The Unemployment Compensation Clinic focuses on unemployment compensation matters for low-income clients. Clinic students working with the unemployment compensation clinic receive substantive seminars related to unemployment compensation law including case law, and procedure for willful misconduct and voluntary quit cases, overpayment issues and offsets.
During the classroom component students gain substantive knowledge in specific areas of unemployment compensation law, including voluntary quit, willful misconduct, overpayment, offsets, seasonal work, and eligibility issues. Students also receive targeted and intensive training in the rules of evidence, especially with regard to those issues commonly arising in the context of referee hearings. Students will be given assignments involving research and writing. Skills training will address interviewing, preparation for and conduct of direct and cross examination, and authentication and foundation. Professional and ethical standards will be addressed comprehensively throughout the course.
Students also receive valuable training in litigation skills for direct application in their representation of unemployment compensation clients. Each unemployment compensation case gives students experience in client interviewing, case preparation, direct and cross-examination, application of the rules of evidence, and oral presentation before a referee. All students represent multiple clients over the course of the clinic and therefore have to opportunity to develop and hone their trial advocacy skills.
Clinic Receives PA Bar Association Pro Bono Award
Supervising attorney Michael Simon and clinic student Lori Buntman accept the 2010 PBA Pro Bono Award.
The Unemployment Compensation Clinic, led by Supervising Attorney Michael Simon (L’ 80), received a 2010 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award.
The award recognizes attorneys and judges who have made exceptional contributions to improve civil legal aid in the Commonwealth. The award ceremony was held on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at the Allegheny County Bar Association, Public Service Committee Volunteer Appreciation Event at the Reed Smith Centre.
During 2009-2010, the students in the Unemployment Compensation Clinic handled 87 clients at Unemployment Compensation referee hearings throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region. This is the largest number of clients ever served by the Unemployment Compensation Law Clinic in its history.