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Clinical Programs - LGBT Clinic

For Students

The Advocacy for LGBT Communities Clinic gives Cornell Law Students an extraordinary opportunity to participate directly in advancing the legal rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Working in teams, clinic students will represent diverse members of the LGBT community in a variety of legal matters and undertake non-litigation projects to advance LGBT equality. Students will develop skills such as interviewing, client counseling, fact-finding, legal research, brief-writing, negotiating on behalf of clients, public education, and conducting hearings.The seminar portion is a practice-oriented examination of advocacy on behalf of LGBT people and of social justice lawyering generally.

The Clinic Experience

The LGBT Clinic consists of a weekly 2-hour seminar and 12-15 hours per week of case/project work.In the classroom component, we will explore critical questions related to lawyering for LGBT equality: What does it mean to advocate for a community? How should advocates select their priorities? How can we decide amongst potential strategies like litigation, public education, grassroots advocacy, and legislative efforts? 

For the practice component, each student will be assigned to an individual representation project team and a non-litigation project team.On individual representation projects, students will handle cases at all stages of legal proceedings in immigration court, state court, or other forums. These may include representing immigrants seeking asylum based on sexual orientation or gender identity and assisting transgender women in men's prisons in obtaining legal name changes.Non-litigation projects may include research on the legal rights of LGBT seniors in nursing homes and developing community education materials on how LGBT couples can safeguard their legal rights.

To Participate in the Clinic

If you would like to apply to the Clinic, please pre-register and submit a resume, unofficial transcript, and a short essay describing why you are interested in participating (no more than 2 pages) to Professor Hazeldean (shazeldean@cornell.edu) by the deadline given in current course registration materials.If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Prof. Hazeldean to schedule a meeting.