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Criminal Justice Offerings   


Learn about Seton Hall Law Clinics

 

Center for Social Justice (CSJ)
csj_reception@shu.edu | 973-642-8700 or 973-761-9000 ext. 8700
833 McCarter Highway, Newark, NJ 07102

 

Criminal Justice Offerings

The Center for Social Justice addresses criminal justice issues through a variety of impact litigation, direct representation and policy reform work. Students can contribute to these efforts in a variety of ways through the Equal Justice Clinic, the Criminal Defense Clinic, and the Impact Litigation Clinic (see separate page).

Number Name Credit Type Offering

CLIN7192

Equal Justice Clinic

The Equal Justice Clinic handles a variety of cases addressing civil and human rights with a primary focus on ensuring disadvantaged groups equal access to justice. Through impact litigation and direct service cases, the clinic addresses immigrants’ rights, prisoners’ rights, and ethnic and gender-based discrimination. Students work closely with clinical faculty, interviewing and consulting with clients, corresponding with experts, researching and writing pleadings, and engaging in factual investigations. Through simulations and other interactive exercises, the seminar portion of the clinic focuses on the development and refinement of essential lawyering skills in the areas of client interviewing, counseling, and persuasive writing, while exploring topical issues and themes related to equality and justice. The clinic requires an average of fifteen hours per week in addition to the two-hour seminar, six hours of which must be worked as “office hours” in the Center for Social Justice. Students, who work in teams, also participate in weekly case review meetings. The clinic is open to day and evening students who are the equivalent of a third year day student.

The course is letter-graded for both the clinical and class components.



Prerequisites: Minimum Cumulative 2.60 GPA, Evidence, Professional Responsibility and Persuasion and Advocacy. Note: Students cannot participate in an externship in the same semester in which they are enrolled in a clinic.

4

Clinic

in-class

CLIN7193

Equal Justice Clinic

The Equal Justice Clinic handles a variety of cases addressing civil and human rights with a primary focus on ensuring disadvantaged groups equal access to justice. Through impact litigation and direct service cases, the clinic addresses immigrants’ rights, prisoners’ rights, and ethnic and gender-based discrimination. Students work closely with clinical faculty, interviewing and consulting with clients, corresponding with experts, researching and writing pleadings, and engaging in factual investigations. Through simulations and other interactive exercises, the seminar portion of the clinic focuses on the development and refinement of essential lawyering skills in the areas of client interviewing, counseling, and persuasive writing, while exploring topical issues and themes related to equality and justice. The clinic requires an average of fifteen hours per week in addition to the two-hour seminar, six hours of which must be worked as “office hours” in the Center for Social Justice. Students, who work in teams, also participate in weekly case review meetings. The clinic is open to day and evening students who are the equivalent of a third year day student.

The course is letter-graded for both the clinical and class components.



Prerequisites: Minimum Cumulative 2.60 GPA, Evidence, Professional Responsibility and Persuasion and Advocacy. Note: Students cannot participate in an externship in the same semester in which they are enrolled in a clinic.

1

Clinic

in-class

The Equal Justice Clinic

Professor: Jenny-Brooke Condon
Offered: Fall & Spring semesters
Credits: 5

INTRODUCTION

The Equal Justice Clinic handles a variety of civil rights cases with a special focus on mass incarceration and reform of our criminal justice system. Through impact litigation and direct service client representation, the Equal Justice Clinic focuses on over-incarceration, including of immigrants,, prisoners’ rights, and reentry.. The Clinic is designed to develop students’ sense of individual responsibility to real clients while working collaboratively with other members of a larger legal team to address some of the most critical civil rights and constitutional law issues of our time.

In the four-credit casework component of the clinic, students work on real cases for real clients, often while co-counseling with leading public interest organizations, such as the ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights. In recent years, clinic students have worked on the following cases and projects:

  1. Freedom of Information Act litigation in the Southern District of New York seeking to expose information about private prisoner contractors’ role in immigration detention;
  2. a class action on behalf of prisoners challenging conditions at a local county jail during the period of court-directed monitoring of a settlement agreement;
  3. post-conviction proceedings involving an indigent, death-sentenced client in Alabama;
  4. direct representation addressing the civil legal barriers to reintegration faced by individuals after incarceration.
  5. a community education project related to the Newark policing consent decree.

The Criminal Justice Clinic

Professor: Esere Onaodowan
Offered: Fall and spring semesters
Credits: 5

INTRODUCTION

This clinic combines the work of the Criminal Defense Clinic (offered in Fall 2017) with the work of the Reentry Legal Assistance Clinic (offered in Spring 2018). Students participating in the Criminal Justice Clinic represent defendants in the Essex County Special Remand Court. The clinic’s clients are individuals who face a variety of charges downgraded from indictable offenses. Students appear in court regularly and may also prepare for, and in some cases handle, trials. In addition, students represent individuals who have completed their criminal sentence and now seek to reintegrate with their communities. The Clinic assists individuals in legal matters that arise as the collateral consequences of the criminal conviction, including driver's license restorations, assistance with other professional licensing requirements, addressing outstanding warrants, and modifying child support orders. In addition, the Clinic supports ex-offenders on housing and employment issues. The Criminal Justice Clinic is ideally suited for students considering a criminal law practice or those who want exposure to a wide range of individual client needs. Students will interview clients; engage in factual investigation; present Know-Your-Rights sessions to the community; draft letters and legal filings; and appear in a variety of courts and administrative settings. The clinic will address the broader criminal justice reform movement, and identify areas for advocacy to have a greater impact.

The Seminar

The Equal Justice Clinic and Criminal Defense Clinic meet together for the two-hour one-credit seminar component of the clinics. This involves weekly strategy sessions about clinical projects and a skills curriculum focused on transferable lawyering skills, including client interviewing, crafting effective case theories, applying ethics in practice, legal writing, factual investigation, deposition skills, and client counseling. Through a combination of skills instruction, simulations, and exercises, the seminar addresses core lawyering skills while also exposing students to topical issues of social justice with an emphasis on criminal justice reform. During the seminar, students engage in regular “case rounds” requiring each to present current issues in their cases, anticipate problems, strategize solutions, and think through the potential consequences of lawyering choices. The experience aims to develop and refine students’ lawyering skills, but most importantly to provide students with a foundation of ethical and reflective lawyering that will foster continued self-directed learning as a lawyer. The Equal Justice Clinic and the Criminal Justice Clinic will meet together approximately half of the seminar time, with an emphasis on the synergies between the clinics and the importance of criminal justice reform.

Prerequisites: Minimum Cumulative 2.60 GPA (2.33-2.60 with a waiver), Evidence, Professional Responsibility and Persuasion and Advocacy. Note: Students cannot participate in an externship in the same semester in which they are enrolled in a clinic.

NOTE: The Impact Litigation Clinic also undertakes a substantial amount of criminal justice litigation. While the appeals and amicus briefs filed by the Clinic are not exclusively focused on criminal defense work, the Clinic has represented prisoners and criminal defendants on constitutional and civil rights issues, such as a prisoner’s religious rights.