Clinic - Consumer Counseling and Bankruptcy

Credits: 2.00
Faculty: Mary Jo Eyster

Pre or co-requisite: Debtors' and Creditors' Rights

The Consumer Counseling and Bankruptcy Clinic offers students two options: an externship or an in-house placement. The clinic is designed to accomodate part-time students who may have limited hours to devote to a clinical work. However, full-time students are also welcome and may opt for one additional credit if they hoose to spend more hours per week on the clinic work.

Most students will be placed with local bankruptcy practitioners who have made a commitment to accept individual Chapter 7 cases pro bono, which the students will handle with direct oversight. Students will be responsible for conducting the interviews and completing the analysis of the clients' circumstances, and then assisting the client in deciding whether to file for bankruptcy. In the event the decision is to file, the student will prepare the petition and complete all preparation necessary for a successful filing. In addition to the work on the individual pro bono matters, students will be afforded the opportunity to assist on various other matters within the office, as time and circumstances allow. Some of the supervisors are also Chapter 7 Trustees, and some of the additional work may include working on the trustees' case files.

A limited number of students will be accepted as in-house students to be supervised directly by the clinic director. Part time evening division students will be given priority in enrollment in the in-house placement. Hours will be flexible, including weekends. Students will have a case load of individual clients who are deciding whether to file for bankruptcy relief under Chapter 7. A large portion of the caseload involves counseling clients to determine whether they will benefit from filing for bankruptcy, and if not, what kind of proceeding is most advisable. If the client decides that bankruptcy is advantageous, the student, with faculty supervision, prepares the bankruptcy petition and assembles all required documentation.

Seminar Credits: 1.00

Seminar: The clinic includes a 1-credit seminar that focuses on the interviewing and counseling skills necessary for advising individuals faced with financial or business decisions. The seminar also addresses issues of individual bankruptcy law, Bankruptcy Court procedures, and client advocacy skills.

The seminar will be graded; the clinic will be pass/fail.

Enrollment Notes: Students earn 1 clinic credit for 5 hours per week or 2 credits for 10 hours per week.


The seminar is letter grade only. The fieldwork is pass/fail only.