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HomeClinical ProgramsUnemployment Insurance Clinic

"It really is an amazing program that does a lot of good while teaching you the skills you need to be a lawyer. You learn how to write a real brief, conduct direct and cross questioning, appear before a judge, and be responsive to a client. This isn't some corporation you're representing. It's someone's life you're in charge of."
– Annie McGinnis, '13

Unemployment Insurance Clinic

The Unemployment Insurance Clinic (UIC) I offers a unique opportunity for second semester, first-year students to quickly develop key lawyering competencies. Under faculty supervision, UIC I students represent recently unemployed workers in their claims for state unemployment insurance benefits. In this role they will have significant opportunities to interview and counsel clients, conduct fact investigations, write and file briefs, and conduct administrative trials.

Each student team will have multiple cases throughout the term depending on case complexity and procedural status. It is the Clinic’s goal that each student will participate in at least one live administrative trial during the semester. These proceedings allow students to perform direct and cross examination, make objections, and deliver closing statements, all in front of an administrative law judge. Because worker claims for UI are typically contested by the former employer through counsel, hearings provide a relatively low-key, classic adversarial environment introduction to real-world lawyering.

The Unemployment Insurance Clinic II allows second- and third-year students who completed UIC I to move beyond administrative hearings to more complex oral and written advocacy. UIC II students work on unemployment insurance appeals and impact projects and also provide peer support to first-year students taking UIC I.

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