The Federalist Society hosted the 40th annual National Lawyers Convention last week in Washington, D.C. Professor William Merkel was one of the featured speakers.
The Homeless Justice Project Clinic, a partnership with One80Place, has accepted four 3L students from the Charleston School of Law to provide assistance to the homeless shelter’s clients. The students will interact with and assist clients with a variety of issues, including public benefits and housing. The clinic is supervised by One80 Place’s Director of Legal Services Jeff Yungman, an alumnus of the Charleston School of Law.
Since graduating from CSOL in 2007, Yungman has overseen 90 students who have either done externships or provided pro bono hours. Charleston School of Law’s motto is Pro Bono Populi — for the good of the people — and requires 50 hours of pro bono work from its students before graduation. The new clinic with One80 Place expands on a long partnership and will allow students to work closely with low-income and homeless clients and learn more about public interest law.
Dean Larry Cunningham said the clinic provides students an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience and give back to the community. “I am very excited about this new partnership,” he said. “I am committed to expanding opportunities for students to get real-world, hands-on experience through even more clinics and externships.”
In addition to working closely with clients, clinic participants will attend a weekly seminar led by Mr. Yungman, who will teach them the skills necessary to represent One80 Place’s clients.
“In the seminar I will present information on a legal topic —Social Security, landlord/tenant law, etc. — that the students will encounter with the clients at One80 Place so that they will have some knowledge of the law involved,” said Mr. Yungman. “In addition, part of the seminar will involve ‘class rounds’ where the students will discuss the cases they are working on to get feedback and guidance.”
Students participating in the fall semester clinic are Taylor Rumble, Skylar Leaton, Erika Collins, and Lysten Thomas. They are coming into One80 Place during a time of major disruption due to the pandemic. “The pandemic has impacted us greatly,” said Mr. Yungman. “Our shelter has had to reduce the number of guests for social distancing. As a result, we do not have the ready access to clients we have had in the past. With less readily available clients we have begun to reach out to the Navigation Center, Neighborhood House, and the North Charleston Police Department with an offer to provide legal services to any of the clients they encounter who are homeless and need legal representation.”
Dean Cunningham said because of the short notice, the fall clinic was open to only four students, but there are plans to expand and accept more students in the future.