Faculty Profiles

Joanna Schwartz

Joanna C. Schwartz

Vice Dean for Faculty Development and Professor of Law
B.A. Brown University, 1994
J.D. Yale, 2000
UCLA Faculty Since 2006

LAW 708 - Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic

UCLA School of Law’s Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic pursues police reform through litigation and policy advocacy. The class seminar builds on the work of the J-Term course, Suing the Police.  In the seminar, students will develop litigation skills including complaint drafting, litigation planning, discovery practice, and fact investigation.  Additional skills development and seminar subjects will correspond with the cases and projects in which we are engaged.

The central feature of this clinical course is our work on civil litigation and policy projects pursuing police reforms. Through relationships with nonprofits and private counsel, the clinic assists in potential and ongoing civil lawsuits against law enforcement officers and agencies.  Because police misconduct litigation can take several years from beginning to end and is unpredictable, it is impossible to know for certain what aspect of the litigation process we will work on in our cases.  We do our best to find opportunities that offer a unique insight into the litigation process. The clinic additionally works in partnership with nonprofits and community organizations on non-litigation projects intended to advance police reforms.

This graded, four-unit clinical course is limited to a maximum of twelve students. Enrollment is by application. A significant out-of-class time commitment is required.

Clinic students must have taken Law 908. Suing the Police, held during the January Term.  There are no other prerequisites.

Video Description

UCLA Law adheres to ABA Standards in determining the number of credit hours for coursework. Each unit of credit reasonably approximates one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student preparation per week, for the length of the semester. Students are therefore expected to prepare a minimum of two hours outside of class for each hour of class time. Notwithstanding the above general standard, experiential field work units are calculated as follows: 1 unit of credit = a minim of 52 hours per semester (4-5 hours per week of clinic work).