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Delaware Civil Law Clinic

The Delaware Civil Clinic (DCC) is a live client clinic that was created in 1984 in support of Widener Law’s mission to provide practical legal experience to law students through civic engagement in the Delaware community.  Students are admitted to the limited practice of law, pursuant to Delaware Supreme Court Rule 56, and are directly responsible for their client’s cases, under the close supervision of the DCC Director and Staff Attorney.

DCC interns learn and apply practical legal skills through their representation of clients, including interviewing and counseling; conducting factual and legal investigations; preparation of memorandum of law and legal documents; negotiation; and trial advocacy.

The majority of DCC legal work entails the representation of survivors of domestic violence who live below the poverty level and are seeking civil orders of protection from abuse.  DCC interns also represent clients seeking to enforce civil protective orders, as well as litigate child custody and visitation matters.  In addition, students may assist the elderly and terminally ill, by drafting wills, power of attorney documents and health care directives.

DCC interns not only learn the skills necessary to practice law and be successful lawyers, they are also involved in one of the most exciting and powerful experiences a lawyer will have in their legal career - the opportunity to provide representation to someone who would not otherwise be able to afford counsel.

Through their work with indigent clients seeking legal services, DCC interns develop a lifelong commitment to pro bono service.  Law students participating in the DCC have been providing legal representation, as well as advice and referral, to the citizens of Delaware for over 30 years.  Since computer case tracking was instituted in 1988, the DCC has opened 2,887 cases and assisted a total of 7,892 people. The student case hours total 41,435 (not including supervisor attorney time).  At a discounted average billable hourly rate of $125.00, DCC student time is equal to $5,179,375.00 in legal services.

The DCC is a one-semester course for 6 credits. Third year students are expected to work a minimum of twenty (20) hours a week. DCC students are able to satisfy some of their Delaware Bar Clerkship requirements through their work in the DCC.

Contact Information:

Interim Director: Professor Cathy Zwolak Kilian
Phone: 302-477-2705
Email: [email protected]