Clinical Course for J.D. Students
The Clinic is open to second and third year day students as well as upper-division evening students. Students taking Street Law are not precluded from taking another clinic in a subsequent or previous year. Generally, we accept 20-24 law students for the Street Law High School Clinic and up to 10 law students for the Street Law Community Clinic.
Prospective students should apply in April via the regular clinic application process. Applicants for the summer Street Law Community Clinic should use the separate summer clinic application form.
Selection for the Street Law Clinic is by lottery (although the clinic director reserves the right to select a particularly qualified student). For further details on the application process, please see the Clinical Course Application and Information packet.
Street Law High School Clinic
In the Street Law High Schools Clinic, law students teach a two-semester elective course in practical law to students in senior high schools throughout the District of Columbia. Teach classes 3-4 hours/wk during the school day. The duration of the clinical course is one year. For participating in the year-long Street Law High School Clinic, law students earn six credits. Eligibility requirements: the clinic is open to all 2L and 3L year students and evening students who have completed their 1st year. The high school Street law course covers criminal, torts, consumer, housing, family and individual rights law, and culminates in a mock trial competition.
Street Law Community Clinic
In the Street Law Community Clinic, law students teach a one-semester summer course in practical law to adult learners in a community setting, such as homeless parents in transitional shelter and emergency housing. Teach classes about 2 hours/wk in the evenings. The duration of the clinical course is one summer semester. For participating in the one-semester Street Law Community Clinic, law students earn three credits. Eligibility requirements: the clinic is open to all 2L and 3L year students and evening students who have completed their 1st year. The community Street Law course covers small claims court, landlord-tenant law, public benefits, domestic violence, dispute resolution, consumer protections, education, and other topics.
FAQ for Prospective Clinic Law Students
Do I need a car?
Clinic participation is not dependent on access to a car, and every effort is made to accommodate students without a car. Accordingly, we place law students with a car at high schools that are not easily accessible by public transportation. Access to a car is especially desirable for Street Law Community Clinic participants who teach in the evenings.
What about Safety?
As in the case with all clinical programs that advocate directly for community members, participation involves traveling into poor and sometimes dangerous neighborhoods. Given the neighborhoods of many of the high schools, participation in the clinic carries some amount of risk. In deciding whether to enroll in this clinic, you should factor in whether you would feel comfortable traveling to and from your placement two to three times a week, particularly if you do not have access to a car. While the high schools have security staff and metal detectors, each year some schools report incidences of violence involving weapons. Law students participating in the Street Law Clinic have rarely been involved in violent incidents in the schools and are instructed how to handle such situations that may arise.
What is involved in preparation for Street Law?
The basic textbook, Street Law: A Course in Practical Law, is provided to law students; law students are encouraged to supplement this text with materials and methods of their own creation. Additional teaching resources are available in the clinic office and online lesson bank. Substantial research and preparation is required for the Clinic, including preparing a written lesson plan for each class. While textbooks and model lessons are provided, law students must adapt these materials to their own classes and individual styles. Since the law is always changing, students need to update and modify materials. Law students typically create unique lessons, as well as assessments (e.g., exams, quizzes, and group projects), homework assignments. Law students must also dedicate time to evaluating student work.
How are the law students graded?
While the Clinic has no exam or paper requirement, there is substantial research and preparation for teaching, including preparing a written lesson plan for each class. Grades are based on faculty observations of law students, quality of lesson plans, law student participation in a weekly seminar, journals, in-seminar demonstration teaching, and preparation of teaching materials and other innovative approaches. FAQ for the Street Law High School Clinic
What are the Requirements of the Street Law High School Clinic?
Attendance at a 4-day orientation on teaching methodology at the beginning of the fall semester, which is held during the week before classes begin; Attendance at a 2-hour weekly seminar; Substantial planning and preparation to teach; Teaching approximately 3 classes per week (usually 1-1 1/2 hours per class) in a D.C. senior high school from September through April, excluding Georgetown vacation and exam periods; and Writing a journal of clinic experience and reflections.
How much time will the Street Law High School Clinic require?
Students teach between 2-3 classes each week at one of the D.C. Public High Schools for a total of approximately three hours of actual classroom time each week. Each class requires preparation time which varies depending on the lesson plan you are creating and your comfort and experience in the classroom (students report that as the semester goes on, planning takes up less time). Students also must attend a weekly two-hour seminar designed to expose students to teaching methodology, lesson planning, and a substantive overview of the unit topics. Students are required to submit lesson plans and journals each month as well as meet with clinical faculty to discuss progress in their classes.
Where will I teach as part of the Street Law High School Clinic?
Clinical placements are determined by a number of factors, including What D.C. Public High School fits into a student's class schedule; Student's work schedule or other activities; Access to transportation; and Student preferences (every effort is made to match their preferences). Unfortunately, the schools do not complete their first semester schedules until September of the upcoming academic year so until that time we do not know classroom times. The key is to leave large blocks of time available in the mornings or afternoons and to keep this block available first and second semester.
FAQ for the Street Law Community Clinic
What are the requirements of the Street Law Community Clinic?
Attendance at the clinic orientation seminars; Attendance at the 2-hour weekly seminar at GULC; Research and development of teaching materials for a series of community workshops; and Teaching these workshops at least one evening each week in a community setting.
How much time will the Street Law Community Clinic require?
Students teach at least one evening class each week at Perry School Community Center or at one of the local public housing projects. Each class requires preparation time, including research of the substantive law. Students must also attend a weekly two-hour seminar designed to expose students to teaching methodology, lesson planning, and a substantive overview of the various topics.
Where will I teach as part of the Street Law Community Clinic?
Presently, the course is offered to homeless parents in transitional shelter or emergency housing at Bright Beginnings, a model preschool program for homeless children located in the Perry School Community Center, four blocks north of the Law Center. The course is also offered at Carver Terrace, a public housing project 20 blocks from the Law Center. The course may also be offered at a District of Columbia Correctional Facility.