Employment and Housing Discrimination Clinic
|LW.10215 / LW.10625
Professor Laura Sager
Open to 3L and 2L students
Maximum of 8 students
No prerequisites or co-requisites.
The Employment and Housing Discrimination Clinic is a two-semester, 14-credit course in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. During the current academic year, the professor has been on sabbatical in the spring and therefore the Clinic was offered as a one-semester course in the Fall 2012.
Students in the Clinic represent
in discrimination cases in state and federal court and before federal agencies such as the EEOC and the Department of Labor. They also participate in a seminar and a variety of simulation exercises. Through the combined fieldwork and simulation experience, students learn the substantive and procedural law related to discrimination litigation and gain experience in the tasks and skills involved in the litigation. On average, students spend about 20 hours per week on the course. However, the work load varies over the course of the year depending on the demands of the fieldwork cases and simulation exercises.
In past years, Clinic students have worked on a wide range of discrimination cases, including claims based on race, national origin, disability, age, and sex, including sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination, as well as violations of the minimum wage and overtime laws. From time to time the Clinic takes cases together with outside organizations such as Make the Road by Walking, an advocacy organization for low-wage Latino immigrant workers, and Legal Momentum (formerly known as the NOW Legal Defense Fund), an advocacy organization for women’s rights.
The cases currently on the Clinic docket, and likely to continue to be in litigation in Fall 2013, include a claim of sex discrimination against the New York City Housing Authority for rejecting a qualified woman applicant for a position as bricklayer; a claim of disability discrimination against a major retail store for failing to grant reasonable accommodation to an individual with a disability and for denying her request for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act; a claim of sexual harassment by two women who were employed in a Brooklyn factory and were fired after they complained of the harassment; and a claim against the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation for refusing to hire an individual with a criminal record without making an individualized assessment of the relationship between his criminal record and the nature of the job.
Typically, two students work on each fieldwork case. However, more students may be assigned to cases that are particularly complex or demanding. The students are responsible, under faculty guidance, for all aspects of the case, including interactions with the client, witnesses, and opposing counsel. Depending on the stage of the case, students’ written work may include drafting pleadings, interrogatories, document requests, responses to discovery requests, motions, briefs, affidavits, letters to opposing counsel and the court, and settlement agreements. Oral tasks may include taking and defending depositions, arguing motions in court, conferring with potential witnesses and opposing counsel, and engaging in settlement talks or court-supervised mediation. Students also appear on behalf of the client at any trial or appeal.
The seminar component of the course focuses on issues of substantive and procedural law related to Clinic cases. The simulation exercises, based on prior or current Clinic cases, are designed to supplement the fieldwork experience and to ensure that all students have the opportunity to engage in certain key litigation activities, such as drafting pleadings, discovery requests, motions and briefs, arguing motions, taking
depositions and performing trial work, including direct and cross-examination of witnesses, opening statements, and closing arguments.
Students who are interested in taking the Employment and Housing Discrimination Clinic should submit the standard application, resume and transcript online through CAMS. Selection of students is not based on interviews. However, Professor Sager will meet with applicants in small groups in order to provide a more complete description of the course and to answer questions. After submitting your application, please contact the Clinic administrator Steven Bautista at 212-998-6448 or email@example.com to sign up for a meeting time.
Students enrolled in the EHDC Fall 2012 are:
* 14 credits consisting of 3 clinical credits and 4 academic seminar credits each semester.