Neighborhood Law Clinic

Info for Students

Students apply for positions in the NLC in Fall of every year for terms that begin in the following May. Students serve in the NLC from late May to the beginning of the following May.  

The application deadline is generally 12 noon on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Our application form and process is being updated for 2013. 

Educational Aspects of the NLC

Review NLC's pedagogical philosophy and expectations (PDF)

What Do NLC Students Do?

NLC students maintain regular weekly office hours at the Park Street office located at the Villager Mall (frequent bus service and ample parking make this easy). Examples of cases and projects include:

Housing

  • Representing a tenant who is being illegally evicted, whose security deposit has been unlawfully retained, or who has had other housing rights violated;
  • Assisting a tenant living in uninhabitable conditions by helping the tenant report those conditions to appropriate authorities and enforcing the landlord's duty to maintain the apartment;
  • Researching differences among various local municipalities' landlord-tenant ordinances and working with other local agencies to advocate for stronger protections where necessary;
  • Educating the community and community advocates about various aspects of landlord-tenant law;
  • Collaborating with other tenants' organizations on projects of mutual interest, including proposed legislation and other "impact" projects.

Workers' Rights

  • Assisting a worker with filing a complaint of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, criminal history, or other basis;
  • Representing a worker seeking unpaid wages in either the state agency that enforces wage claims or in civil litigation;
  • Conducting workshops for welfare recipients, neighborhood residents, or others on workers rights;
  • Working with the local Workers' Center to meet the legal needs of low-wage workers, including immigrant workers.

Public Benefits

  • Represent W-2 and Medical Assistance recipients whose benefits are being terminated or reduced because of an alleged rule violation.
  • Collaborate with other anti-poverty workers to address barriers to W-2, Food Stamps, Emergency Assistance and other safety net programs.
  • Represent Section 8 housing program participants whose vouchers are being terminated because of an alleged rule violation.
  • Assist with testimony and/or analysis of proposed legislative activity.

Classroom Component

In addition to weekly office hours on Park Street, NLC students participate in a weekly seminar. The seminar includes materials on: (1) the substantive topics students will encounter in their client work; (2) simulations and exercises in the various lawyering skills used; and (3) theories of community lawyering, and the role of lawyers in various movements for social and economic justice. Students also conduct structured "case rounds," in which they brief each another about their client work and brainstorm new approaches to client issues and projects.

If you are interested in further information about the NLC contact Director Mitch at 263-9575; or by email at mitch@wisc.edu.

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