LSIC Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic: Student Attorney Experiences, Lily Wu and Courtney Lutz

Fast paced and constant, that’s the energy within the Landlord Tenant Branch of the DC Superior Court. Lily Wu learned this very quickly during her semester serving as a student attorney in our HALC.

Lily Wu, student attorney from George Washington University Law Center.

On the first day she reported for work, Lily Wu and her colleague, Courtney Lutz, received a significant assignment: to represent a client in a nonpayment of rent case with an upcoming bench trial. The bench trial was scheduled for 10 days after they received the case. Undaunted, Lily and Courtney hit the ground running, doing research on implied agency and how a tenancy is formed, drafting a trial plan, and gathering information from their client. They met with their client several times during their first week, and mooted the trial with their clinic supervisor Jessie DiStefano and the client. When court was called to order 10 days later, Lily and Courtney were ready.

The client’s goal in the case was to negotiate a move-out agreement, which would allow the client to live in his home for at least one more month. During the pre-trial mediation, Lily and Courtney negotiated and secured a settlement that gave the client five weeks before he would have to move. The settlement also required the landlord to return to court for a writ if the client didn’t leave on time, which would buy the client at least an extra week if he needed it.

Thanks to Lily and Courtney’s devoted preparation, their client got the result they wanted. The client was granted the move-out agreement he sought and had a successful resolution without the risk of losing at trial and being evicted.