CLINICAL PROGRAMS AT AKRON LAW
Legal Assistance Clinics
In the Trademark Clinic, students assist businesses and individuals in protecting their trademark rights under the supervision of a licensed trademark attorney. The Trademark Clinic is one of a handful of clinics throughout the country that has been specially designated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to allow law students to prosecute trademark applications. In the clinic, students gain valuable skills sought by employers, such as interviewing clients, conducting trademark searches, drafting opinion letters, preparing and filing trademark applications, and responding to office actions.
Businesses and individuals seeking assistance with trademark matters should contact the law school at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Entrepreneur and Economic Development (SEED) Clinic
In this transactional clinic, law students provide low-cost legal and business assistance to small and emerging businesses in the local community. Presented with the Cleveland office of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s “Legal Services Champion” award, students supervised by staff attorneys advise small businesses operating for less than 5 years with under $100,000 in annual gross revenues. The SEED Clinic helps with business planning, operating agreements, employment law questions, contract/lease issues, entity selection, and nonprofit assistance.
Akron Law students are featured in a story by Akron Legal News about their work in the School of Law’s SEED Clinic to help students start their own business. While the SEED clinic typically assists older clients, Akron Law takes an innovative approach to helping even student entrepreneurs.
“Working with the students allowed us, as law students, to learn how to communicate difficult legal information to an audience who does not have our education or experience, while also addressing their questions and concerns,” said Akron Law student Jennifer Duman. “Opportunities to work with local students and other members of the community are a wonderful reminder of the knowledge, encouragement and hope that we as lawyers can share with our communities.”
Law students assist low-income clients to help file applications to expunge (seal) their criminal records, obtain Certificates of Qualification for Employment (CQE), and file clemency applications.
UA's Reentry Community Clinic has been named one of the best in the nation by National Jurist's PreLaw magazine.
It was also recognized by the American Association of Law Schools as an "Innovative and Outstanding Program” in 2015.
UA Reentry Clinic Releases Results of its Statewide CQE Survey.
Inmate Assistance Program
Law students travel to the Summit County and Mahoning County jails under the direction of staff attorneys to interview inmates and provide general legal information on criminal and civil problems.
This program provides valuable experience in understanding the criminal justice system, and the holistic set of problems facing incarcerated individuals. Supported by grants, some students in this program receive stipends while others volunteer for pro bono hours.
Civil Litigation Clinic
The Civil Litigation Clinic assists low-income clients who are experiencing housing problems. Cases are referred to the clinic from Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. Students interview clients, investigate the case, and prepare the case for court. With a State of Ohio legal intern certificate, students represent clients in court under the supervision of the clinic staff attorney. Students have the opportunity to appear in the Akron Municipal Court, Stow Municipal Court and Barberton Municipal Court, and in administrative hearings at the local housing authority.
Domestic Relations Court Clinic
Students in this litigation clinic handle family law matters in the Portage County Domestic Relations Court. With their State of Ohio legal intern certificate, students supervised by an experienced practitioner handle matters of child support contempt, dissolutions and civil protection orders. Students appear in court, argue at hearings, prepare briefings, and advise clients of modest means referred by the Portage County Bar Association.
The new Domestic Relations Clinic is featured in a story in the Record-Courier.
The Immigration & Human Rights Clinic introduces students to the practice of immigration removal defense with a focus on asylum as a form of relief for individuals seeking protection from persecution in their home countries. Immigration Clinic students will provide direct representation for individuals seeking asylum while detained in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Students will advocate for their clients before a U.S. Immigration Judge and appear frequently at the Cleveland Immigration Court. Students will help conduct "know-your-rights" presentations for groups of non-citizens detained at the Geauga, Butler, and Seneca County detention facilities and will assist with non-court based relief such as U-visas, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and prosecutorial discretion requests.
Students will learn immigration court procedure, client interviewing and counseling skills, trial advocacy skills, legal research and writing in the civil, administrative context, and the fundamentals of asylum as a defense to removal.
Interview on PBS
Elizabeth Knowles, assistant clinical professor of law, is interviewed on WVIZ-TV (PBS) Cleveland's Ideastream, during which she discussed Akron Law's Immigration and Human Rights Law Clinic, and the role our law students play in meeting a growing need for asylum and refugee law counsel.
Policy and Law Clinic
Health Law & Policy Clinic
The Health Law & Policy Clinic is located at Community Legal Aid in downtown Akron. Clinic students will participate in Legal Aid's medical-legal partnership, called the Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law (HEAL) Project, which partners with The University of Akron Nursing Center for Community Health, Akron Children's Hospital, and Summa Health System's Women's Health Center. The HEAL Project integrates lawyers (as well as paralegals and students) into the health care team (which includes doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and other professionals) to resolve legal problems that are barriers to health.
Medical legal partnerships incorporate individual client representation with practice transformation and systemic policy work. The HEAL Project provides individual assistance to patients of its three health care partners. It also trains doctors and lawyers to use legal care to improve patient health, thereby transforming both the practice of medicine and of law. Systemic work of the HEAL Project organically arises from the health policy issues at stake on a local, state, and national level.
Students can expect to have significant client interaction in person and by phone. In addition, students will research and advance HEAL team progress on at least one policy or legal issue tailored to their interests.
Social Justice Lawyering Clinic
The Social Justice Lawyering Clinic combines a two-hour class with a one-hour clinic. This innovative clinic is team-taught by Professor Brant Lee and Clinical Professor Joann Sahl. Students in the clinic identify and work on projects to serve an identified need in the community. The Fall 2015 class selected projects to eliminate obstacles to public housing for those with criminal convictions. The students began the semester by participating in the first statewide Public Housing Authority (PHA) conference on the topic and then identified subsequent related projects.