Academic Programs

Housing, Employment, Family & Disability Clinic (HEFD)

Clinic students

Students in the Civil Litigation Program's HEFD Clinic work for credit under the supervision of four full-time BU clinical faculty in the offices of Greater Boston Legal Services in downtown Boston. Students represent tenants in eviction defenses in housing court, claimants in unemployment compensation appeals, parties in divorces in probate court, and claimants in Social Security disability hearings before administrative law judges.

The HEFD Clinic is taught by Professors Robert Burdick, Connie Browne, Mary Connaughton and Naomi Mann.

Fieldwork and Coursework: 12 Credits

The HEFD clinic is a cluster of clinic and coursework over two semesters to second- and third-year students. Students receive a total of 12 credits over the two semesters for fieldwork and course work:

  • Six graded credits for the field component which must be taken over both semesters.
  • Six graded credits for course work:
    • Pretrial Advocacy: Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating (3 credits, fall semester). This class satisfies BU Law's Professional Responsibility requirement.
    • Trial Advocacy (3 credits, spring semester).

The classroom component teaches the theories of practice for use in the field. The "Pretrial Advocacy: Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating" course during the first semester and the "Trial Advocacy" in the second semester are devoted to activities and simulations in which you role play with the skills we teach. The culminating experience of the coursework takes place in mock trials near the end of the spring semester.

You must take the Pretrial Advocacy and Trial Advocacy courses specifically for students enrolled in the Civil Litigation Program. If you have already taken either of these courses, you will still need to take ours which are closely integrated with your field work. For specific course information, click here.

Course Prerequisites

If you have not already done so, you must take Evidence during the first semester to satisfy the student practice rule.

More Information

Please feel free to contact Professor Burdick