Students enrolled in this clinic will be representing persons facing commitment to a mental hospital. Class will meet each week, and discussion will focus on the Texas Mental Health Code and applicable case law. In addition, there will be exercises concerning examination of witnesses, oral argument, brief writing, and other aspects of litigation.
There will be a short introductory period during which students will observe court proceedings at the state hospital. We also will view videotapes concerning psychiatric diagnosis. Students will begin handling cases in February. In addition to representation at probable cause and commitment hearings, students might also have the opportunity to pursue a case on appeal.
Completion of the basic evidence course is a prerequisite. Enrollment is limited to those who have completed 43 credits of law school. The clinic will be graded on a credit/fail basis.