UB Law clinic students working at a table on the patio.

Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic Fund

The Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic Fund supports the Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic, a litigation clinic focused on civil rights and civil liberties, spanning constitutional liberties like free speech, privacy, due process, and civil rights against discrimination such as fair housing.

These cases are representative of the Clinic’s docket.

  • Legal name changes for transgender clients.
  • A state appeal to overturn trial court precedent in a housing discrimination case involving voucher discrimination.
  • An administrative comment to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in support of a proposed rule to reduce housing segregation.
  • Litigation to enforce freedom of information requests, such as requests for the government to release accurate statistics on suicides in local jails.  

A new civil rights practice area for the Clinic is fair housing. As an example, Clinic Director Heather Abraham says, “We represent clients who have experienced a wide variety of discrimination in their housing. One recent client with a disability was discriminated against because she needed a ramp and accessible features in her home. In another case, a landlord refused to accept our client’s housing voucher, which is illegal under local and state law. We also see clients who have been discriminated against because of their race when trying to buy a home—sometimes it’s the bank, the realtor, or the appraiser. Our litigation helps to root out these unlawful behaviors.”

The Clinic’s model “gives students more extensive hands-on lawyering experience with more exposure to the stages of litigation” explains Abraham. This makes students more practice-ready when they graduate from law school.

The Clinic also has a long and successful track record representing investigative journalists. Students advise and represent reporters who seek documents from the government, using freedom of information laws. If a government body refuses to release the documents that are supposed to be available to the public, the students file a lawsuit to obtain the records.

Students also engage in public interest advocacy outside the courts. In 2022, the students successfully pitched a policy proposal that is featured on the Partnership for the Public Good’s “Community Agenda” of important social priorities for the region. To learn more about this process, click here.

Donations to UB Law’s Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic Fund are gratefully accepted and all donations, whatever the size, are important and appreciated. Thank you for considering donating to support the Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic. 

Watch a video to hear more about the impact of the Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic. 

Video on the Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic.

Mail Your Gift

Send your gift to:

University at Buffalo School of Law
Office of Advancement
608 O'Brian Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260

Checks should be made out to the Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic Fund