Law 713 - Interviewing and Counseling: HIV Clinic

General Course Description:

This clinic focuses on teaching students interviewing and counseling skills through practicing client-centered lawyering. The course builds on UCLAW’s strong skills training curriculum developed by David Binder and others, and integrates students with the work of the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project (“LA HLPP”). LA HLPP is a collaborative project of UCLA School of Law, its Williams Institute, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and other legal services organizations dedicated to serving people living with HIV ("PLWH"). The centralized intake line accepts calls from people living with HIV that have identified a need in a civil legal issue area.

Students will conduct comprehensive intake interviews, provide legal information, and offer advice and counsel and brief services to individuals that call the intake line and those that attend community-based workshops. While the exact nature of the matters addressed through the clinical work depends on the issues presented by callers, it may include a wide array of disability-related public and private benefits matters such as Social Security disability and post-entitlement issues associated with these benefits. Students will also participate in community-based workshops held off-site to address matters in advanced planning for end-of-life issues, debtor/creditor matters, and immigration. The work will combine the efforts of staff, students and pro bono volunteers from the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Finally, students will help provide community education to AIDS service organizations and impacted client/patient groups regarding various topics addressing legal rights and responsibilities.

During the weekly 2 hour seminar, students will have the opportunity to learn interviewing and counseling skills, including fact-gathering, decision-making, case analysis and planning, client counseling, collaboration, and substantive law, including, but not limited to, advanced planning, debtor/creditor matters and immigration. They will have the opportunity to practice skills for ten hours per week through staffing the centralized intake line located in Dodd Hall, helping to provide legal services, assisting in community-based workshops off-site, and leading education activities.

Students in this four-unit course will be graded. Grades will include participation credit. As part of their grade, students will develop a project proposal and presentation exploring work in one of the areas that LA HLPP addresses. Throughout the course, students will be assigned several reflection assignments. There is no pre-requisite for the course.

Course Specific Learning Outcomes:
Through this course, students will have the opportunity to learn the following:

•  Client-centered lawyering in a non-profit legal services context;
•  Substantive law pertaining to public benefits, advanced planning, debtor/creditor and/or immigration;
•  The broad intersection of HIV and the law; and
•  The changing landscape of HIV-related laws and policies resulting from advances in HIV treatment and prevention.

Students will also have the opportunity to practice skills for ten hours per week through staffing the centralized intake line for the LA HIV Law and Policy Project located in Dodd Hall, helping to provide legal services in administrative law matters, assisting in community-based legal clinics off-site, and leading education activities in the community. By the end of this course, students should feel comfortable in exercising the following skills:

•  Interviewing and counseling;
•  Fact-gathering;
•  Case analysis and planning;
•  Decision-making;
•  Client counseling; and
•  Collaboration.

Course Information: