COVID-19 Legal Response Clinic

covid19

The NIU College of Law COVID-19 Legal Response Clinic responds to the unique legal challenges and increased need for legal advice people are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is increasingly difficult for persons in need of legal advice to get help when face-to-face contact is not possible or is not a safe option.

Law students participating in the Clinic provide free legal advice and referrals, where appropriate, to community members. In addition to providing legal advice to clients, clinic students participate in a simulation exercise throughout the course that mirrors the complex legal issues faced by their clients.

Information for Potential Clients

If you are experiencing any of the following legal issues in the state of Illinois, the COVID-19 Legal Response Clinic may be able to help you. We are able to provide advice and referrals to clients in Illinois who need help in the following areas:

  • Do you need Public Benefits? Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, or Social Security
  • Were you laid off or fired? Unemployment Compensation
  • Are you unsafe in your home? Orders of Protection and Family Law
  • Are your affairs in order? Wills and Powers of Attorney
  • Do you have a criminal record? Expungement and Records Sealing
  • Are you behind on rent? Eviction defense with private landlord
To apply for our services please call us at 815-962-9980. We are available to speak with you Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Information for Law Students 

Professors Colleen Boraca, Paul Cain, Wendy Vaughn
Registering

Register on MyNIU just as you do for other courses. After registering on MyNIU:

  • Complete a Clinic Information Form for scheduling purposes
  • Complete an application for a 711 License

See the Clinical Program website for instructions for completing both forms.

Credits and Grading Three credits Pass/Fail (Note: Successful completion of the COVID-19 Legal Response Clinic will satisfy the College of Law’s experiential learning graduation requirement, even though it is worth three credits instead of the usual four.)
Max. Enrollment 18 students
Prerequisites/Corequisites
Professional Responsibility (643) and Introduction to Lawyering Skills (720) (one or both courses may be taken concurrently with the Clinic)
711 Requirement Students must be eligible for an Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711 License, which requires completion of 45 credits and Dean’s approval. See the Clinical Program website for instructions for applying for a 711 License.
Seminar Class Component During Summer 2021, you are required to attend two (2) synchronous (live) online sessions every week which meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. until 2:40 p.m., from Monday May 17, 2021 through Friday July 2, 2021.
Fieldwork
Component
You are required to complete nine (9) hours of fieldwork each week. Your fieldwork schedule will be arranged in consultation with Professors Boraca, Cain, and Vaughn. You will be scheduled for six (6) synchronous virtual clinic office hours each week with your clinic partner or partners and your supervising professor. The additional three (3) virtual clinic office hours each week are flexible and may be completed asynchronously.

Description

Law students participating in the COVID-19 Legal Response Clinic provide free legal advice and referrals, where appropriate, to community members. In addition to providing legal advice to clients, students will also participate in simulation training that will mirror the complex legal issues faced by their clinic clients.

The COVID-19 Legal Response Clinic handles cases in a number of subject areas. The Clinic handles cases involving the following substantive areas of law:

  • Housing law for tenants defending against eviction.
  • Laws and regulations related to public benefits such as unemployment benefits, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, and Social Security.
  • Probate law related to wills and powers of attorney.
  • Law and procedure for expunging and sealing of criminal records.
  • Family law and orders of protection laws for survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, stalking or elder abuse.