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School of Law

Saul Ewing Civil Advocacy Clinic

Faculty: Professors Michele Gilman, Daniel Hatcher and Michelle Ewert

Law students enrolled in the Saul Ewing Civil Advocacy Clinic represent low-income individuals and community organizations that could not otherwise afford legal representation. Students' caseloads are diverse, touching on many areas of civil practice, including housing, consumer, education, and public benefits law. Under faculty supervision, students engage in the full range of lawyering activities and litigation. Students interview and counsel clients, investigate facts, strategize case options, negotiate with opponents, draft pleadings, and argue in court.

The three-hour weekly seminar focuses on lawyering skills as well as poverty law. In addition, the course has a trial advocacy component that culminates in a mock trial before guest judges. Students then apply these skills in their cases by advocating before state and federal courts and agencies at both the trial and appellate levels. Students also work on special projects, including testifying before the General Assembly on legislation that impact our clients, conducting community education presentations at homeless shelters, and interviewing inmates at the Baltimore City Detention Center to monitor health care provisions at the jail.

Recent cases include the following:

  • We represent tenants who reside in dilapidated apartments which constitute threats to the life, health and safety of the occupants and, in some cases, the potential or actual threat of lead paint poisoning to infants who live in the apartments.
  • We represent neighborhood organizations who are seeking to evict drug dealers from homes within their communities.
  • We defend clients against unscrupulous debt collectors who have violated numerous state and federal consumer protection statutes.
  • We advocate for disabled students who are being denied appropriate services by their schools.

    Prerequisites: Evidence

    Co- or prerequisite: Professional Responsibility

    Recommended: Trial Advocacy

Policies and Procedures

The Saul Ewing Civil Advocacy Clinic selects its students through the lottery process.