Poverty Law and Policy Seminar (FIELDWORK PRACTICUM)
J.D. Practicum 408
| 6 credit hours
In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This year-long fieldwork practicum course will focus on the framework, history, and current issues related to American poverty. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar (in both the fall and spring semesters) and carry out 10 hours/week of fieldwork at a public interest law organization that works on issues connected to poverty (in both the fall and spring semesters).
SEMINAR: 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. Students will produce a paper that satisfies the upperclass writing requirement.
FIELDWORK: 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.
Prerequisites: J.D. 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 practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.
This course is open to J.D. students only.
This course may be suitable for evening students who can attend seminar and participate in 10 hours/week of fieldwork, during business hours, throughout the year.
This is a 6 credit year-long course. The final writing requirement paper will be due in the spring. This seminar and the fieldwork are both graded.
Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.
Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.
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