Civil Clinic Students’ Litigation Project Featured on National Public Radio
Posted on December 20, 2013
In addition to representing their own clients, students in the Civil Clinic had the opportunity to participate in impact litigation filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of guestworkers recruited from abroad to work at carnivals and was recently featured on National Public Radio’s Latino USA. Civil Clinic students Bethany Whitfield, Trevor Townsend, and Bo Smith performed legal research and conducted fact investigation at the Arkansas State Fair.
Greg Schell, lead counsel for plaintiffs and longtime farmworker attorney, remarked, “The University of Arkansas law students did an extremely thorough job and provided us with reams of great information. A few weeks after the Civil Clinic students’ carnival visit, we deposed the carnival owner and were able to ask much more probing and effective questions based on the students’ work.” In addition to fact investigation, “Civil Clinic students provided us with a well-researched summary of Arkansas state law applicable to the carnival. The students’ work was thorough and timely; based on their findings, we amended the current complaint to include claims under Arkansas law.” The students’ were so effective that they have been invited to join the plaintiffs’ legal team for the trial, which is scheduled for January 2014 in Fort Pierce, Florida.
The Civil Clinic provides free legal representation to low-income clients seeking to enforce their rights in civil matters, including unpaid wages and appeals from the denial of unemployment benefits. Professor Annie Smith, director of the Civil Clinic, encourages individuals seeking representation to contact the Civil Clinic at (479) 575-3056.
Since 1975, the University of Arkansas Law School Legal Clinic has fulfilled the dual mission of providing experiential learning opportunities for students and much-needed free legal services to the Northwest Arkansas community. The Legal Clinic is an umbrella for the Civil Clinic, Immigration Clinic, Juvenile Defense Clinic, Transactional Clinic, and Federal Practice Clinic. Each clinic offers law students the opportunity to engage in the practice of law under the close supervision of a faculty member.