This clinic is grounded in the development of practical skills necessary to effectively advise and represent individuals in serious financial difficulty. The Bankruptcy Clinic includes a classroom component, which prepares the students to counsel clients about consumer bankruptcy, introduces important portions of the Bankruptcy Code and Rules, and discusses the students’ cases in a group setting. This classroom component also features guest speakers, such as bankruptcy judges, panel trustees, and location practitioners. Students will receive training from Bankruptcy Court staff in electronic filing.
Students in the Bankruptcy Clinic can expect to be advising clients of their options, communicating with their creditors, filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, and representing clients at the meeting of creditors. Students may also have the opportunity to represent clients in adversary proceedings, including discovery and trial as well as settlement negotiations with both creditors and the U.S. Trustee. Occasionally, students represent individual creditors as well.
A student perspective: “One of the highlights of this clinic is the opportunity to develop negotiating skills as students often negotiate with creditors on behalf of debtor clients. This clinic really teaches students how to put “common sense” back into the study of law. Bankruptcy law really is an umbrella for the practice of every area of law, and this clinic allows students to learn not only bankruptcy law, but also other business related law. This clinic also provides excellent experience whether the student is interested in trial work or transactional work”
Additional Commitments: Successful completion of the course includes attendance at a training session at the Clerk's office to learn the basics of electronic filing. The training session will be scheduled on a class day, but at an earlier time to accommodate the Court staff. If the scheduled time conflicts with other classes, the court routinely schedules training sessions that you may attend in place of the session specifically scheduled for this class.
What to expect when working on cases and with clients: Typically students will have 2-3 clients assigned to them throughout the year. Part of the final assignment will be to submit your actual time sheets at the end of each semester containing a statement of time spent on client work and a detailed description of the work performed.
NOTE: This course requires certification pursuant to the student practice rule and is open to JD students only.