New UCH Clinic Aids Workers Impacted by the Pandemic

UC Hastings has launched a clinic to help low-wage workers with state unemployment insurance appeals in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The faculty have redesigned the law school’s Workers’ Rights Clinic for summer 2020 to help those who have lost jobs during the pandemic file appeals if they were denied unemployment and provide individuals representation in administrative law hearings.

“In April, we saw two needs arise simultaneously as a result of COVID-19: workers were suddenly laid off as businesses closed or contracted; at the same time many law students found that expected summer job offers were rescinded or never materialized,” said Professor Mai Linh Spencer. The retooled summer Workers’ Rights Clinic will meet those twin needs.

Students will gain valuable lawyering skills, including interviewing, fact investigation, case development, and conducting administrative hearings – all while providing an important public service. After an intensive two-day training, students working in two-person teams will represent workers with unemployment insurance appeals hearings before administrative law judges and handle other state employment matters under the supervision of Professor Mai Linh Spencer and Professor Miye Goishi, both of whom are experienced employment law clinical professors.

Enrollment officials note the class is filling quickly. “UC Hastings students are eager to learn and eager to serve. This clinic allows them to do both,” Spencer said.

The deadline to enroll is May 22. Coursework begins May 26. All work will be done virtually.