Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic
The mission of the Law School's clinical programs is to teach students effective advocacy skills, professional ethics, and the effect of legal institutions on the poor; to examine and apply legal theory while serving as advocates for people typically denied access to justice; and to reform legal education and the legal system to be more responsive to the interests of the poor. The Mandel Clinic renders assistance to indigent clients. Students assume responsibility, under the guidance of the full-time clinical faculty, for all aspects of the work. The program is intended to complement and enrich the theoretical study of law with experience in interviewing clients, investigating facts, dealing with adverse parties, working with government agencies, negotiating on behalf of clients, drafting contracts and legislation and participating in court and administrative proceedings. In addition, the Clinic seeks to acquaint students with the problems of professional responsibility and with the special issues of low-income clients and other disadvantaged groups. Students are encouraged to identify legal remedies for recurrent problems through new legislation, improvements in government services and benefits, assisting community-based groups and bar associations in their reform efforts, test cases and other types of law reform litigation.
Under Illinois Supreme Court Rules, students who have completed sixty percent of the credits needed for graduation are authorized to appear on behalf of clients in the state trial courts and administrative agencies. Students may also represent clients in the Illinois Appellate Court, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The Abrams Environmental Law clinic attempts to solve some of the most pressing environmental problems throughout Chicago, the State of Illinois, and the Great Lakes region. On behalf of clients, the clinic sues those who pollute illegally, fights for stricter permits, advocates for changes to regulations and laws, holds environmental agencies accountable, and develops innovative approaches for improving the environment.
The Project’s goals are to enhance police accountability and improve police services in Chicago. The Project provides legal representation to indigent victims of police abuse in federal civil rights cases, administrative proceedings, and state criminal and juvenile litigation.
The Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project provides quality legal representation to juveniles accused of crime and works to improve the system of justice in the juvenile and adult criminal court and develop policies and implementing strategies for effective crime prevention.
The Project represents clients in cases before the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Human Rights Commission and seeks to obtain relief for our clients from race, sex, national origin and handicap discrimination in the work place.
The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic zealously represents indigent defendants charged with federal crimes and gives students a unique opportunity to practice in federal district court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and to write briefs to the United States Supreme Court.
The Housing Initiative was launched in the summer of 2002 to provide legal representation to individual and community-based housing developers, tenant groups, and other parties involved in the development of new or rehabilitated affordable housing stock.
The International Human Rights Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice globally, including in the United States.
The Project aims to improve the quality and quantity of community mental health services for persons with serious mental illnesses.
The Project promotes effective interdisciplinary collaboration between social workers and lawyers as well as highlight the importance of involving well trained social workers in the legal environment.
The goals of the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic have long been to help those who need assistance and to teach students the practical ins and outs of legal practice at the same time. Over the past half century, the methods and models used to achieve these goals have changed, but the desire to instill in students an understanding of the value and need for public-assistance law never wavered.