Clinic Descriptions

Advanced In-House Clinic (2 or 3 credits)

Melina Healey, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs

The Advanced In-House Clinic is available to students who have successfully completed an in-
house clinic (Criminal Prosecution clinic does not qualify). Advanced Clinic can be taken for 2
credits (with 5 hours per week of case work) or 3 credits (with 10 hours per week of case work).
In addition, there is a once weekly 90-minute seminar. This Clinic provides an opportunity to
assume a greater range of responsibilities in case work, to collaborate on cases across clinics
through inter-clinic collaboration, and to help supervise new clinic students on client work.

Students in the Advanced Clinic will continue their ongoing client cases, take on additional
cases, deepen their engagement with the relevant substantive issues, and learn from the problems
and opportunities presented by the case work of their fellow students.The seminar takes the
learning opportunities presented by the students’ case work as its primary material, employing in
weekly “case rounds” discussions planned and led by the students. They will engage in
structured reflection and consultation with each other about their cases; review and provide
feedback on drafts of written submissions; discuss possible strategic and ethical choices that
must be made on cases; and “moot” each other to prepare for upcoming court appearances,
hearings, or other advocacy contexts.

Bankruptcy and Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic (6 credits)

Leif Rubinstein, Associate Professor of Law

The Bankruptcy Clinic represents clients in personal bankruptcy proceedings in federal court and counsel debtors on available alternatives to bankruptcy. Students interview and counsel clients, investigate facts, review financial records and, negotiate on behalf of their clients. Students will also participate in U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearings as well as prepare, file, and argue bankruptcy motions. Students learn to prepare bankruptcy petitions using the “Best Case” bankruptcy software program. Students will also assist clients in defending state foreclosure actions. Mortgage modification applications will be prepared on behalf of clients and students will prepare answers to foreclosure complaints and motions. Students will also attend foreclosure conferences in state Supreme Court. 

Child Support Mediation Clinic (3 credits)

Gene D. Barr, , Associate Professor of Law

This clinic trains students to engage in mediation practice and explores the merits and approaches to this alternative to litigation. The course develops problem solving, negotiation, and conflict management skills. Seminar will focus on mediation strategy and simulations, exploring the theory and practice the techniques underlying all phases of the facilitative mediation model of mediation. Students will also provide vital mediation services to the litigants in child support disputes and potentially other areas of need. Emphasis will be placed on developing essential mediator skills, such as active listening, formulating questions, reframing, creating rapport, using language effectively, deescalating negative emotions, and non-verbal communication. This clinic is fully remote for both case work and seminar, but clinic students may use the clinic offices and meet in person with clients if desired.

Criminal Defense Clinic (5 credits)*

Liz Justesen, Adjunct Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic

This clinic focuses on “Holistic Lawyering,” treating the whole client in a criminal case. Students learn about the concepts of holistic lawyering, interviewing and communication with the client, bail reform, integrating social work services to help clients navigate the court system, discovery reform and review, investigation, omnibus motion writing, mitigation, plea bargaining, trial prep and collateral consequences. Students will engage in the practice of criminal defense work, in the courts and on the record, with real, current violation and misdemeanor criminal cases in the Cohalan Criminal Court, Central Islip assigned to The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County. 12 clinic hours are required per week in addition to the class time and assignments/readings for class, and must be fulfilled in person on two out of three days on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 am- 1:00 pm.

Initially students will learn about criminal arraignments, and then actually arraign clients assigned to The Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County in court. Students will then learn about “working a criminal case” and be assigned several cases through the semester to manage, under the supervision of Professor Justesen, from start to finish. Enrollment in this clinic requires Evidence as a prerequisite, Criminal Procedure as a pre or co-requisite, an interview with the clinic professor, additional screening by the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society, and will be limited to 4 students.

Criminal Prosecution Clinic - Kings County DA (5 credits)

Michael Boykin, Adjunct Professor

This hands-on course exposes students to the practice of Criminal Law, and, specifically, to prosecutorial practice. Students will analyze and discuss the application, procedure, and principles surrounding litigation in criminal courts, using actual cases. By partnering with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, the Law Center would send a small group of upper-level students to assist current prosecutors while also enabling students to learn and grow by doing. Under the guidance and supervision of managing Assistant District Attorneys, primarily in the trial division and in tandem with various other specialized bureaus throughout the agency, Prosecution Clinic Students will: participate in prosecutions; handle their own small caseloads; interview witnesses; compile discovery; conduct legal research; assist with motion practice; screen appropriate level cases at ECAB (primarily DATs), potentially participate in misdemeanor arraignments; observe court proceedings; and potentially appear on the record. Enrollment in this clinic requires additional screening by the Kings County DA’s office.

Criminal Prosecution Clinic - Suffolk County DA (5 credits)

John Buonora, Adjunct Professor

This clinic provides students with hands-on experience working in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office prosecuting real cases in the Suffolk County District Court. Students will be assigned misdemeanors and violations. Students will have primary responsibility for their cases and will appear on the record on all phases of their cases while working under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys and their faculty supervisor. Students conduct investigations, interview police and civilian witnesses and negotiate dispositions with defense counsel, and prepare for and conduct hearings and trials. Students will work a minimum of 12 hours weekly in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office. In addition, a 3-hour weekly seminar, taught by the faculty supervisor, involves focused course of study on the prosecution process and is premised on the understanding that students already have a basic knowledge of criminal law and criminal procedure. This clinic will give the student live practice in the role of a prosecutor, while experiencing the myriad legal, social, economic and political issues that are present in the practice of criminal law and in the criminal justice process. Placement in this clinic is contingent on additional screening by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

Education Justice Clinic (6 credits)

Melina Healey, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Clinical Programs

Clinic students represent young people with educational disabilities in Family Court and in administrative litigation. We defend young people involved in the Suffolk County juvenile justice system and advocate for their educational rights in school. The Education and Youth Justice Clinic collaborates with professionals from other disciplines to meet the diverse client needs of these vulnerable group. The course also provides an opportunity to discuss and address systemic issues around the school-to-prison pipeline. The Clinic includes simulated investigations, client interviewing and counseling, and a trial.

Immigration Rights Advocacy Clinic (6 credits)

Mauricio Noroña , Clinical Professor of Law

The Immigration Rights Advocacy Clinic is a new, intensive, live-client clinic where students represent immigrants in deportation and related proceedings. In addition, students have the opportunity to collaborate with community-based organizations assisting immigrants on scale while developing litigation and non-litigation advocacy modalities.

In this clinic, students gain significant experience in litigation by representing immigrants who are dealing with deportation due to encounters with the criminal legal system or those seeking asylum from persecution abroad. They will have the opportunity to conduct trials, perform direct and cross examinations of witnesses, handle expert testimony, and draft and present briefs and motions. These valuable litigation skills can be applied to any future court practice. Most importantly, working on these cases provides students with a chance to make a life-changing impact for their clients, including securing their release from detention and reuniting families. Beyond individual cases, students engage in advocacy projects, where they learn how to use the law to challenge systemic injustice by collaborating with community-based and advocacy organizations. The clinic seminar covers various aspects of immigration law, lawyering skills, ethical considerations, and sociopolitical analysis of immigration laws and policies that affect their clients.

No specific prerequisites are required for this course. The Immigration Rights Advocacy Clinic presents an excellent opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in immigration or community-based lawyering of any kind.

Landlord-Tenant Mediation Clinic (3 credits)

AveMaria Thompson, Adjunct Professor of Law

Clinic students have an opportunity to engage in both client representation and conduct neutral facilitative mediation in this innovative clinic. Students are trained in landlord tenant law and are given the important responsibility to represent litigants and conduct mediations in active landlord-tenant cases in Suffolk County District Court. Students will learn the basics of landlord-tenant law and mediation techniques. Seminar includes simulations of housing cases, negotiation, and alternative dispute resolution. This clinic will provide a critically important service to litigants and judges in landlord-tenant matters. Students will also develop advocacy and negotiation skills, proficiency in mediation, and knowledge of landlord-tenant law and court procedures.

Senior Citizens Law Clinic (6 credits)

Denise Marzano-Doty, Adjunct Professor of Law
AveMaria Thompson, Staff Attorney

The Senior Citizens Law Clinic (“SCLC”) is a federally-funded program established pursuant to the Title III-B of the Older Americans Act. SCLC provides pro bono legal services to senior citizens residing in Suffolk County. SCLC handles several types of cases including landlord-tenant, Section 8, and subsidized housing matters, preparation of powers of attorney/health care proxies/living wills, Medicaid applications and pooled trust applications. The SCLC also provides representation at Medicaid fair hearings, in town zoning violations matters and in small claims court. Students learn how to interview clients, evaluate potential legal issues, strategize potential legal solutions, and research and draft correspondence, memoranda, and other documents. Students work with clients of varying ethnic, religious, and income backgrounds and learn the importance of treating all clients with respect and patience. This clinic requires substantial in-person court and a weekly in-person presence for all clinic hours.

Small Business and Not-for-Profit Clinic (3 credits)

William Bird, III, Adjunct Professor of Law

Students assist community groups and small businesses interested in creating and operating their organizations. Students advise clients on the most appropriate form of organization to accomplish the group’s goals and how to create the most appropriate organizational structure. The clinical interns provide ongoing legal services to local groups, charities, and other tax-exempt institutions, as well as small businesses, whose budgets cannot cover ordinary legal expenses. These matters may involve compliance with federal, state, and local laws, government filings, legal issues of fundraising, application for tax-exempt status, advice on board and volunteer liability, restrictions on lobbying, and the creation of corporate structure and by-laws. Evening students will have priority to be considered for this clinic. This clinic is fully remote for both seminar and case work but students may use the clinic offices and meet with clients in person if desired.

Veterans' and Servicemembers' Rights Clinic (6 credits)

Patrick Donohue, Supervising Attorney and Adjunct Professor of Law

The clinic honors the sacrifices of the men and women who have worn the uniforms of our nation’s armed forces. The services the clinic provides are particularly needed in Suffolk County, which has one of the largest concentrations of veterans anywhere in the country, and is the site of a major VA Hospital, the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The clinic gives priority to matters that will prevent or relieve homelessness or remove barriers to reintegration of veterans into civilian life.

This clinic was featured in the Touro College magazine Links.

Touro College Magazine 

This clinic was featured in the New York Post

NY Post Article
*All representation is free of charge and strictly confidential.

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