The HIV and the Law Clinic provides students with skill-focused instruction through legal assistance to clients and policy-related advocacy.
This clinic is part of a medical-legal partnership between the Mississippi Center for Justice, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and the Mississippi Department of Health. Clinic students partner with experienced attorneys at the Mississippi Center for Justice to advocate and educate on various medical and legal issues implicated by a client’s diagnosis with HIV.
For more information about work of the Mississippi Center for Justice with regard to HIV issues, see http://www.mscenterforjustice.org/our-work/access-healthcare/hivaids
Students in the HIV and the Law Clinic will be exposed to a blend of direct client services and policy work, in areas including employment discrimination, housing violations and other conduct based on the client’s HIV status. Students may participate in client intake and interviewing, legal research, and document preparation; provide research and writing for policy initiatives aimed at improving the lives of people living with HIV; and participate in educating the community about HIV and related laws.
Each student will be required to complete 135 hours of clinical work (which includes both direct services and policy work), in addition to the classroom component (a five-hour introductory class, followed by one-hour classes every other week during the semester). Enrollment is limited, and students must be eligible for admission under the Mississippi Law Student Limited Practice Act.
The clinic is taught by Courtney Hunt, as staff attorney in the Jackson office of the Mississippi Center for Justice. Professor Hunt holds a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. Between college and law school, she worked for four years at Teach For America’s headquarters on the Growth Strategy and Development team.
In law school, Professor Hunt worked extensively with an organization that represents tenants of public and subsidized housing. Professor Hunt worked in the transactional law and child advocacy clinics, and also spent a summer working on predatory lending practices that target low-income communities. For this work, she received the Edith W. Fine Fellowship, awarded to one woman in the graduating class who has demonstrated excellent leadership and commitment to public service.