In the Pepperdine Legal Aid Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission students represent clients who are homeless on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. Students provide pro bono legal services in a variety of civil matters, including family law, income tax, consumer law, benefit controversies and post-conviction reentry. Students perform live client interviewing and counseling, legal research, motion preparation, and client representation in court. In addition, the clinic presents legal education programs to various social service organizations and community groups.
In the Pepperdine Special Education Advocacy Clinic students represent families with children with disabilities to ensure that they receive excellent educational resources to advance their opportunities to promote their dignity. Students represent families in administrative actions, negotiate on behalf of parents for adequate accommodations, and provide advice and counsel to empower families to be effective advocates by building their knowledge of the law and regulatory processes and teaching them the skills necessary to advocate for themselves in administrative proceedings.
The Community Justice Clinic provides legal services for non-profit, religious or community organizations who are working to promote justice and to develop opportunities and resources for vulnerable, underserved people and communities. Under faculty supervision, students will provide corporate counsel and services, including formation, governance and compliance. Students will provide advocacy for clients, including research, writing, advice and direct representation related to the services or causes on which they work for their constituents.
In the Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic students represent indigent clients as court-appointed counsel in briefing and arguing appeals before the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Students evaluate strategy and legal issues, research intensively, write and submit appellate briefs and present oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Straus Institute Clinics
In the Mediation Clinic students have the opportunity to mediate various types of cases including landlord/tenant, employment and merchant/consumer cases. This clinic offers students the opportunity to actually apply mediation theory in context and to enhance their mediation skills by serving as the mediator in numerous small claims court cases and other referred disputes. Students share the specifics of their mediation experiences in class and receive feedback on their strategic and tactical choices, as well as on their tone and demeanor. This critical review is designed to cultivate and refine advanced mediation skills.
In the Investor Advocacy Clinic students represent underserved clients with securities disputes (claims under $100,000). The Clinic is administered by the Straus Institute and is available to students by invitation only. Students provide representation, under the supervision of the Clinic faculty, from initial client contact through confirming or vacating arbitration towards in court. Students interview potential clients, meet with clients and/or adversary attorneys, draft statements of claim, prepare discovery, respond to discovery, attend pre-hearing conferences and mediations, and try arbitration cases. The Clinic director will attend all arbitration hearings and pre-hearing sessions with the students. Students develop essential lawyering skills, substantive legal knowledge and professional responsibility while representing client.
Fair Employment and Housing Mediation Clinic
In the Employment Mediation Clinic, students work directly with Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) senior attorney-mediators serving as clinical faculty at the Straus Institute. Students enrolled in the program will prepare DFEH cases for mediation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act. In addition, they will gain practical experience mediating and settling employment discrimination complaints under the Department's supervision. Students will experience dispute resolution skills and techniques in all stages of the Department's administration: pre-investigation, post-investigation, pre-civil complaint and class/group as well as individual complaints. In 2013 the State Bar of California awarded DHEF and Pepperdine with the Education Pipeline Award, recognizing outstanding efforts of law-related educational programs.