Community Law Clinic

The Community Law Clinic (CLC) is fundamentally a trial practice clinic. Based in East Palo Alto, a low-income majority-minority city four miles from the law school, the CLC is the closest thing to a traditional legal services office among Stanford’s clinical offerings. The signature feature of the CLC is its off-campus location, which gives students the unique opportunity to work in a community-based, storefront, legal aid office. The office affords CLC students extensive client contact, as well as a feel for daily life in East Palo Alto, which for decades has had a poverty rate well above the national and state rates.

CLC’s areas of focus are wage and hour, housing, social security, and criminal record expungement matters, but the program’s practice areas shift in response to local threats and opportunities. Each student manages a diverse caseload across practice areas, and is responsible for his or her individual client matters cases from intake through disposition. The CLC also works on policy projects,legislative advocacy, and community legal education in areas that affect its clients.  Students are supervised in their cases by Clinic Director and Associate Dean for Clinical Education Juliet Brodie, as well as clinical supervising attorneys Danielle Jones and Lisa Douglass.  Bilingual administrative staff facilitate communications with monolingual Spanish-Speaking clients.

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Our practice is made up of cases and projects that engage our two core values: delivering excellent legal services to the low-income neighborhoods that surround the law school and working on matters that are pedagogically suitable to the clinical method, where you give substantial, ‘driver’s-seat’ responsibility to the law students. I don’t see those values as competing, but as entirely compatible; in fact, part of the long tradition of clinical education is practicing law in precisely the intersection where those two values overlap.

—Professor Juliet M. Brodie, Director, Stanford Community Law Clinic and Associate Dean for Clinical Education

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