Catholic Law's Columbus Community Legal Services (CCLS) and Pro Bono Program provide free, high-quality legal services to individuals and families who live in the District of Columbia Metropolitan Area. In addition to assisting persons who would otherwise go unrepresented, the programs also provide students with practical skills in a variety of legal fields.
Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Clinic (IRAC)
IRAC offers students the opportunity to represent, under the supervision of a clinic attorney, immigrant and refugee clients living in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. IRAC handles bond hearings in Arlington Immigration Court, affirmative asylum cases, employment authorization, naturalization, and Board of Immigration Appeals matters. Students present their clients’ cases in immigration court or advocate on behalf of clients with local and federal administrative agencies. IRAC partners with nonprofit organizations to remotely assist individuals in detention centers around the country. IRAC students also participate in limited legal assistance projects or policy reform initiatives at the local and federal levels. (Click here to learn more about IRAC)
Families and the Law Clinic (FALC)
FALC is designed to help students develop lawyering skills through practical experience, to take on cases of domestic violence, family law, and immigration law. By representing persons who would otherwise proceed pro se, FALC students gain hands-on experience while learning the dynamics of domestic violence and poverty. (Click here to learn more about FALC)
Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC)
LITC provides direct representation to low-income taxpayers in controversies with the IRS—dealing with such issues as return filing, IRS correspondence examinations, IRS face-to-face examinations, IRS collections, and appeals to the IRS. CCLS’s LITC will also assist taxpayers with judicial review before the United States Tax Court as necessary. The clinic will also develop a taxpayer education workshop which will cover topics such as an overview of the IRS and Federal Income Tax systems, the importance of proper completion of the W-4, different filing statuses, dependents, deductions, and various tax credits, specifically, but not limited to, Earned Income Tax Credit, homeownership credits, child credits, and education credits. At each taxpayer education workshop, taxpayers will also have an opportunity to obtain limited advice and consultation regarding their personal tax issues. (Click here to learn more about LITC)
Pro Bono at Catholic Law
Lawyers have a professional and ethical responsibility to use their legal skills to advance the public interest and increase access to justice. This duty begins in law school. Moreover, because Catholic Law has a unique mission of service, all students are strongly encouraged to participate in the Pro Bono Program.
The mission of Catholic Law’s Pro Bono Program is to help students develop the public service ethos they will need as future lawyers by facilitating pro bono opportunities and celebrating the pro bono contributions of the Catholic Law community. (Click here to learn more about Pro Bono)