The Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic & Center for Social Justice
Academics. Justice. Service. These are the core tenets on which the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law is built. Nowhere are they more prevalent than in the nationally ranked Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice. This legal clinic gives third-year law students the opportunity to be sworn into practice law and put their classroom knowledge to work in representing those in need under the supervision of clinic faculty. Students gain a wide range of legal skills, practical experience in a number of fields, and learning what it means to use the law to serve others.
Apply for Clinic
The application for clinical legal education is available here. All sections are full at this time. Applicants will be placed on a wait list and contacted as spots become available.
Top Ranked Nationally
The Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice is ranked in the top 50 among more than 200 ABA-ranked law schools by U.S. News and World Report.
PreLaw Magazine ranks Loyola Law in the Top 20 Law Schools for Public Service.
Through the Law Clinic, law students have the chance to represent real clients in eight different fields of practice.
Clinic Faculty Successes
Professor Davida Finger was appointed director of the law clinic in August 2021. She is a leading national voice in clinical education.
Building the Practice
Professor Hiroko Kusuda was recently elected to serve on the Board of Jesuit Refugee Service (USA).
Honored by the Honduran Consulate
The Honduran Consulate recognized Ramona Fernandez for her work on behalf of members of our Honduran community.
Serving the Community
The Loyola Law Clinic's recent initiatives.
Disaster Lawyering Project
The Law Clinic recently completed its work with the Disaster Lawyering Project, which assisted individuals adversely affected by Hurricane Ida with a focus on FEMA issues.
The Law Clinic recently partnered with United Way of Southeast Louisiana and Southeast Louisiana Legal Services to assist with the Louisiana Prisoner Reentry Initiative, which will address legal barriers such as municipal/traffic attachments.
United for Early Care and Education Project
The Law Clinic also recently completed the United for Early Care and Education Project, which allowed the Law Clinic to provide technical and legal support to child care centers, beginning with a focus on the Payroll Protection Program (PPP).
PBS Newshour and Professor Finger
Law Professor Davida Finger, an evictions expert and director of the Center for Social Justice at Loyola, is cited in a PBS Newshour story about the looming eviction crisis facing New Orleans, together with her former Law Clinic student, Loyola Law alumnus Andrew Maberry.
Spring 2022 Justice Journal
Click below to see the full Spring 2022 Justice Journal newsletter, which contains updates, new projects, and highlights of every section in the Law Clinic.
Welcome New Students!
The Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice welcomed a new class of student practitioners on Friday, August 20, 2021.
Judge Miriam Waltzer and Judge Calvin Johnson administered the oath to students during orientation.
Youth Justice Clinic
The Loyola Law Clinic filed a suit against the City of New Orleans this morning for its unlawful evacuation of youth to adult correctional facilities.
"There is no emergency that can justify putting children in adult prison. While any particular storm might come as a surprise, it is no surprise that we need a safe and legal plan for our youth in the event of the hurricanes that so often affect our region." -Professor Hector Linares, Youth Justice Clinic
Children's Rights Success
Congratulations to Victoria Barzcyk, Emilia Duncan, Michelle Riviere and Sarah Skidmore. These students won an international custody dispute after a 5 hour hearing, which included direct & cross examination of witnesses and arguments under UCCJEA and Hague Convention. The judge granted our Exception of No Subject Matter Jurisdiction. We represented a mother and two girls (3 & 6 years old), all residents of the country of Panama. They came here on a Tourist Visa. Before they could return home, the father, who is a U.S. citizen, took their travel documents. Though a court in Panama had already rendered a custody agreement, he filed a custody action in Jefferson Parish, preventing them from returning home. The case was heard by the Honorable Lee Faulkner, Division P of the 24th Judicial District Court for Jefferson Parish.
The Prosecution clinic recently visited the Crime Lab. Student Alyssa Garcia, who is a student practitioner in this clinic section, said of the experience: "At the Crime Lab, we were able to speak with data and field specialists, ask questions, and see the overlap of technology in these roles."
Over the last year, the Immigration Section assisted more than 60 children with Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) apply for Lawful Permanent Residence status. The Immigration section also represents clients on numerous asylum cases. In one case, the client and her children suffered severe, life-threatening abuse from her former partner. She and her children eventually fled to the U.S., and the Immigration section successfully represented her on asylum/withholding of removal on three grounds: political belief, social group, and women in abusive relationships. The Immigration section also successfully represented the children who received Special Immigrant Status and now have Lawful Permanent Resident Status.