Miami Law Tenant's Rights Clinic

Tenant's Rights Clinic

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The Tenants' Rights Clinic is designed to allow law students to represent low-income tenants in litigation and administrative hearings. Cases primarily involve evictions from public and subsidized housing, terminations of Section 8, and denial of affordable housing applications.

Each student will be assigned several cases during the semester and may:

  • Represent tenants to help them avoid homelessness and preserve their housing
  • Represent clients at mediation, administrative hearings or court
  • Interview clients, investigate cases, and research legal issues
  • Negotiate with opposing parties, draft pleadings and discovery
  • Represent resident councils and groups of residents who want to improve their living conditions

While most cases will involve some appearance in court or in an administrative forum, the number of appearances will be dependent on the cases assigned. Some cases may go to trial; most will settle. There may also be some opportunities for appellate advocacy.

Class Time Commitment & Requirement

The Clinic is a graded, 6 credit hour, one semester clinic. This clinic entails a very substantial time commitment in addition to the time spent preparing for and attending class meetings. The Clinic has a classroom component on Wednesdays from 3-5 p.m. at LSGMI. Students are also required to hold office hours at LSGMI for 12 hours each week. Because students will be representing clients, hearings may be scheduled in court on short notice and outside the scheduled clinic hours.

Prerequisites

Preference is given to students with Certified Legal Intern (CLI) status, but it is not required.

OUR DIRECTOR

Jeffrey Hearne, who was recently named among Florida's Legal Elite, directs this clinic. This high honor is given to only the top 2 percent of government and non-profit attorneys in the state.


THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE

Listen to students talk about the great feeling they got “helping {clients} hold on to the one thing they have...their home" and how this clinic has been "one of the best experience I've had in law school because everything was hands on.”


CLINIC SUCCESS STORIES

Tenants' Rights Clinic wins eviction case: Third-year law student Hilary Bricken argued her first case in court as a certified legal intern and won.

Appellate victory for tenants' rights clinic: With crucial help from certified legal intern Maya Thomas, a woman who had been facing eviction won a favorable opinion from a panel of appellate judges in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Miami-Dade County.

Clinic victory helps family avoid eviction and stay in their home: As part of his involvement with the Tenant's Rights Clinic, Miami Law student Ted Massey, Jr., 3L, won his first case last month and helped a family stay in their home.