Curriculum Guide · Courses
Poverty Law and Policy Seminar
Professor Peter Edelman
J.D. Practicum 408 | 6 credit hours (year long)
This course is a year-long seminar with a required field placement of 8 to 10 hours a week (specific times to be negotiated between the student and the placement agency) and a paper that satisfies the upperclass writing requirement. The field placement (to be mutually agreed upon by the professor and the student) will be at a public-interest law organization that works from either a national or a local perspective on issues connected to poverty. Placements might involve a focus on poverty per se or “poverty and . . . .”: e.g., civil rights, women, education, housing, juvenile and criminal justice, child welfare or immigration. Depending on the organization, activities at placements will include litigation and/or policy advocacy. The subject matter of the class will be the framework, history, and current issues related to American poverty. Classes in the fall will cover the definition of poverty, the history of antipoverty policy, welfare, work supports, and safety net issues. Spring classes will feature guest lecturers covering, education, health, housing, homelessness, juvenile justice, and child welfare. Students will be involved in participatory exercises in the course of both semesters: in the fall, mock press conferences, testimony to Congress, and meetings with public officials; and in the spring, a group project on developing a plan for neighborhood transformation, using materials studied through the year.
Prerequisites: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
Students may not concurrently enroll in this seminar and a clinic (except Street Law) or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in an externship with the permission of Professor Edelman.
THIS IS A PRACTICUM COURSE.