BU School of Law Introduces Consumer Debt and Sex Crimes Practicums

The school adds two new programs to its opportunities for students to gain hand-on experience in legal settings before graduating law school.

BU Law student working

This fall, Boston University School of Law will add two new practicums to its experiential offerings: The Consumer Debt Practicum and the Sex Crimes Practicum. The Clinical & Experiential Programs Office gives students a variety of opportunities to gain experience and skills with the guidance of legal practitioners in different fields including civil litigation, criminal law, environmental law, immigration law, human rights legislative policy, and much more. The addition of these two new programs supplements the already extensive list offered by BU Law, which is dedicated to helping students apply the skills learned in the classroom.

The Consumer Debt Practicum is a two-credit clinical course that allows JD students participate in the Fair Debt Clinic hosted by the Volunteer Lawyers Project at the Boston Municipal Court-Central Division Small Claims Court. Students will work with low-income defendants in small claims court on credit card collection matters. They will represent these defendants under the supervision of clinic instructors and will develop skills in client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, and oral advocacy.

Depending on individual student interest and availability, there is a possibility to attend clinics at Cambridge District Court and Quincy District Court. Students will also attend a weekly seminar that covers the substantive law, allows students to review cases, and simulate mock trials.

The Sex Crimes Practicum, taught by Lecturer Eric Tennen (’01), is a one or two credit course offered in conjunction with the Sex Crimes seminar. Students will assist Mr. Tennen in his casework by preparing defenses in registration cases, researching and drafting appellate briefs, writing on issues in pending cases, and more. Students will also have the opportunity to work on research projects related to sex crime policies at the national and state level as well as review state policies related to sex offender community supervision. The weekly seminar will provide a space for Tennen and the students enrolled in the practicum to discuss progress on these independent projects.

These two practicums follow the successful addition of the Environmental Law Practicum in spring 2016, in which students complete an environmental-law related legal project for a Boston-based environmental law organization. For more information about BU Law’s clinics, externships, and simulation courses, please visit our website.

Reported by Yadira Flores (CAS’19)

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