and SSI disability benefits, and other public benefits law.

  • The Constitutional Litigation Clinic becomes the Constitutional Rights Clinic, taught by Professor Frank Askin, Acting Dean Ron Chen, and Clinical Professor Penny Venetis, and the International Human Rights Clinic, taught by Professor Venetis.

The Constitutional Rights Clinic engages in “impact” litigation in the area of individual civil liberties and civil rights, as protected in the constitutions of the United States and the State of New Jersey. The International Human Rights Clinic seeks to advance the integration of international human rights norms into American domestic legal practice, as well as to train a new generation of lawyers to use human rights law to advance justice in the United States and abroad.

  • The Community Law Clinic becomes the Intellectual Property Law Clinic, taught by Clinical Professor John Kettle, and the Community and Transactional Lawyering Clinic, taught by Clinical Professors Robert Holmes and Charles Auffant.

The Intellectual Property Law Clinic provides intellectual property and entertainment law advice and assistance for non-profit entities, artists, inventors, start-up for-profit businesses and microenterprises, and charter schools. The Community and Transactional Lawyering Clinic provides corporate and transactional legal services to New Jersey nonprofit corporations, (specifically those corporations that provide services geared to the needs of lower-income people in the City of Newark and nearby urban areas), start-up for-profit businesses and microenterprises, charter schools, and individuals such as artists and inventors

  • The Special Education Clinic, taught by Clinical Professors Esther Canty-Barnes and Jenny Rosen Valverde, becomes the Education and Health Law Clinic with the same faculty.

The Education and Health Law Clinic provides free legal representation to indigent clients in special education, early intervention and school discipline matters.  In addition, through a new medical-legal partnership (the HEAL Collaborative) with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (to become part of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences as of July 1, 2013) outpatient pediatrics department, students in law and social work partner with medical professionals to address the legal and social needs of pediatric patients with disabilities and their families in an effort to improve overall child and family health and well-being.