In the CED Clinic, students provide legal counsel to neighborhood-based groups, citywide advocacy organizations, and local political officials on a broad range of community development, land use, and policy issues impacting the Tenderloin, Mid-Market and other low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in San Francisco. Projects vary, but typically involve advocacy, counsel, and factual development related to proposed land use developments, to ensuring that Tenderloin and Mid-Market residents benefit from new economic initiatives, and to participating in City and State policymaking around development issues. The Clinic focuses on the intersection of law, policy, and politics and reveals the full complexity and institutional infrastructure of the Tenderloin and Mid-Market community.
Regularly scheduled class time will meet for 4 hours each week. Seminar sessions involve discussions of assigned readings and “rounds” discussions of fieldwork projects. Topics include the historical and institutional context of the Tenderloin and nearby neighborhoods, the history and politics of San Francisco development, key local and state legislation shaping community economic development, and the role of lawyers in CED work. Students write an analytical paper comparing the transformation of a low-income Boston neighborhood to historic and current efforts in San Francisco to protect and revitalize the Tenderloin, Mid-Market, and other low-income neighborhoods. Students interview a local Tenderloin resident, business, service provider, or other stakeholder and add the interview to the Clinic's ongoing "Tenderloin Chronicles." Students also closely monitor local political and economic developments, attending community meetings and sharing information on the Clinic's internal blog.
Students will work an average of 16-20 hours per week on legal work for Clinic clients. Students work in pairs or threesomes, write weekly field notes describing and analyzing their fieldwork, and meet weekly with Prof. Piomelli to discuss their work. Fieldwork activities typically include interviewing clients, carrying out extensive factual and legal research, attending community meetings, and counseling group representatives. Depending upon the project, students may also draft proposed legislation or regulations, position papers, community education materials, requests for public records, or comment letters, and may make public presentations and/or brief public officials and their aides.
Open to: 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th semester students.
8 units: The Clinic a one-semester, 8-unit clinic. 4-unit non-GPA class and 4-unit fieldwork must be taken concurrently. Students receive a letter grade for the class (based on all aspects of their work in the seminar and fieldwork), as well as credit/no-credit for the fieldwork units. Fieldwork units count against the maximum of 20 non-classroom units that a student can earn.
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.
You may view the Fall 2014 version of the course syllabus here.