This 4-credit clinical course provides students with hands-on experience in conducting investigations of facts relevant to litigation, transactional matters, and public policy advocacy, particularly in complex settings. Past investigative efforts have focused on such topics as the use of policing to respond to homelessness in Los Angeles’ Skid Row, the operation of the Los Angeles taxi industry, the enforcement of California antidiscrimination laws through both private litigation and state and federal administrative systems, racial discrimination by cities seeking to exclude tenants using federal Housing Choice vouchers, and the quality of education provided to incarcerated youth. Investigations have often provided the factual foundation for policy advocacy and/or litigation leading to significant real-world change.
Students will spend approximately 8 hours per week working in teams in collaboration with lawyers and others conducting investigations and analyses of one or more matters. Techniques and skills covered include interviewing, working with experts, obtaining documents and other information through public records laws, the use of both observational and on-line investigative techniques, the use of computers to manage and analyze large quantities of factual information, and the organization and presentation of investigative findings to clients, colleagues, public officials and courts. The course is graded.
There are no prerequisites. Admission is limited to 12 students. Admission is by consent of the instructor. Students should submit a resume and a one page description of interests in fact investigation to the Records Office and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.