Civil Litigation Clinic

What we do

The North Carolina Central University Civil Litigation Clinic affords students the unique opportunity to develop their skills in the craft of lawyering in the field of civil litigation, while assisting low income and vulnerable members of our community, furthering our commitment to “Truth and Service,” and “Equal Justice Under the Law.”

Clinic cases include a wide range of legal problems in areas such as landlord – tenant, police misconduct, prison conditions, housing discrimination. The Civil Litigation Clinic has a focus on civil rights litigation, having represented victims of police misconduct, racial profiling, excessive force, and unlawful searches and seizures in state and federal Court. The Clinic has also successfully represented prisoners suing in federal court against unconstitutionally unsafe prison conditions. The Civil Litigation Clinic also represents people in eviction cases and helps residents assert claims for unhealthy and uninhabitable living conditions as well as housing discrimination.

Students

In this year-long clinical experience beginning in the fall, students handle housing discrimination and eviction in state court and civil rights cases involving police misconduct and prison conditions in federal court. Students practice under the supervision of Senior Clinical Professor Scott Holmes, who works in collaboration with community organizers, nonprofits, and local agencies, to provide direct legal assistance to indigent North Carolinians and develop systemic reforms to structural inequality in our courts. In this way, clinic students learn public interest lawyering, impact and movement lawyering, and community lawyering. Overall, students learn the mechanics of legal practice, case management, civil litigation while also becoming acquainted with housing and civil rights law through the lens of community lawyering.

To be admitted into the Civil Litigation Clinic, students should have completed or should be contemporaneously enrolled in Trial Practice. Students with questions about the Civil Litigation clinic should contact Professor Holmes in Room 33, or call (919) 530-7463, or email Scott.Holmes@nccu.edu.

Potential Clients and Community Partners

Potential cases come to the NCCU Civil Litigation Clinic from community partners working with poor and indigent members of our community who cannot afford an attorney. To qualify for representation, potential clients must meet income requirements established for Legal Aid of North Carolina and provide information establishing indigence. The NCCU does not take cases directly and considers referrals from our community partners who have included Legal Aid of North Carolina, North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Emancipate NC, Forward Justice, and the North Carolina Conference of the NAACP.

Contact Information

Contact: Professor Scott Holmes
Office: 33
Telephone: 919-530-7463
Email: scott.holmes@nccu.edu