Monthly Archives: March 2012

How the Clinics Serve the Underserved

There has been a lot of discussion lately about how Florida Coastal “serves the underserved.” It is one of Coastal Law’s mission pillars. How does the clinic achieve that mission pillar? The Coastal Law clinical program is one of the most visible forms of service to the underserved and indigent community.

In the family law clinic, students assist individuals in abusive relationships get a divorce, represent children;s best interests in contested custody cases and assist fathers in establishing paternity so they can visit their children.

The disability and public benefits students challenge state agencies to help mentally retarded individuals maintain their community supports, they assist disabled children reaching the age of majority with maintaining social security benefits, and they assist parent caregivers in getting guardian advocacy over their disabled children so they can continue to assist in making healthcare and financial decisions.

The immigration clinic assists victims of domestic violence in filing their own petitions to become citizens, prevents refugees and asylees from having to return to their country of origin, and facilitates human trafficking victims rise above their enslavement to achieve permanent residency.

The consumer clinic represents victims of predatory lending, fights companies engaged in abusive debt collection practices, and defends against foreclosures so families can stay in their homes.

The criminal defense clinic defends individuals who cannot afford an attorney who have been charged with misdemeanors. Our clients come from diverse backgrounds and usually meet the Court’s indigency standards. They are individuals unable to afford a private attorney and don’t necessarily fit within the priorities of other local legal programs for the poor.

The students get real experience with live clients who, without the students’ help, would be in desparate circumstances. Individuals may debate the meaning of our pillar, “serving the underserved” but time spent in the clinic reveals the every day down and dirty meaning of the concept. The clinic is the lifesblood of Coastal Law’s mission pillar, “serving the underserved.”

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Exciting Work by Skills Labs Students

Students in the Naturalization Skills Lab and in the Immigration Clinic recently participated in a community outreach information session for Jacksonville residents who are interested in applying for United States citizenship.  The outreach was held at a local Burmese church and the students provided the attendees with information on what the skills lab and clinic are doing to help applicants with the naturalization process. The students are in the process of pre-screening applicants for Citizenship Day, which will be held at Florida Coastal on April 14, 2012. On Citizenship Day, the students will help approximately 200 residents with the paperwork needed to apply to become naturalized United States citizens.  Pictures of the outreach session appear below.  Any student who would like to volunteer to help on Citizenship Day and earn pro bono hours should contact Professor Ericka Curran or Professor Kara Roberts or Professor Karen Millard for more information.

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Immigration Skills Lab Outreach

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The Library & Technology Center joins The Coastal Network

Florida Coastal School of Law’s Library & Technology Center recently joined The Coastal Network and began providing library updates, as well as tips/tricks for students on various issues.

A couple regular features produced by the Library are “Whimsical Wednesday” and “In the Library this Week.”

Join the Library at its blog and subscribe to keep up with the latest news.

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