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NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2012

CONTACT: Kent Love, director of communications, 517-432-6959; kent.love@law.msu.edu

MSU Law Housing Law Clinic Students Offer Services through New Eviction Diversion Program

East Lansing, MI — The Michigan State University College of Law Housing Law Clinic has partnered with several organizations throughout the region to provide services to indigent tenants in Ingham County through a new Eviction Diversion Program.

Student clinicians help indigent tenants in Ingham County to avoid eviction and homelessness by assessing eviction proceedings at the 55th District Court, directing need-based tenants to agencies such as the Ingham County Department of Human Services and Capital Area Community Services, referring tenants with affirmative legal defenses to Legal Services of South Central Michigan, or retaining them as clients of the Housing Law Clinic.

"This is a huge undertaking on our part," said Michael Siracuse, a public interest fellow at the Housing Law Clinic. "We are excited to be working with so many community leaders, and we hope to do our part in preventing hundreds of unnecessary evictions in the coming months."

Eviction diversion in Ingham County currently occurs on Wednesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. at the 55th District Court in Mason.

"There is definitely a need," said Siracuse. "The program diverted more than 10 evictions in the first week alone."

The program is modeled after the Kalamazoo Eviction Diversion Program which, over the last several years, has helped thousands of individuals avoid eviction and stay off the streets. The MSU Housing Clinic will act as a program organizer, a landlord negotiator, and a tenant advocate for the program.

The Housing Law Clinic, is a multi-faceted consumer advocacy and research clinic. Student clinicians offer pro bono educational and legal services to low-income citizens on landlord-tenant, housing discrimination, public housing, subsidized housing, land contracts, and affordable housing.. Legal matters range from reviewing documents and filing housing discrimination complaints to representing individuals in disputes and fighting the wrongful termination of public housing subsidies. Staff and students also work daily to improve and reform the overall housing landscape in the state of Michigan and the United States.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world's problems. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law's commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.

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Law College Building
648 N. Shaw Lane, Room 320
East Lansing, MI 48824
www.law.msu.edu


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