The Community Lawyering Clinic is a five-unit, graded semester course. There are no course prerequisites and no final examination. Interested students must submit an application and resume to Professor Julia Vázquez via the online student portal. Enrollment in the Clinic is limited.
The Community Lawyering Clinic provides Southwestern Law Students ("students") with the opportunity to learn lawyering skills and provide high-quality legal assistance to a vulnerable and underserved population in a community-based learning environment.
Under the close supervision of Professor Vázquez, students will offer legal advice & counsel to the California State University, Northridge ("CSUN") community in the area of immigration law.
The Clinic provides pro bono advice, counsel, and representation to CSUN students in a variety of immigration based legal services, including, but not limited to, Adjustment of Status, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status ("SJS"), Violence against Women Act ("VAWA"), U visa and Naturalization Services. If the case is accepted by the Clinic, the student will represent clients in all aspects of the immigration case under the supervision of the Clinic Director.
In addition to direct legal services & client representation, law students also provide legal community outreach & advocacy. Clinic students will develop and implement legal presentations and workshops to the CSUN community.
The Clinic is composed of a seminar component on Southwestern's campus, and a community-based clinic component located at CSUN. The Clinic seminar will be held once per week for two hours at Southwestern Law School. The seminar will focus on substantive and procedural law, professional responsibility, theoretical frameworks, and the development of advocacy skills.
Additionally, once per week, students will also complete a three-hour block of off-site clinic hours to be conducted at CSUN. Students will self-select their CSUN field hours from the two designated CSUN Clinic days, as pre-selected by Professor Vazquez.
Students will also complete two additional office hours, based upon the student's schedule, at the Southwestern Legal Clinic.
Students are expected to complete an aggregate of 17 hours per week on Clinic activities (including class time, reading time, preparation for client meetings, faculty case supervision, office hours and field clinic hours) and must be flexible with the hour requirement in order to be responsive to client and case demands.