RACP Awards University $500,000 Grant for Law Clinic Site

The School of Law has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) that will be utilized for developing the future site of the school’s Clinical Legal Education Program.

The law school’s seven clinical programs—which benefit underserved families, individuals and communities—address the areas of civil rights, community enterprise, federal practice, pro se motions, unemployment, urban development and veterans.

“The new clinic, located in the Uptown community, will enable the law school and our students to directly deliver much-needed legal services to citizens in the community,” explained Law School Dean Ken Gormley. “This will enrich our law students’ experience by giving them hands-on training handling real clients and resolving real problems.  It will simultaneously enrich the community by allowing the School of Law to become a partner in revitalizing the Uptown corridor by providing services in a key, accessible area of the City. We are deeply grateful to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Allegheny County for awarding these grants, which will revitalize our law clinic and transform it into one of the finest clinics in the United States.”

The law school’s Clinical Legal Education Program was established to serve the community by providing good counsel, to train students in the practice of law and to promote the rewards of public service.

“The RACP funding, when matched with the University’s financial commitment to the project, will allow us to move forward immediately, hopefully in time to relocate to the new Clinic quarters by the beginning of next academic year,” said Gormley.

The RACP is a commonwealth grant program administered by the Pennsylvania Office of the Budget that was developed for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic and historical improvement projects.

In addition to the RACP grant, the School of Law received a $250,000 grant in November from the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority to help purchase equipment and furnishings for the new clinic.

Located at 914 Fifth Avenue, the new site for the clinical education program will include client meeting rooms; nearly double the space of the existing law clinic; a conference room for hosting meetings with judges and practicing attorneys; and a Moot Court room equipped with state-of-the-art technology where students can practice their skills and receive feedback from experienced instructors and leaders in the legal field.

The Clinical Legal Education Program also provides services associated with real estate development in distressed areas throughout the region. These include general real estate matters, title searches, negotiation and drafting of agreements, preparation of land use cases, zoning issues, mortgage foreclosure matters, property tax assessment appeals, appellate land use practice, and participating in public meetings.