One80 Place Legal Services provides free civil legal services to anyone in the Charleston area who is homeless or at risk of being homeless. The legal services provided are holistic in nature and address the legal issues that prevent an individual or family from ending their homelessness. Among the legal issues that are addressed are benefits (Social Security disability, VA compensation and pension, SNAP, Medicaid, and unemployment), landlord/tenant issues, child support, identification, name change, wills, powers of attorney, and consumer issues.
The primary focus of the Homeless Justice Project Clinic is to give students the opportunity at the One80 Place weekly walk-in clinics to enhance their client interviewing skills to learn how to employ active listening as a means of building rapport with those seeking legal assistance, especially with those who have trust issues such as those with mental health or substance use problems. Students will then utilize what they have learned about clients to complete assignments that include, but are not limited to, doing legal research, writing letters to clients or opposing parties, assisting clients in completing questionnaires for disability claims, following up with clients on their progress, and accompanying the professor to court hearings. While most of the work will be done at One80 Place, students will have the opportunity to attend court hearings in Charleston and North Charleston as well as conducting research outside of One80 Place. Students are required to attend a weekly seminar, to attend one of the weekly walk-in clinics each week with additional hours outside of the seminar arranged with the professor. Students are required to complete 150 hours of clinical work (approximately 11 hours/week during the semester).
This course satisfies the Skills Requirement.