Public Interest Courses

Qualifying course offerings can change from semester to semester. For a complete list for the current academic year, check the student handbook or contact the Law School Registrar.


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  • Community Health Law Partnership Clinic , JURI: 5628S, 5629L , Credit Hours: 2 semester clinic; 4 hours each semester (2 hours graded; 2 hours pass/fail)
    The Community Health Law Partnership Clinic will partner with health care professionals to tackle a variety of legal needs that impact patients, including immigration, disability rights, benefits, and family law. Students will have direct responsibility for all aspects of client representation in cases undertaken by the clinic, including the opportunity to interview and advise potential clients, to conduct research and draft legal documents, to advocate in court proceedings and administrative hearings, and to foster inter-professional approaches to holistic problem solving. From time to time, students may also have the opportunity to develop training materials for medical providers, legal advocates, or patients, and engage in related policy work. The weekly seminar component of the clinic provides skills training, substantive instruction, and “case rounds.” This is a year-long (two semester) clinic and is awarded 4 credits per semester. Begins fall 2014.

  • Constitutional Law I , JURI: 4180 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course addresses the meaning and impact of the Constitution of the United States, particularly with regard to the subjects of federalism, separation of powers, the judicial function and due process of law.

  • Constitutional Law II , JURI: 4190 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course focuses on constitutional protections of liberty and equality apart from protections that stem from principles of substantive and procedural due process. Subjects typically covered in the course include the Contract Clause, equal protection, freedom of expression, the right to free exercise of religion and the prohibition of laws respecting an establishment of religion.

  • Constitutional Litigation , JURI: 4420 , Credit Hours: 3
    Addresses a number of issues arising in damages actions brought under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, which authorizes a cause of action against persons who violate constitutional rights under color of state law. Topics covered may include distinction between common law and constitutional torts, scope of governmental liability, official immunity, damages, causation, state court suits, procedural defenses, attorney's fees, and meaning of "under color of." Suits against federal officers, under principle established in Bivens v. Six Federal Narcotics Agents, may also be discussed.

  • Consumer Law , JURI: 4177 , Credit Hours: 3
    This course considers numerous legal issues concerning consumers’ commercial transactions, including the following key topics: disclosure of information to consumers, consumer credit, predatory-lending prohibitions, consumer-credit reporting, privacy related to consumer transactions (both online and offline), consumer-product warranties, debt collection, and dispute-resolution methods.

  • Criminal Defense Practicum I , JURI: 5170S , Credit Hours: 3
    This course offers students an eye-witness, hands-on experience with the criminal justice system from the perspective of a public defender office. Students work with the eighteen attorneys in the Western Judicial Circuit Public Defender Office in Athens (a five minute walk from the Law School). Students assist with the entire range of legal representation of indigent clientsinterviewing clients, interviewing witnesses, conducting other aspects of factual investigation, drafting motions, negotiating pleas, and assisting with trials, drafting appellate briefs. This course is a pre-requisite to Criminal Defense Practicum II, in which students, supervised by a licensed attorney, can represent clients in all manner of court proceedings including jury trials. There are no pre-requisites for this course.  

  • Criminal Defense Practicum II , JURI: 4500S, 4501L , Credit Hours: 4-6
    This course is open only to students who have taken at least one semester of Criminal Defense Practicum I. Students in this course continue to work with individual attorneys in the Western Circuit Public Defender Office in Athens.  Placement in other PD offices in Georgia are available in the summer only. The Criminal Defense Practicum offers an immersion in the criminal justice system from the perspective of a public defender office. Attorneys in the PD office are full-time criminal defense lawyers and therefore are specialists. All of their work concentrates on criminal defense.  Students assist with all aspects of the representation, and under Georgia’s Student Practice Rule students handle preliminary hearings, bond hearings, pre-trial motion hearings such as motions to suppress, trials, pleas, sentencings and probation revocation hearings, and assist with all of the factual and legal investigation which is necessary to effective legal representation. There are no  pre-requisites other than Criminal Defense Clinic I, but Evidence and Criminal Procedure I are very strongly recommended, and a Trial Practice course or Mock Trial experience may be helpful. (4500 is the graded portion of the course, and 4501L is the pass/fail portion. Register for both when registering for this course.)   

  • Environmental Law , JURI: 5280 , Credit Hours: 3
    State, Federal, and International legal response to problems of air pollution, water pollution, solid waste, pesticides, noise, and radiation. Emphasis on public regulation, but some consideration given to private remedies.

  • Environmental Law Practicum , JURI: 5289S , Credit Hours: 3
    Advanced research in legal control of environmental problems identified by watershed stakeholders/clients, with primary attention given to water and biodiversity issues. 

  • Family Violence Clinic , JURI: 5140S, 5141L , Credit Hours: 4 - 6
    Superior Court civil litigation clinic representing lower income victims of domestic abuse in obtaining protective orders. Students work as lay advocates and student practitioners to provide direct service to clients including screening and referral, interviewing, counseling, pleading and case preparation, negotiation, and advocacy at final hearings under the Student Practice Act. Class discussion centers on readings in texts and statutes relating to family violence, as well as on theory and practice of lawyering in a litigation/negotiation context. (See description of JURI 4500S for clinic grading policy.) Register for both 5140S (graded portion) and 5141L (pass/fail portion).

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