D.C. Street Law Clinic
600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001-2095
Tel: (202) 662-9615
Clinic Staff & Faculty
Richard L. Roe, Professor and Clinic Director
Richard L. Roe is Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and Director of the D.C. Street Law Clinic. He received his J.D. degree in 1977 from the University of Maine School of Law and A.B. from Yale College in 1969.
Professor Roe since 1983 has directed the two-semester clinical program, Street Law High Schools, in which law students teach year-long elective courses in District of Columbia high schools. The courses treat legal and civic dimensions of criminal, tort, consumer, housing, family, human rights and other law and culminates in a city-wide mock trial competition. Professor Roe also directs the Street Law in the Community clinic in summers, in which law students teach a 6-week course in practical law in community settings, such as adult education programs, homeless settings, and prisons.
Professor Roe also teaches Literacy and the Law, a seminar exploring the connections between emergent literacy and the development of legal culture. This innovative course, co-taught with Professor John Hirsh of the Georgetown University English Department, is both interdisciplinary and interdepartmental (both law students and English graduate students are enrolled) and includes a service-learning practicum, in which participating students read with young children.
Additional projects include the creation in 2001 of the Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School (www.thurgoodmarshallacademy.org), highly successful in preparing low proficiency students for success in college (all graduates have been accepted to college); the creation of the former D.C. Family Literacy Project, which helped homeless and incarcerated parents of young children to build their capacities to develop their children's literacy; development of various curriculum units, including a Human Rights collaboration with the DC Commission on Human Rights and an Innocence Project curriculum; and the International LL.M. Street Law Human Rights Workshop.
Professor Roe has conducted trainings and workshops on Street Law and participatory educational methods globally, including Russia, Chile, Turkey, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Cambodia, and the UK, and at many international conferences.
Professor Roe also since 2009 is a facilitator of the Georgetown Law Center's Lawyers in Balance program, an eight week voluntary course each semester on mindfulness practices. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Thurgood Marshall Academy and the Hoya Federal Credit Union. Professor Roe has published "Valuing Student Speech: The Work for the Schools as Conceptual Development," 79 Cal. L. Rev. 1269 (1991), which examines recent cognitive research and applies it to the learning environment of schools and the role of students expression in schools.
Melinda Cooperman, Clinical Teaching Fellow
Melinda comes to the Street Law Clinic from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, where she was a Haywood Burns Fellow in Civil and Human Rights. As a law student, Melinda became actively involved with the Suspension Representation Project where she advocated for students facing suspension from New York City public schools. She also participated in the Elder Law Clinic, served as a Teaching Assistant for CUNY's hands-on Trial Practice Seminar, was chosen to represent CUNY School of Law at the 2011 ABA Section on Labor and Employment National Trial Competition, and facilitated the Center on Latino and Latina Rights and Equality (CLORE) 2011 High School Law Academy. During law school, Melinda also taught a weekly class in a public high school through the New York Civil Rights Coalition that was focused on stereotypes in our society and the laws which historically served to perpetuate those stereotypes.
After graduating from The George Washington University in 2005 with a B.A. in Political Communication, Melinda coordinated a family and youth services program at a residential homeless shelter in San Francisco as a corps member for the San Francisco Urban Service Project. Immediately prior to law school, Melinda was a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural El Salvador, where she worked to increase citizen participation in government and provide opportunities for youth development. Melinda successfully negotiated an accord between the leaders of the six major political parties in her town to replace local propaganda images with cultural art. This accord paved the way for a day of community action where community members from all political parties painted cultural murals on the more than seventy lamp posts in the town. Additionally, in the local middle school, Melinda started an "Ecological Club" and developed a course for ninth graders which focused on themes of sex education, self-expression, and personal development.
Efrain Marimon, Clinical Teaching Fellow
Efrain graduated from the Florida State University in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and B.S. in Political Science. After graduation, he moved to Philadelphia where he served as a Teach for America corps member. Efrain earned a Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania and spent five years teaching middle school in Philadelphia. During this time, Efrain was awarded the "Top 100 Teachers" recognition by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and presented a formal commendation by the school district of Philadelphia's superintendent for "Exemplary Community Leadership."
Efrain attended Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center and graduated with honors. During law school, he served as an executive officer for the Democratic Law Student Council, worked as a Teaching Assistant for a Legal Writing Seminar, and was selected to compete in the 2013 Earl Zehmer Trial Competition. Efrain participated in the Street Law Program where he taught in a public high school and helped coordinate an annual mock trial. While attending law school, he clerked for the Miami-Dade School Board Attorney and the General Counsel for Florida's Department of Education.