NCCU Plans To Grow Tele-law Program

Posted on Friday, June 29, 2018

By Jennifer Henderson – Staff Writer, Triangle Business Journal
Jun 21, 2018, 3:05pm

With a new $499,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in hand, the N.C. Central University School of Law is looking to grow access to tele-law through its Virtual Justice Program.

NCCU’s Virtual Justice Program was co-founded back in 2010 by the School of Law’s Gregory Clinton, director of information technology, and Pamela Stanback Glean, associate dean of academic affairs. According to Clinton, it was initially funded with a $1.9 million Broadband Technology Opportunity Program grant through the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The latest USDA grant expands the Virtual Justice Program’s reach to at least 65 sites in western North Carolina.

“We’ve applied for other grants to expand,” says Clinton. “Our goal is to be within all 100 counties within the next two years.”

The program aims to expand its reach throughout North Carolina and the Southeast, he says.

With five faculty members currently involved, future funding and expansion will lend itself to additional faculty as well, says Clinton.

The Virtual Justice Program uses telepresence and high-definition videoconferencing to provide both prelaw courses for students as preparation for law school as well as Know Your Rights courses, which are legal information sessions designed to empower participants in understanding the law and self-advocacy, according to the School of Law.

Faculty as well as faculty-supervised students participate in offering the courses.

The Know Your Rights series focuses on topics that are in demand, says Deria Hayes, assistant clinical professor of law at NCCU. Those include topics such as immigration, domestic violence, rights during traffic stops and low income taxpayer issues, she says.