East Bay Community Law Center

What is the East Bay Community Law Center?

Founded by Boalt Hall students in 1988, the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) is Berkeley’s community-based teaching clinic. EBCLC provides high-quality training and supervision to law students and first-rate legal services to low-income clients in Alameda County. Seventeen lawyers and more than 100 law students under their supervision provide free legal services to over 5,000 clients annually. EBCLC also engages in ground-up policy work through various strategies that include litigation, legislative advocacy and technical support for community education and organizing.

In five broad program areas, EBCLC offers nine clinical placements (more details here):

1. Clean Slate Clinic (Criminal/Litigation)

2. Green-Collar Communities Clinic (Economic Development/Transactional)

3. Health Law Clinic (Multidisciplinary/Administrative)

4. Housing Law Clinic (Litigation)

5. Immigration Law Clinic (Administrative/Litigation)

6. Neighborhood Justice Clinic (Litigation/Brief Services)

7. Policy Advocacy Clinic (Multimodal Policy)

8. Public Benefits Clinic (Administrative/Policy)

9. Youth Defender Clinic (Criminal/Litigation)

Why should I participate in EBCLC?

Gain Hands-on Lawyering Experience: Put your classroom learning to work and gain a broad range of experience at EBCLC, where you will interview and counsel clients, develop case theory, draft legal documents, collaborate with experts, negotiate with adversaries and other third parties, and appear in court and administrative hearings.

Receive Close, High-Quality Supervision: Receive extensive substantive law and skills training, day-to-day supervision, and regular feedback on your legal work through individual and group case rounds.

Satisfy the Writing Requirement: With the addition of one or more units, papers prepared for the clinic or seminar may satisfy the school’s writing requirement.

Serve the Community: Make a difference and give back during this very challenging time in our community. Legal needs are growing while the resources to address them are increasingly scarce – law students are part of the solution!

Build Your Resume: Employers in the private, government and non-profit sectors are looking for students who are “practice-ready,” and they highly value the practical skills and professional responsibility students learn in clinical settings such as EBCLC.

What is my time commitment at EBCLC?

EBCLC Seminar (Law 289): You must enroll in the 2-unit companion seminar. The first third of the semester is devoted to substantive law and skills training. The remainder of the class focuses on materials about many of the issues that face EBCLC clients and law students. The course and clinic provide you with the opportunity to learn first-hand the practice skills and professional responsibilities of representing clients. The seminar is graded credit/no credit.

EBCLC Clinic (Law 295.5z): You must enroll for a minimum of 4 clinical units, or 16 hours per week at EBCLC (each unit = 4 hours/week). You may enroll for more than 16 hours per week in 4 hour increments and receive additional units (e.g., 20 hours/week = 5 units, 24 hours = 6 units, etc.). Although workloads may vary in any given week due to the nature of a live client practice, you will not regularly be required to work more hours than the number of units for which you are enrolled. The clinical component is graded credit/no credit.

Advanced EBCLC Clinic (Law 295.5y): As a returning student, you may enroll for any number of credits in 4 hour increments/week and receive units (e.g., 4 hours/week = 1 unit, 8 hours = 2 units, etc.). The advanced clinic is graded credit/no credit.

Flexibility: In consultation with you supervisor, and with the exceptions noted above, you choose your own office hours, consistent with your schedule and the demands of casework.

How do I enroll in EBCLC?

1) Complete and return the on-line application by the posted deadline.

2) Enroll in the class (Law 289). Preference is given to students who complete an application by the deadline AND enroll in Law 289 during Phase I of TeleBEARS.

Questions? Contact Faculty Director Jeff Selbin or Executive Director Tirien Steinbach.