Cultivating Justice for the Working Poor: Clinical Representation of Unemployment Claimants
The combination of current economic conditions and recent changes in the United States' welfare system makes representation of unemployment insurance claimants by clinic students a timely learning opportunity. While unemployment insurance claimants often share similarities with student attorneys, they are unable to access justice as easily as student attorneys, and as a result, face the risk of severe poverty. Clinical representation of unemployment claimants is a rich opportunity for students to experience making a difference for a client, and to understand the issues of poverty and justice that these clients experience along the way. These cases reveal that larger lessons of justice can come from cases that are not classic poverty law representations, but are nonetheless tangible, personalized, and valuable sources of learning about justice and the poor.