Each year, hundreds of workers are unfairly denied their statutory right to state unemployment insurance benefits. This clinic offers a unique opportunity for second semester, first-year law students to fight on their behalf.
Under faculty supervision, WRC I students represent recently unemployed workers in their unemployment benefits claims. In this role, they will have significant opportunities to interview and counsel clients, conduct fact investigations, write and file appeals, and handle hearings.
Students will quickly develop key lawyering skills in this 2-3 credit clinic. Each student team will have multiple cases to work on throughout the term, depending on case complexity and procedural status, and typically get to first-chair at least one administrative hearing via telephone during the semester. These proceedings allow students to perform direct and cross examination of live witnesses, make objections, handle exhibits, and deliver opening and closing statements, all before an administrative law judge. Because worker claims for unemployment are typically contested by the former employer through counsel, these hearings provide an excellent introduction to real-world lawyering.
Students have weekly faculty supervision sessions in which they review and plan strategy for their assigned cases and learn how to organize and manage a docket. Class meets regularly for the first four weeks of term. Additional class sessions may be scheduled on an as-needed basis.
This clinic is a prerequisite to taking WRC Litigation in your second or third year. Students earn two to three ungraded credits for their work. (Note — this course is offered as a 2-credit add-on elective to 1L schedules or for 3 credits if WRC Research is added, in which case it fulfills the 1L mandatory elective requirement. Both are ungraded.)