Poverty Law II: Public and Subsidized Housing, Juvenile Law, and More
Course No. LAW 6223
University of Minnesota School of Law
Lawrence McDonough, J.D.
Pro Bono Counsel, Dorsey and Whitney, LLP
Suite 1500, 50 South Sixth Street
Minneapolis, MN 554021498
Monica Bogucki, B.S.W., J.D.
Attorney at Law
1620 22nd Street NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Course Structure and Focus
This is a practice based class and does not primarily focus on theory. The course also involves covering various substantive topics throughout the semester in alternating classes to simulate the real life practice of having to develop different substantive areas in a case at the same time. Students should decide ahead of time whether they can accommodate this teaching style. In addition, this class focuses primarily on Minnesota law. Professors reserve the right to amend or edit the syllabus or schedule at any time during the semester.
Poverty Law II satisfies the Experiential Learning requirement for students under the Clinic/Simulation category.
Visit the class website at www.povertylaw.homestead.com for materials and updates. This class will not use TWEN.
Available before or after class period and also available by appointment, and available by email.
Course Location and Time
Room 7, Mondays, 3:35-6:30 pm. See Class Schedule for details.
There are no prerequisites for Poverty Law.
Course Goals and Objectives
Students will learn selected topics in Poverty Law and learn how to advise low-income persons facing various legal issues. Completion of Poverty Law will assist students in clinical work, as well as work in legal aid offices and pro bono work.
Students will complete two research papers, discussed below. See Class Schedule for subjects and time deadlines. Each assignment will count for 50% of the grade. Final grades may be increased or reduced 1 point based upon class attendance and participation. You cannot consult with other students or attorneys on your papers. The papers must completed by yourself. Research papers are due at the beginning of class on the due date.
If a student is unable to complete the course requirements, please make arrangements with the instructors prior to the final day of class. The “incomplete policy” of the University of Minnesota School of Law will be followed.
Graded Assignments: Research Papers
Two research problems will be assigned during the semester. Each student will turn in a double-spaced paper with one inch margins, and 12 point Time New Roman font, 10 pages per paper. Please use only materials assigned in class and in the handouts. Papers must be the entire work of the individual student, including issue spotting, research, and writing.
We have a strict policy on late papers to mirror the reality of the practice of law. If you turn in a paper late without discussing it with the Dean of Students in advance, the professor can either reduce the grade or not give a grade at all.
Policy on Disabilities
A student with a disability which affects his/her participation in the course may notify the instructors if he/she wishes to have special accommodations to the instructional format, examination format, etc. considered. The instructors may refer the student to the University’s Office of Disability Services, 612-626-1333, and the Law School’s Assistant Dean of Students Office for assistance with these accommodations.
If you are not on the class list, you must see the Registrar for admission to the class.
Attendance and Class Participation
Attendance is required at every class. Attendance sign in sheets will be provided at every class. Students will be expected to abide by the Academic Rules that indicate that regular attendance and adequate preparation are required. Law School policy also prohibits unauthorized use of laptop computers during class, including, but not limited to, playing games, reading or writing e-mal, and internet surfing. If a student misses a number of classes, the professors reserve the right to reduce the student’s grade.
So Rich, So Poor by Peter Edelman
Reading materials are available on line at http://www.povertylaw.homestead.com/Reading.html. Reading assignments are in the class schedule, available on line at http://www.povertylaw.homestead.com/Schedule.html.
Handouts will be provided in some of the classes. If you are not going to be in class, please arrange with another student to get handouts for you. Because the instructors do not have office space on campus, it is difficult for instructors to carry handouts each week for multiple classes.
While most of the course is taught by the course professors, there will be appearances by some guest lecturers. The professors will try to obtain their materials as soon before their classes as possible, and post them on line at Other reading materials are available on line at http://www.povertylaw.homestead.com/Reading.html when possible. As they are attorneys in practice, who are agreeing to teach in addition to their practices, there are occasions when their materials may not be available until the classes they teach. The professors urge students to be understanding of their role.
Cell Phones and Pagers
Please put cell phones and pagers on vibration or silent mode. Please do not answer phones or pagers during class. If you need to make other arrangements, talk with the professors. If you have an emergency, you can step out of class to answer your phone.
Students enrolled in the course are expected to at all times comply with the Law School’s Honor Code and Academic Rules, as well as the University’s Code of Student Conduct.