Students represent a client in an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Students will (in almost all cases) meet the client and investigate the issues on appeal, review the trial record, develop and research a theory and write an Opening Brief, Reply Brief, and then, ultimately, argue the case before the Ninth Circuit. The substantive nature of the cases is often immigration (political asylum cases, cancellation of removal, ineffective assistance of counsel), although it can be prisoner § 1983 civil rights cases on behalf of inmates, or habeas cases.
Directors: Peter R. Afrasiabi and Kathryn Davis*
*Kathryn Davis is a certified appellate specialist whose practice is dedicated exclusively to civil appeals. Prof. Davis has co-taught the Chapman Federal Appellate Advocacy Clinic for the past two years. She started her own civil appellate firm after seven years at Latham & Watkins and has extensive experience practicing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the California Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of California.
Students get the opportunity to do transactional work on behalf of community groups, individuals, non-profit organizations and small businesses. This Clinic focuses on the development of transaction-oriented lawyering skills, and provides students with business skills and the fundamentals of business law and an introduction to public-spirited legal work outside the litigation context.
This Clinic facilitates student work with the California Monitor, who provides advice and support to the California Attorney General in enforcing the landmark $25 billion national mortgage settlement. Students will develop ideas for improving implementation of the settlement relief, assess bank compliance with the settlement terms, and respond to consumer complaints about bank conduct. The work will expose students to how lawyers design and execute compliance strategies, the challenges of aiding consumers in financial trouble, and the complex roles of a state Attorney General. Students will develop a range of legal skills, including fact-gathering, client interviewing, negotiation, and legal analysis, and they will study contract law, property law, banking law, accounting, and complex litigation. No prerequisites are required.
Students get the opportunity to work on cases and matters involving environmental, natural resources and/or energy law issues. Clinic students take an active role in case development and case work, assuming substantial responsibility at an early stage.
The Clinic’s case load is diverse, spanning a wide range of environmental and natural resources law, with the potential to cover local, regional and national issues ranging from air, water and coastal pollution, to issues dealing with wildlife and marine protection, toxics, climate change and energy. The Clinic provides a rigorous and intellectually challenging educational experience for students interested in environmental law, conservation, and complex civil litigation.
Prior completion or current enrollment in Administrative Law and/or Environmental Law is recommended.
Director: Michael Robinson-Dorn
Students represent immigrants and immigrant organizations in a range of legal matters. All students handle at least one litigation case and one non-litigation advocacy project.
The Clinic docket includes various litigation matters, including deportation proceedings in Immigration Court, federal and state employment cases, and advocacy before federal, state, and county agencies. With the permission of the presiding judicial or administrative officer, students serve as the primary legal representative for their clients in all hearings before state and federal courts and agencies. The Clinic’s non-litigation advocacy work includes the representation of grassroots organizations, worker centers, and other groups in policy advocacy and community education.
Students work with activists, lawyers and NGOs at home and around the world to develop and implement advocacy strategies concerning accountability for major human rights abuses.
Director: David Kaye
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the nation's largest state civil rights agency responsible for enforcing the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Unruh Civil Rights Act, Ralph Civil Rights Act, and Disabled Persons Act.
Under the supervision of experienced DFEH attorneys, students litigate employment discrimination lawsuits and conduct neutral investigations of claims filed with the DFEH. All students are assigned to litigate ongoing employment discrimination lawsuits under the supervision of a DFEH attorney. Litigation tasks can include drafting pleadings, initiating and responding to discovery, and preparing for and participating in employment discrimination trials and administrative hearings.
In addition to litigation, students also investigate claims as neutral fact finders, under the supervision of an experienced DFEH attorney. Investigation tasks can include drafting administrative complaints, preparing formal and informal investigatory discovery requests, conducting interviews, reviewing written materials, and exploring possible case resolution through settlement negotiations. Students further determine whether a violation of the FEHA occurred.
In addition to individual discrimination claims, students may also work on class and group action lawsuits and investigations.
Clinic participation includes attendance in a weekly class covering different substantive sections of the FEHA, topics regarding DFEH litigation practices, and periodic guest lectures by practicing private counsel. Class time is also dedicated to reviewing ongoing litigation and investigations. In addition, a DFEH attorney will be available during designated weekly office hours. Enrollment in this clinic is limited to ten (10) students.
Director: Jon Ichinaga
Students in this Clinic work directly with clients who are victims of domestic violence to counsel them regarding the law and serve their interests in court.
Students conduct client-intake interviews and draft applications, declarations and judicial council forms. For cases that evolve to a hearing, students research relevant case law and codes, draft all necessary documents and prepare fully for the hearing, which may include: subpoenaing and interviewing witnesses, preparing witnesses, conducting depositions of opposing witnesses, and preparing opening arguments, closing arguments and witness questioning. Finally, students conduct hearings, which include delivering the opening and closing arguments, admitting exhibits, taking testimony and making the necessary objections.
The course is limited to six students, all of whom must have either completed or be currently enrolled in Evidence.