Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

244.51 sec. 001 - Skills for Direct Legal Services: Working with Clients (Spring 2024)

Instructor: Ellen Ivens-Duran  
Instructor: Brigitte Marie Nicoletti  
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Units: 1
Grading Designation: Credit Only
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


M 6:25 PM - 8:15 PM
Location: Law 107
From January 08, 2024
To March 04, 2024

Course Start: January 08, 2024
Course End: March 04, 2024
Class Number: 33473

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 10
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 18
As of: 04/20 11:56 PM

This seminar is designed to teach students skills relevant to client-centered advocacy in the direct services space. Working directly with clients can be incredibly rewarding and meaningful, and fostering a positive attorney-client relationship is imperative to successful advocacy. However, navigating client relationships can be challenging, particularly when working with communities that the legal system is designed to oppress.

Direct services lawyers often meet with clients at acutely stressful times and our work can involve helping clients navigate issues that are very sensitive and painful. Many clients have also had previous negative and traumatic experiences with the legal system and with lawyers, and so advocates must work to earn trust from their clients from the start of the attorney-client relationship.

This seminar will center the structural issues that affect our clients and inform our representation of them, including discrimination based on race, class, sexuality, and disability. At the beginning of the course, students will be provided with strategies to negotiate their clients’ trauma and support their own resiliency. The remainder of the course will be structured around two hypothetical situations.

The hypotheticals will offer students the opportunity to practice building rapport with clients, effective interviewing, and emotional resiliency. They will be supplemented by skills labs on drafting declarations and preparing clients for witness testimony. Each hypothetical will also be accompanied by instruction on relevant legal principles.

Ellen Ivens-Duran (she/her) is a Staff Attorney and Clinical Supervisor in the Youth Defender Clinic at East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC). She represents young people in juvenile delinquency court and school expulsion proceedings, as well as assists people seeking to seal their Alameda County juvenile delinquency records. She also works toward systems change in a variety of coalition spaces, including F ree Our Kids, Fix School Discipline, and the California Alliance for Youth and Community Justice.

Brigitte Nicoletti (she/her) is a Staff Attorney and Clinical Supervisor in the Homelessness Subunit of the Clean Slate Team at EBCLC. Prior to joining EBCLC, Brigitte worked in the Juvenile Defender Unit at the Contra Costa Public Defenders. In her work at EBCLC, Brigitte engages in direct services work with unhoused clients, and has also engaged in impact litigation and policy advocacy on behalf of her clients. She strives to meet her clients where they are and spends much of her time working in encampments.

Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend or have prior permission of the instructor in order not to be dropped.

Requirements Satisfaction:

Units from this class count towards the J.D. Experiential Requirement.

Exam Notes: (None) Class requires a series of papers, assignments, or presentations throughout the semester
Course Category: Simulation Courses
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Litigation and Procedure
Social Justice and Public Interest

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