Clinical education has long been a hallmark of the education of our students and the activities of our faculty. For more than 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 CAC is involved in advocacy including 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 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 Community and Transactional Lawyering Clinic provides corporate and transactional legal services to New Jersey non-profit 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, charter schools, and individuals such as artists and inventors. The students provide this assistance in an effort to help transform blighted communities by creating employment opportunities, supportive local services and institutions, and affordable housing.
The Constitutional Rights Clinic engages in impact litigation in the area of individual civil liberties and civil rights, as protected in the constituions of the United States and the State of New Jersey. Formed out of the Constitutional Litigation Clinic, one of our oldest and most-recognized clinics, it has handled ground-tbreaking 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.
The Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic provides legal representation to incarcerated youths and to adults in minor criminal, parole and actual innocence matters. It was formed out of the Urban Legal Clinic, which was established in 1970 to assist low-income clients with legal problems that are caused or exacerbated by urban poverty.
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 Education and Health Law Clinic provides free legal representation to indigent clients in special education, early intervention and school discipline matters. Students 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. In addition, through a new medical-legal partnership (the H.E.A.L. Collaborative) with Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School’s 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.
The Immigrant Rights Clinic serves the local and national immigrant population through a combination of individual client representation and broader advocacy. The IRC represent immigrants seeking various forms of relief from removal, including asylum for individuals fearing prosecution; protection for victims of human trafficking; protection for battered immigrants; protection for victims of certain types of crimes; protection for abused, abandoned, or neglected immigrant children; and cancellation of removal.
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, microenterprises, and charter schools. Students provide legal start-up services to public interest-oriented entrepreneurs, as well as advice and assistance regarding copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property issues affecting small businesses.
The International Human Rights Clinic seeks to advance the integration of international human rights norms into American domestic legal practice. The students have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and use human rights law to advance justice in the United States and abroad.