Jennifer Prusak to launch new Housing Law Clinic at Vanderbilt Law

Aug 13, 2020

Jennifer Prusak will launch a new Housing Law Clinic at Vanderbilt in spring 2021. Students in the clinic will work under her direction to represent tenants facing eviction proceedings, advance Fair Housing Act claims on behalf of disabled clients, and advocate for affordable and accessible housing in Nashville.

Prusak joined the clinical faculty at Vanderbilt Law School in July as an associate clinical professor of law. Her appointment was announced by Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs Susan Kay ’79.

“Housing is a critical issue in Nashville, and the Housing Law Clinic Jennifer Prusak is launching will provide an important service to clients of public and Section 8 housing as well as low-income and disabled clients renting from private landlords who are facing eviction,” Kay said. “I look forward to the contributions Jennifer and her students will make as advocates for fair and affordable housing.”

Prusak previously directed the Nonprofit Legal Clinic at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, a transactional clinic which she created and managed for six years. While teaching on Maurer’s clinical law faculty, she also supervised Maurer’s Tenant Assistance Project, through which law students met with and counseled pro se tenants before and during their eviction hearings in Monroe County, Indiana.

Before joining the clinical law faculty at Maurer, Prusak was a staff attorney and an Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps Legal Fellow at Indiana Legal Services, where she worked with local nonprofit agencies on projects aimed at preventing homelessness and defended eviction actions brought against tenants of public housing and Section 8 apartments and those renting from private landlords in Southern Indiana courts. Her work included negotiating with public housing authorities and private landlords on behalf of tenants at risk of eviction, helping disabled clients advance Fair Housing Act disputes, and bringing actions against landlords for renting properties that were not safe for habitation.

Prusak earned her J.D. at the University of Michigan and then practiced law for seven years, focusing on disability rights and employment discrimination litigation, before joining Indiana Legal Aid. She earned her B.A. at Grinnell College.

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