Law Students

Because you would rather be an active participant than a passive observer.

A joint project of law schools in the District of Columbia and active since 1969, Law Students in Court (LSIC) allows students to develop practical and fundamental lawyering skills while providing legal representation, assistance, and counseling to low-income clients in the District of Columbia. Students from all six D.C. law schools participate together in the LSIC clinic while receiving academic credit from their own institution. Law Students in Court has two clinical programs, a civil clinic focused primarily on housing law and a criminal clinic representing adults charged with misdemeanors. Each individual law schools decides which of the two clinics to participate in.

We strive to train each of our students to be the best litigators and advocates for our clients but also with a spirit of public service. While you are with us, we want you to be the best, not just for benefit of advancing your professional career, but for the people you will serve. You will take from us an experience, an education, and an ideal about the way the world should work. You will truly understand what it can be like to make a difference in someone’s life. You will help people navigate the often treacherous and terrifying waters of the justice system. Together we can ensure a fair justice system for families and individuals at the most important and dire time of need – when risk of homelessness and liberty are threatened.

Whether you want to work at a law firm, corporation, government agency, or are interested in learning more about courtroom litigation, if you are student who is passionate about social justice please consider joining us for what we hope is the best experience you have in law school.

Students in the Civil Division of LSIC, otherwise known as the Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic, represent clients in D.C. Superior Court, primarily in the Landlord and Tenant and Branch. Law students prevent evictions, preserve affordable housing, and secure tenants’ rights under federal and District law. The program works to fight the consequences of poverty, to prevent homelessness, and to combat the affordable housing crisis in the District of Columbia while teaching law students to become effective advocates.

The program offers a learning environment that focuses on case preparation, courtroom experience and one-on-one working relationships with experienced instructors. Supervision and instruction emphasize litigation strategy, the skills necessary for effective lawyering, and client-centered representation.

Under the supervision of clinical instructors, students are responsible for all aspects of litigation: interviewing clients and witnesses, conducting investigations, preparing pleadings, engaging in settlement negotiations, and conducting all motions hearings and trials pursuant to the Superior Court’s student practice rule. Students enrolled in LSIC represent clients at hearings their casework at D.C. Superior Court’s Landlord & Tenant Branch and Civil Actions Branch, located a short walk from Judiciary Square or Gallery Place Metro.

There is a mandatory weeklong orientation for the Fall 2019 semester from August 12-16 and for the Spring 2020 semester January 2-5. After orientation, weekly clinic classes and simulations are held on Monday evenings. Clinic classes during the semester are held at the LSIC office, located a short walk from the Van Ness metro station at 4340 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 100, Washington, D.C. 20008. Clinic simulations during the semester are held at the Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave NW, Washington DC 20001.

Landlord-tenant cases and small claims cases are on a litigation fast track when compared with regular civil cases. Students can often begin a case and finish it within one semester.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul Di Blasi, Director of Clinical Education for the Civil Division, at pdiblasi@dclawstudents.org.

Students in the LSIC Clinic represent clients charged in misdemeanor cases in the District of Columbia Superior Court. The program works to fight the consequences of poverty and to alleviate inequalities in the justice system while teaching law students to become effective advocates.

Under the guidance and supervision of experienced criminal defense attorneys, students are responsible for all aspects of client representation including interviewing clients, conducting fact investigation and legal research, writing and arguing motions, engaging in pretrial discovery, trying cases, negotiating plea agreements and assisting clients with probation revocations, where applicable. Through reading assignments, mock hearings, reflection, and actual representation, students learn how to develop a case theory and the skills needed for outstanding representation.

The program offers a learning environment that focuses on case preparation, courtroom experience and one-on-one working relationships with experienced criminal defense attorneys. Supervision and instruction emphasize litigation strategy, the skills necessary for effective lawyering, and client-centered representation.

There is a mandatory weeklong orientation the week before each semester’s classes begin. Students enrolled in LSIC complete their casework and attend clinic seminar classes at the LSIC office, located a short walk from the Van Ness metro station at 4340 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 100, Washington, D.C. 20008.

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