Law Student FAQ
How do I apply?
Applications to the Street Law Clinic are made during the regular Georgetown Law Center clinic recruiting process in the spring semester for the coming year and summer. Please consult the web site or contact the office of the Associate Dean for Clinical Education for details. Late applications can occasionally be accommodated on a space available basis. Contact the clinic faculty at Streetlaw@law.georgetown.edu.
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?
Teaching resources are available in the clinic office and online lesson bank. A basic textbook, Street Law: A Course in Practical Law, is available to law students. To meet the needs, interests and abilities of their high school students and the evolving nature of the law, law students are encouraged to adapt and supplement available materials and methods with modifications of their own creation. 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.
What are the Requirements of the Street Law High School Clinic?
The following are the basic clinic requirements for participating law students: Attendance at the 5-day orientation on teaching methodology, substantive law, and clinic adminstration; the orientation is held prior to the beginning of the Georgetown fall semester (for the 2013-14 academic year, August 19-23, 2013). Attendance at and participation in the 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 the beginning of the public school year in August through April, excluding Georgetown vacation and exam periods. Participation in periodic consultations and review with clinic faculty (law students are typically observed at least 3 times per semester). Submitting monthly reports containing lesson plans, representative student work, selected materials and handouts, and student attendance. Writing a journal of clinic experience and reflections. Submitting a year end portfolio and reflection/ self assessment. Law students must also comply with the Law Center’s Culture of Care for working with minors and obtain a substitute teaching or other certification from DCPS (arranged and paid for by the Clinic). Clinic requirements are set out in more detail in the Clinical Program Handbook available from the clinic office.
How much time will the Street Law High School Clinic require?
Law students typically teach between 2-4 classes each week at one of the D.C. Public High Schools or charter schools for a total of approximately three to four hours of actual classroom time each week. Each class requires preparation time, which varies depending on the lesson plan you are creating and your 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 develop teaching methodology, lesson planning, and a substantive understanding of the legal 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?
Placements at the high schools take place during the regular school hours, i.e., between 8:45 AM to 3:15 PM. Clinical placements are determined by a number of factors. The primary consideration is what D.C. high school fits into a student's class schedule. Other consideratons include a student's work schedule or other activities, access to transportation, and other student preferences. Scheduling is usually done during the orientation week, when law student and high school schedules are available. In scheduling Georgetown classes in preparation for Street Law, the key is try 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 in pairs at each of two placements in adult community settings. These classes are typically in the evening for 90 minutes. Each class requires preparation time, including research of the substantive law. Students must also attend a weekly three-hour seminar designed to develop teaching methodology, lesson planning, and a substantive overview of the various topics.
Where will I teach as part of the Street Law Community Clinic?
Each law student is typically placed in one correctional setting and one other community setting. In the summer of 2013, correctional settings are provided at the Correctional Treatment Center, operated by the Corrections Corporation of America, with which the Clinic has partnered for many years, and at Extended House, a halfway house for pretrial and some sentenced residents. The community settings include rehabilitation centers such as Safe Haven Outreach Ministries, the YWCA, Clean and Sober Streets, and the Covenant House Crisis Center.