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:
Our Cases: These cases are representative of the clinic’s current and future docket:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Civic Engagement & Journalism Resources
Access to government records and decision making is a basic building block of democracy. The Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic supports the efforts of journalists, activists, and citizens to enforce the public’s right to know.
Supported by The Legal Clinic Fund through generous donations from the Democracy Fund, Heising-Simons Foundation, and The Klarman Family Foundation, as well as the fiscal sponsor, The Miami Foundation we:
Know Your Rights: A Training on New York's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) for Journalists
Dorothy Shuldman ’23 & Kyle Ruffner ’22 - April 21, 2021
The Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic recently provided training to journalists and student journalists on New York's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) in an event co-hosted by the Buffalo Association of Black Journalists.
Transparency and government accountability are important values of the clinic and we feel it is key to empower individuals and organizations with the use of the public records law to promote public accountability. Law students and lawyers also use FOIL in their practices and you can benefit from learning the same tips used by journalists.
New York State Freedom of Information Request Template Updated June 23, 2020.
The clinic works to support the investigative work and policy advocacy of local non-profits and grassroots organizations. To this end, the clinic hosts community-based trainings for professional journalists, community advocates, and activists focused on New York’s open government laws, including the Freedom of Information Law and the Open Meetings Law. Contact us to schedule a training.