Photograph by Buffalo native Tito Ruiz.

Photograph by Buffalo native Tito Ruiz.

Civil Rights & Transparency Clinic

The Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic is a litigation clinic focused on civil rights and civil liberties, spanning constitutional liberties like free speech, privacy, due process, and statutory civil rights against discrimination.

We have a dual mission:

  • Civil Rights & Liberties:  Advance justice by litigating to protecting individual civil rights and civil liberties
  • Transparency: Press for more transparency in government, which is essential to meaningful public accountability and democratic oversight

Our Cases: These cases are representative of the clinic’s current and future docket:

  • Federal Section 1983 action to enforce the civil rights of a female employee who was paid an unequal wage in violation of the Equal Pay Act and equal protection
  • Litigation to enforce freedom of information requests, such as requests for the government to release accurate statistics on suicides in local jails
  • Disparate impact lawsuit under the Fair Housing Act against landlords who refuse to accept vouchers in a manner that disproportionately impacts protected groups

Our Clients:  We represent a range of clients that include individual victims of civil rights violations; investigative journalists and news organizations; and grassroots, regional and national advocacy organizations. Past clients include the New York Civil Liberties Union, American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International USA.

Student Engagement: This clinic is designed for you to grow into the attorney you want to be. Our clinic gives you invaluable hands-on experience practicing law, under the supportive supervision of clinical professors. You can expect to learn critical lawyering skills to become practice ready (which are increasingly on the bar exam). You will work on cutting-edge legal issues and make a positive difference. Ultimately, you will walk away with more confidence, a sense of your lawyering identity, and practical skills that an employer will value. Our student attorneys lead on all aspects of our client representations. They litigate in federal court and before agencies. An effective lawyer has a toolbox that includes more than litigation. They also engage in non-litigation advocacy like drafting white papers and policy proposals, presenting them to key decisionmakers.

Clinic Questions? Contact Heather Abraham at habraham@buffalo.edu.

video for the Civil Rights clinic

Watch a video that describes the impact of our Clinic.

INVEST IN OUR CLINIC

To support the work of our clinic, make your donation online or contact Karen Kaczmarski ’89, Vice Dean for Advancement (krkacz@buffalo.edu) for more information.

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