Title of Presentation: The Role of University Based Legal Clinics in Systemic Advocacy – Do We Have Something Unique to Offer?

Names of all Presenters: Lisa Martin, Stacy Brustin

Short Abstract: In the United States, clinics have limited time to train students and must adhere to court rules restricting the number of cases that students handle. These constraints limit our ability to meet the legal needs of individuals in the community. Given this reality, the clinics at Catholic University collaborate with legal services agencies, policy organizations and courts to broaden the impact of our services. Our students staff three court-based resource centers and partner with non-profit organizations on public policy initiatives. We use the research capacity of the university to assist community partners. Our clinic faculty collaborate with professors in the Sociology Department and Social Work School to conduct empirical studies in our courts. We sponsor conferences to encourage leaders in the D.C. legal community to improve access to justice. This panel will address the opportunities and challenges that our clinics’ approach to expanding access to justice entails.

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