LEGAL AID CLINIC

The NEW ERA UNIVERSITY – LEGAL AID CLINIC was created and organized as a facility to provide its law students, particularly the graduating class, with a clinical legal education program to prepare them to become competent, socially involved and ethical lawyers and to provide them with a meaningful legal training and experience.

Objectives

The principal objective of the New Era University Legal Aid Clinic is to prepare and train qualified law students as legal interns to practice law ethically and competently through supervised appearances in courts, tribunals and administrative agencies. The Clinic aims to provide:

  1. Law students as legal interns with clinical legal education by the proper exposure to actual legal problem situations and practical work experience in their environment with the program;
  2. Free legal aid services to indigent and impoverished members of the community, particularly our brethren who cannot afford to pay the services of lawyers; and
  3. The Clinic shall likewise endeavor to harness the wealth of experience and expertise of the University’s law professors by seeking their participation and involvement in the implementation of the program as supervisors to the student practitioners.

History

On 3 April 2002, Ret. Justice Nicolas P. Lapeña, the first Dean of the New Era University College of Law, filed with the Supreme Court an application for the accreditation of the New Era University Legal Aid Clinic. On 25 May 2004, the Supreme Court En Banc issued Bar Matter No. 1103 granting the request for accreditation of the New Era University Legal Aid Clinic. Atty. Teofilo F. Nacion was the first appointed Director of the Clinic.

Since its establishment, the Clinic has rendered free legal aid services to countless indigent members of our community. It was also instrumental in producing well-experienced and socially-involved lawyers who graduated from the New Era University College of Law.

In November 2014, the Clinic was transferred to its present-day office at Room 211 of the NEU Professional Schools Building of New Era University. In January 2015, Atty. Rodel R. Morta was appointed as the Director of the Clinic.

The Legal Affairs Advocates of New Era University (LAAN) was established in August 2015. The LAAN is the core group of the Legal Aid Clinic, primarily devoted to pro bono services to the community.

Services Rendered

“Legal representation” involves the conduct of cases in court, tribunals or agencies by the Legal Interns and the Supervising Lawyers for and in behalf of the clients.

“Legal counseling and assistance” refers to the process of giving advice and information concerning the solution of a legal problem arising from a given state of facts and the adoption of appropriate relief or remedies under the law for the satisfaction and enforcement of a legal obligation before a judicial or quasi-judicial body. In short, legal counseling involves only the giving of legal advice, while legal assistance involves the conduct of necessary remedies like making of demand letters, reply-affidavit, etc.

Availing the Legal Services of the Clinic

Persons who wish to avail the legal services of the Clinic may personally proceed to our office between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Saturday, and should bring the following:

  1. Certificate of Indigency issued by the Barangay or the Department of Social Welfare and Development; and
  2. All documents relevant and helpful to the case.

Upon entering our office, you will be greeted and interviewed by our Legal Interns. Your case will undergo evaluation and assessment by the Director.

The Clinic will not accept the following:

  1. Unmeritorious cases. A case is deemed unmeritorious if it seems that, based on the law and evidence at hand, it has no chance of success, or is intended only to harass or oppress any person. In such situation, the Clinic has the discretion to whether or not decline the handling of the case. In criminal cases, the accused is given the constitutional presumption of innocence until the contrary is proven. Hence, cases of defendants in criminal cases are considered meritorious. (PAO Memorandum Circular No. 02 Series of 2010)
  2. Cases being handled by other lawyers;
  3. Cases necessitating legal representation if it is outside the jurisdiction of Quezon City courts/tribunals/agencies. However, there is no area requirement if the legal service sought is only legal counseling and assistance;
  4. Cases involving political issues; and
  5. Cases that have conflicting interests with other clients of the Clinic.

Legal Interns

Cases accepted by the Clinic will be handled by our Legal Interns, who are 4th Year Law Students. The Legal Interns are strictly supervised by our Supervising Lawyers and the Director.

 
For inquiries, contact us at:

Tel Nos. (02) 232-0255
E-mail Address: legalaid@neu.edu.ph