Legal Advocacy For The Underserved

For more than six decades, SMU’s Dedman School of Law Clinical Program has remained true to its core intent of public service by providing legal representation to low-income clients while providing skills training to legal students through seven clinics and projects:

CIVIL CLINIC
Represents low-income clients in civil matters such as housing disputes, elder advocacy and civil-rights litigation.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE CLINIC
Partners with the Dallas Public Defender’s Office to provide students with felony trial experience.

FEDERAL TAXPAYERS CLINIC
Represents low-income taxpayers with tax issues. This clinic is the first tax clinic in the country with the authority to represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Tax Court.

SMALL BUSINESS CLINIC
Represents small start-up companies and individuals developing private nonprofit entities.

W. W. CARUTH, JR. CHILD ADVOCACY CLINIC
Is appointed by juvenile district court judges to serve as guardian/attorney ad litem to represent children who have been abused and neglected in Dallas County. Interdisciplinary lectures given by psychologists, forensic detectives, child development specialists and social workers are a significant component of this clinic.

CONSUMER ADVOCACY PROJECT
Assists the local Hispanic community with consumer complaints and focuses on informal advocacy, negotiation and mediation strategies, and community education.

DEATH PENALTY PROJECT
Gives students practical experience on death penalty cases.

Dedman School of Law and Embrey Human Rights Program were awarded 2011 “Angel of Freedom” awards by the Human Rights Initiative (HRI) of North Texas in November. Since 1997, SMU Dedman School of Law students have assisted HRI attorneys in their representation of clients through public service as well as paid summer internships and academic externships, currently overseen by law professor Jeffrey Kahn.

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