Catalogue 2019 - 2020

LAWS 902 Housing Law Clinic



Course Description

Students in the Housing Clinic represent tenants with complaints against landlords in the Western Massachusetts Housing Court. The Housing Clinic is currently cooperating with the Massachusetts Justice Project(MJP). Through MJP, students will acquire clients who have cases pending in the summary process (eviction) session of the Hampden County session of the Western Massachusetts Housing Court. Under the supervision of the Clinic's Supervising Attorney, students will represent tenants in the prosecution and litigation of their cases. Students will handle all phases of the case, including case evaluation, client interviewing, negotiation of possible settlement, legal research and factual development of the claims, and representation of the litigants in court proceedings. If the case does not settle, trials are before a single justice of the Housing Court. Trial may include direct testimony of the witnesses, cross-examination, opening statements and closing arguments and introduction of evidence. Students are also required to participate in a pro see limited assistance clinic on Friday afternoons. Students must also enroll in a two credit seminar concurrent with their semester of fieldwork. Prerequisites: The clinic is open to students who have successfully completed 32 hours of law studies and have successfully completed Law 553, Evidence. Evidence may be taken concurrently with the Clinic. A student is required to be SJC Rule 3:03 eligible. A student may not simultaneously enroll in more than one clinic, more than one externship, or a clinic and an externship. This satisfies 2 experiential learning credits.