The COVID-19 pandemic drastically changed the delivery of legal education. Many courses switched to remote instruction, and that change was particularly complicated for clinical courses. For Michigan's Workers' Right Clinic (WRC), however, the pandemic brought more than a change in course delivery - it brought a huge influx of new cases and community need with rapidly and continually changing laws. This article describes how the WRC navigated and thrived, despite the rapid changes brought about by the pandemic, and how the clinic provided an opportunity for students to engage in more complex work that benefited students both academically and mentally. This article first describes the structure of the WRC, which includes first-, second- and third- year students. It then describes how the WRC adapted to the challenges of COVID-19, including how the clinic fostered a substantive and engaging experience despite its remote nature, how the clinic responded to rapidly changing unemployment laws and regulations, and what the instructors learned from students. The third section describes the human and financial impact the WRC had on unemployed Michigan residents during the pandemic. The article ends with reflections of what changes WRC will keep in future semesters and how other clinicians may be able to implement this article's findings into their courses.
Kohl, Rachael and Nancy E. Vettorello. "How Serving Jobless Workers During the Pandemic’s Economic Recession Grounded Students: A Reflection from Michigan’s Workers’ Rights Clinic." Clinical Law Review 28, no. 1 (2021): 169-198.