The Free Legal Aid Clinic is a student-run, 501(c)(3) nonprofit, legal aid organization established by Wayne Law students in 1965. For more than 50 years, we have provided Wayne County’s elderly and indigent populations with quality legal representation. In this time, the organization also has provided countless Wayne Law students with a unique learning experience.
At the Free Legal Aid Clinic, student attorneys are given their own cases and clients. While students work under the supervision of experienced legal aid attorneys from Lakeshore Legal Aid and the Elder Law and Advocacy Center, students are responsible for both their clients and cases.
Student attorneys get the opportunity to represent their clients in court under the Michigan student practice rule. Students have had the opportunity to argue motions, present settlement agreements and first chair full bench trials, gaining valuable litigation skills.
Students are assigned to handle cases in both elder and family law. Elder law cases cover a wide range of issues from estate planning to landlord/tenant disputes. When handling family law cases our students assist indigent clients with divorces, custody matters and other issues. Oftentimes, clients are survivors of domestic violence. As one Wayne County family law judge said, operating in this field means we see “the best people at their worst,” but we have a unique opportunity to change their lives with the work that we do.