January 26, 2010
Orlando, Fla. – The Florida Bar Foundation has awarded Florida A&M University (FAMU) College of Law a $25,000 Law School Civil Clinic Grant to support the Homelessness and Legal Advocacy Clinic.
The grant will supplement the salary of a staff attorney/instructor who supervises law students who work in the Homelessness and Legal Advocacy Clinic during the grant period of January 2010 to December 2010. One of several clinical opportunities FAMU offers is to provide law students with hands-on experience. The Homelessness and Legal Advocacy Clinic delivers free civil legal assistance to homeless individuals and families with issues such as public benefits, consumer law and employment law. Law students provide counsel and full representation as they negotiate on behalf of their clients with debt collectors, employers, government agencies and others. Averaging a total of 100 cases every year, the law students also represent clients in court.
“We are honored to receive this grant from the Florida Bar Foundation for the fifth consecutive year as it will enhance our clinical program goals of serving the underserved in our community while providing practical legal experience for our law students,” said Dean LeRoy Pernell.
The Florida Bar Foundation funds the Law School Civil Clinic Grant Program through its Law Student Assistance Grant Program, which is designed to promote public service and pro bono legal work.
The Homelessness and Legal Advocacy Clinic was developed and taught for four years by Visiting Instructor Eunice Caussade-Garcia. The clinic course is now taught by Instructor Ka’Juel Washington, who is a 2005 graduate of the FAMU College of Law. Directed by Assistant Professor Ann Marie Cavazos, FAMU College of Law’s Legal Clinic Program also includes Guardian Ad-Litem, Public Defender, Prosecution, Judicial Externship, Death Penalty, Housing, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Community and Economic Development. Students participating in the legal clinics have assisted Orlando’s indigent population with numerous court cases, and have been recognized for their winning efforts. In 2008, FAMU College of Law was ranked 7th in the nation by National Jurist magazine for providing clinical opportunities.
The FAMU College of Law was founded in 1949 on the main campus in Tallahassee. After graduating 57 lawyers, the law school was closed by the state of Florida in 1968. The FAMU College of Law was reestablished in 2000 in Orlando and opened its doors to 89 students in 2002. The ABA granted the law school full accreditation in July 2009.
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