Employment and Housing Discrimination Clinic
Professor Laura Sager
Open to 3L and 2L students
Maximum of 8 students
No prerequisites or co-requisites.
The Employment and Housing Discrimination Clinic is a two-semester, 14-credit course offered in Fall 2008 and Spring 2009. Students represent plaintiffs in discrimination cases in state and federal court. They also participate in a seminar and a variety of simulation exercises. Through the combined fieldwork and simulation experience, students learn the substantive and procedural law related to discrimination litigation and gain experience in the tasks and skills involved in the litigation. On average, students spend about 20 hours per week on the course. However, the work load varies over the course of the year depending on the demands of the fieldwork cases and simulation exercises.
In past years, Clinic students have worked on a wide range of discrimination cases, including claims based on race, national origin, disability, age, and sex, including sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. From time to time the Clinic takes cases together with outside organizations, such as Make the Road by Walking, an advocacy organization for low-wage Latino immigrant workers, and Legal Momentum (formerly known as the NOW Legal Defense Fund), an advocacy organization for women’s rights.
During the current academic year, students have been working on cases involving claims of sexual harassment and discrimination against women in the construction industry. Because these cases involve complex factual and legal issues, some of them may still be on our docket in the coming academic year. Additional cases will be selected in Fall 2009 as needed to fill our docket.
Typically, two students work on each fieldwork case. However, more students may be assigned to cases that are particularly complex or demanding. The students are responsible, under faculty guidance, for all aspects of the case, including interactions with the client, witnesses, and opposing counsel. Depending on the stage of the case, students’ written work may include drafting pleadings, interrogatories, document requests, responses to discovery requests, motions, briefs, affidavits, letters to opposing counsel and the court, and settlement agreements. Oral tasks may include taking and defending depositions, arguing motions in court, conferring with potential witnesses and opposing counsel, and engaging in settlement talks or court-supervised mediation. Students also appear on behalf of the client at any trial or appeal.
The seminar component of the course focuses on issues of substantive and procedural law related to Clinic cases. The simulation exercises, based on a prior Clinic case, are designed to supplement the fieldwork experience and to ensure that all students have the opportunity to engage in certain key litigation activities, such as drafting pleadings, discovery requests, motions and briefs, arguing motions, taking depositions, and performing trial work, including opening and closing arguments and direct and cross-examination of witnesses.
Students who are interested in taking the Employment and Housing Discrimination Clinic should submit the standard application, resume and transcript online through CAMS. Selection of students is not based on interviews. However, Professor Sager will meet with applicants in small groups in order to provide a more complete description of the course and to answer questions. After submitting your application, please contact the Clinic administrator Steven Bautista at 212-998-6448 or firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for a meeting time.
Students currently enrolled in the EHDC are:
* 14 credits includes 3 clinical credits and 4 academic seminar credits each semester.