The Tenants' Rights Clinic is designed to allow law students to represent low-income tenants in litigation and administrative hearings. Cases primarily involve evictions from public and subsidized housing, terminations of Section 8, and denial of affordable housing applications.
Each student will be assigned several cases during the semester and may:
While most cases will involve some appearance in court or in an administrative forum, the number of appearances will be dependent on the cases assigned. Some cases may go to trial; most will settle. There may also be some opportunities for appellate advocacy.
The Clinic is a graded, 6 credit hour, one semester clinic. This clinic entails a very substantial time commitment in addition to the time spent preparing for and attending class meetings. The Clinic has a classroom component on Wednesdays from 3-5 p.m. at LSGMI. Students are also required to hold office hours at LSGMI for 12 hours each week. Because students will be representing clients, hearings may be scheduled in court on short notice and outside the scheduled clinic hours.
Preference is given to students with Certified Legal Intern (CLI) status, but it is not required.
The Tenants' Rights Clinic director is Jeffrey Hearne, who was recently named among Florida's Legal Elite. This high honor is given to only the top 2 percent of government and non-profit attorneys in the state. Read More.
Watch video of Jeffrey Hearne discussing the clinic.
"The Tenants' Rights Clinic gave me the opportunity to develop practical legal skills while helping those in need. What we learned in the classroom, we were applying the next day as we worked on cases with new clients. That type of environment really allowed me and the other clerks to develop our analytical skills and improve our legal writing. It's one thing to learn in the classroom, but it's another to get out there and represent real clients with real legal issues, with real consequences on the line. The attorneys at Legal Services are intelligent, professional, and passionate about their work. For me, this experience has certainly been one of the best here at the law school... I have only great things to say about the clinic, Legal Services, and Jeff Hearne."
- Prior Clinic Student
Tenants' Rights Clinic wins eviction case: Third-year law student Hilary Bricken argued her first case in court as a certified legal intern and won.
Appellate victory for tenants' rights clinic: With crucial help from certified legal intern Maya Thomas, a woman who had been facing eviction won a favorable opinion from a panel of appellate judges in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Miami-Dade County.
Clinic victory helps family avoid eviction and stay in their home: As part of his involvement with the Tenant's Rights Clinic, Miami Law student Ted Massey, Jr., 3L, won his first case last month and helped a family stay in their home.
Click above to hear from Director Jeffery Hearne about the experience students can gain from their involvement in this clinic.