About EDC

The Eviction Defense Clinic (EDC) provides legal help for people that have an eviction court case. Clinical law students handle individual cases and engage in community-led education and advocacy. 

The EDC works in a multidisciplinary community partnership with the Tenant Resource Center and the Legal Action of Wisconsin and Community Justice, Inc. to prevent evictions by providing legal services to tenants in eviction court. The partnership provides our clients wrap-around services that seek to prevent eviction, such as rental assistance, housing navigation and access to other community resources.

Information for Students

What do EDC Students do?

The main responsibilities of EDC students are to:

  • provide legal representation for people facing eviction in court;
  • educate community and community advocates about various aspects of rental housing law; and
  • potentially advocate and testify before governmental bodies.

EDC students engage in traditional litigation practice, using skills such as fact investigation, legal research, analysis, drafting, negotiation, counseling, and trial work.

Students also learn to participate in and consider less traditional lawyering activities, such as public speaking, drafting education materials, and participating in local campaigns for social and economic justice.

Classroom Component

EDC students participate in a weekly seminar that covers:

  • General litigation skills
  • Substantive landlord/tenant law
  • Simulations and exercises, including a mock Jury Trial
  • Theories of community lawyering and culturally competent lawyering
  • The role of lawyers in various movements for social and economic justice

Students also conduct structured "case rounds,"  in which they brief each other about their client work and brainstorm new approaches to client issues and projects.  

If you are interested in further information about the EDC, please contact EDC Director Erica K. López at eklopez@wisc.edu.

Information for the Public

The Eviction Defense Clinic (EDC) provides free legal representation to residents of Dane County that have an eviction (no security deposits, conditions, illegal lock outs) case currently in court. The EDC is part of the University of Wisconsin Law School's Economic Justice Institute. EDC clients receive legal services from law students, who are supervised by attorneys.

The EDC can only help tenants who have a case in case in court* AND are already working with the Tenant Resource Center (TRC).

*You must have a case number to leave a message. Check the court website at Wisconsin Circuit Court Access/CCAP to find your case number; 

How does the EDC work?

If you need legal help:

  1. First call the Tenant Resource Center (TRC) at 608-257-0006 to schedule an intake appointment on the phone.
    • You should call the TRC first because they have rental assistance and other resources that can help with your housing needs.
  2. Have the following with you when you call:
    • Your court case number, which can be found via the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access/CCAP.
    • Relevant documents and papers, e.g. letters from your landlord, lease/rental agreement, court papers, notices.
  3. After you talk to the TRC, they will refer your case to non profit law firms or our clinic to provide free legal help if you need it.
    • This program is very new, so as it gets started, not all tenants may receive legal representation, but you will at least get legal information (housing counseling) or legal advice. 
    • The EDC students will research and discuss your eviction case with their supervising attorney to decide if and how we can help.

How much does EDC help cost?

The EDC does not charge for our legal services.

Can the EDC help me with my case?

The EDC can help you if:

  1. You have an EVICTION case in court with a court hearing (return date or trial date) in the future and you have a court case number and hearing date. 
  2. You have an EVICTION case on your record and you want to know if you can get that case off CCAP.  
    • Contact the Tenant Resource Center first - they will refer your case to us.
    • If they can’t help, contact LIFT Dane and Legal Action of Wisconsin (855-947-2529) - we can only help if they can’t help you. This is VERY limited. We need you to try with other agencies first before you call us.

What does the EDC expect of its clients?

We expect our clients to:

  • Be an equal partner in your case; you must help us with your case.
  • Keep us up to date about changes in:
    • address;
    • telephone number; or
    • other contact information (email, etc.).
  • Return our calls as you can
  • Give us all papers about your eviction case (via text, mail, email, fax)

Contact Us

Phone Numbers

  • Main Phone Line: 608-890-0678
  • Direct Phone Line: 608-265-1300

Se habla español.

Fax Number

608-265-3732

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