Cultivating Justice for the Working Poor: Clinical Representation of Unemployment Claimants
Colleen F. Shanahan
Georgetown University Law Center
May 16, 2011
Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law Policy, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2011
Georgetown Law and Economics Research Paper No. 12-018
Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 12-065
The combination of current economic conditions and recent changes in the United States’ welfare system makes representation of unemployment insurance claimants by clinic students a timely learning opportunity. While unemployment insurance claimants often share similarities with student attorneys, they are unable to access justice as easily as student attorneys, and as a result, face the risk of severe poverty. Clinical representation of unemployment claimants is a rich opportunity for students to experience making a difference for a client, and to understand the issues of poverty and justice that these clients experience along the way. These cases reveal that larger lessons of justice can come from cases that are not classic poverty law representations, but are nonetheless tangible, personalized, and valuable sources of learning about justice and the poor.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: poverty law, unemployment benefits, unemployment insurance claimants, unemployment insurance system, Community Justice Project, law school clinics, student attorney representation, clinical education
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K23
Date posted: May 17, 2011 ; Last revised: May 3, 2015
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