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Landlord-Tenant Clinic

Every day, scores of New Haven families must deal with serious housing issues. Rented homes are often substandard, lacking basic amenities such as heat and running water; landlords may unjustifiably withhold security deposits; tenants’ rights to privacy may be violated. When disputes over rent arise, area families face the threat of imminent eviction, and the prospect of homelessness.

While tenants often are unable to afford legal assistance when dealing with these critical issues, the Yale Landlord-Tenant Clinic (LLT Clinic) is committed to providing just such services at no cost to low-income tenants in the New Haven area. The LLT Clinic was established in 1985. Since then, it has helped resolve more than 500 landlord-tenant disputes.

The LLT Clinic provides students with a unique opportunity to gain legal experience while helping real clients in serious need. Students who take part in the LLT Clinic take the lead role in all aspects of these cases, from informal dispute resolution to full-blown courtroom litigation. It is a perfect clinic to take anytime during law school: early (because it concerns contracts and procedure) or near the end (because it offers opportunities to perform the full range of lawyering skills). 

Skills exercised in the LLT clinic include interviewing clients, researching and drafting legal briefs and pleadings, arguing cases before the Connecticut Housing Session, negotiating and mediating settlements, and presenting or cross-examining witnesses. Frank Dineen and J.L. Pottenger, Jr., members of the Yale clinical faculty who have been practicing landlord-tenant law for more than fifty years (combined), supervise students of the LLT Clinic.