Are you an Employer?    Attract the Best Candidates with Smart Job Postings! Search Legal Resumes
Legal Jobs Board for Attorneys, Law Students & Legal Staff | Serving USA & Other Countries | LawCrossing

Need Help? Call (800) 973-1177 

Job Seeker Login   Employer Login 

Job Seekers?  Try it Now  

ATTORNEY JOBS
LAW STUDENT JOBS
LEGAL STAFF JOBS
See Law Jobs We Have Recently Researched and Located for You
What Where
Show Recruiter Jobs  

Show Refreshed Jobs  



Search in Job Title Only
Job Type:
Employer Type:

+ Browse Legal Jobs     + Advanced Search     + Search Tips     + Upload Legal Resume
Legal Jobs >> Legal Articles >> Skill Sharpener >> Workers' Rights Clinic Links Law School with Legal Aid
  • Skill Sharpener

Workers' Rights Clinic Links Law School with Legal Aid


by      

Participating law schools include Boalt Hall, Hastings Law School, and Santa Clara University School of Law, all located in the San Francisco Bay area of California. LAS-ELS partners with the law schools to train students to be "front-line counselors," says Gaitley. Immediate benefits are twofold, he says. The program trains students in practical legal skills, and it also broadens the reach of LAS-ELS to serve more people. One attorney at Legal Aid could talk with five people per night, says Gaitley; with the law students involved through their schools' clinics, they can serve 25 people per night.

Workers' rights was the spark that ignited clinical education at Santa Clara Law in 1993, when members of the schools' La Raza Law Students Association started the East San Jose Community Law Center to help low-income people in the area in a wage dispute. The law school's clinical program is now the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center, and includes workers' compensation, immigration and consumer law services. The field of workers' rights was the "impetus for starting clinical work at the university," says Margarita Alvarez, Supervising Attorney in Workers' Rights at the law center.

The Bay Area Workers' Rights Clinics program runs in different locations during the week - in San Francisco at Hastings Law School on Mondays, in San Jose with the Santa Clara clinic on Tuesdays, over the phone via a 1-800 number on Wednesdays, and at Boalt Hall on Thursdays. Both Santa Clara and Hastings law schools include the clinic in their programs for course credits; the Boalt Hall clinic is staffed by student volunteers. There are designated attorney-teachers for each site; Gaitley is the attorney for the Hastings Law clinic, and Alvarez is the one for Santa Clara Law.

At the start of the summer or the semester, law students receive training from LAS-ELS and their law schools, including role-playing and a mock intake interview video - "so they can approach the first interview with less trepidation," says Gaitley. Students also receive training on basic issues in employment law, such as discrimination, workers' compensation, and wage-per-hour issues.

During each clinic night, eight to twelve law students do intake interviews with people seeking aid with workplace problems. After talking with a person for about half an hour, the student will describe the situation with an attorney. The student then returns for a follow-up talk with the person and passes on the conclusions reached in the discussion. The student-attorney sessions are "very instructive," says Gaitley. The "students do the work, the attorney is there to guide them in thinking the whole thing through….to supervise and act as a safety net for the student."

Sometimes the relationship continues after the initial interview, with the clinic taking the person on as a client.

The primary concern brought to the clinic is when a worker is not paid his or her final paycheck upon termination, says Alvarez. Often, law students and attorneys will find that these same clients have not been getting overtime pay as well. Second-most common are people who feel they have been wrongly terminated - because of discrimination, or because of one mistake after years of work. The majority of the workers' rights clinic clients come from urban Santa Clara County, and work as laborers, landscapers, or in restaurants, says Alvarez.

At Santa Clara Law, the workers' rights and workers' compensation clinical services often overlap, says Alvarez. People will come to the clinic seeking help receiving workers' compensation benefits, but will also need help for the workers' rights section if their employers are making it difficult for the worker to return after recovery.

There are over 100 lawyers who volunteer to supervise law students in the clinics on a pro bono basis every year. About 100 law students participate, and between 2,000 and 3,000 low-income people receive help through the clinics every year, says Gaitley.

Santa Clara and Hastings pay LAS-ELS an annual stipend to teach the clinical course at the law schools. The rest of the funding comes from Legal Aid fundraising. "We have an incredible board of directors," says Gaitley. LAS sees contributions from foundations and cy pres awards, as well as law firms. Firms funding LAS work are "so generous," he says, adding that, among Bay-area firms, there is "a universal willingness to chip in."


Related Article
Compassionate Practice at Core of Santa Clara Law Workers' Rights Clinic

At Santa Clara University School of Law, having the workers' rights clinic running year-round provides ''continuity in the community,'' says supervising attorney Margarita Alvarez. In fact, workers' rights clinics are up and running all around the San Francisco Bay area this summer through the Legal Aid Socie ....

Yale Law Human Rights Clinic Puts Law to Work For Justice

Human rights can range from amorphous concepts to real, tangible, and specific needs. Projects undertaken at Yale Law School's Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic touch on all facets of this growing legal field. ....

The Legal Career of John O'Connell Lawyer at the Legal Aid Society for the poor

It is the week before Christmas, and in the next 48 hours John O'Connell will help drunk drivers, drug peddlers, thieves, wife beaters, parole violators, and a man who shot someone he didn't like in the face. ....
Rate This Article
   View top rated articles

Printable Version    Printable Version PDF Version    PDF Version Email to a Friend    Email to a Friend
Comment    Post A Comment View Comment    View Comment Discuss    Discuss

Featured Testimonials

LawCrossing provides us with a vivid option to search for the perfect legal job. And that's what I appreciate the most.
 Susel

Facts

LawCrossing Fact #208: Even if you’re not looking for a job, regularly checking LawCrossing will allow you to know where you stand in comparison to your competitors.

"We want to hear your thoughts. Please comment on this article (below)!"

Comments


Article ID: 970    

Article Title: Workers' Rights Clinic Links Law School with Legal Aid

Comment not found for this article.

Comment Comment
Discuss
TOPIC POST BY REPLIES
Retired from muni reappointed but at traniee pay
Date / Time: 2008-08-08 03:44:21
Kenneth Mcdougal 0
+ more  

Facebook comments:


total jobs
51,768
Upload Your Resume
New Legal Jobs in Last 7 Days
14,360
Facebook Twitter
job search tip
Dig deeper in the classifieds and learn the jargon, skill set, and educational requirements for most jobs, fields, industries.
LawCrossing



The Job Search Program that Guarantees Success.
Our career counselor creates a tailor-made job search strategy for you and walks you through every step of the process.
Create your unique brand for just $2,495!
2014 Most Influential Legal Recruiter Rankings
Get the ranking

Your privacy is guaranteed. We will never give out, lease, or sell your personal information.


Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.