The Civil Clinical Law Program at the University of Nebraska College of Law (the CCLP) is normally the initial contact at the Weibling Project for individuals who believe they could be victims of discrimination at work, at school, or in the general community. Student lawyers in the CCLP interview clients, collect detailed descriptions of their situations, and advise them generally about the law that regulates the type of discrimination about which each complains (disability, religious, racial, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation or age). The student lawyers and the CCLP supervising attorneys will then meet to jointly evaluate the clients' claims to determine whether the clients are in need of more extensive legal services.
After the legal team has completed its assessment, the student lawyers will meet with the clients to explore alternative courses of action and their likely consequences. The goal will be to provide the clients with a reasonable opportunity to understand and evaluate the alternatives and consequences and then to provide the client with the appropriate referrals for services to accomplish those alternatives, including both legal and nonlegal sources. If the clients are in need of additional legal services, the legal team will offer a list of local attorneys for clients to consider for subsequent legal services. If the clients demonstrate psychological issues to resolve as a result of the complaint, the Weibling team will make a referral to the psychology services center within the Weibling Project . The Weibling team may refer the client to other social service and/or community agencies to assist with complaints.
Among the individuals that the Weibling Project tries to help are:
• People who experience bias at work because of protected factors such as religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
• Poor and indigent people who suffer from housing discrimination because of physical and mental disabilities. (Note: the CCLP can also assist individuals with other types of housing problems.)
• Families with special needs children who are the victims of discrimination because of their unique family needs.
• Individuals who become indigent because of mental and physical disabilities, which cost them their jobs and livelihoods.
• Any persons who suffer from emotional distress because of the role that potentially illegal discrimination plays in their social and psychological adjustment.
What can I expect when I come to the Weibling Project?
When you call the Weibling Project, the staff person will schedule an appointment for you with one of our legal advisors. We will ask you to fill out some paperwork either on a computer or with paper and pen. The paper work will contain some basic information about yourself and your problem situation. You will also be given the opportunity to participate in one or more research studies.
During your first confidential meeting with the legal advisor, you will have an opportunity to tell about what has happened to you and how it has affected you. Then a second appointment will be scheduled with our mental health staff. During that appointment, the mental health provider will help determine whether your experiences have resulted in any psychological distress or problems. The legal advisor and mental health provider will then meet with the Weibling Project team and determine what services best meet your needs. The legal advisor and mental health staff person will then meet together with you and share our recommendations. Typically we make one or more of the following recommendations:
1. There has been a possible violation of your legal rights and we will refer you to a local attorney who can further investigate your case.
2. The courts will not likely see what has happened to you as a violation of the law so that we recommend against pursuing a legal case.
3. Regardless of whether you follow up with a local attorney, if you are experiencing some emotional difficulties that could benefit from talking with a mental health provider, then we will refer you to the Weibling Project mental health services. You will be eligible for four free mental health sessions. Any additional treatment will be at your own expense but we will discuss affordable options for you if the need arises.
4. We do not recommend any additional legal or mental health services but we will provide referrals at your request.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who are the Weibling Project legal advisors?
The legal advisors are supervised advanced law students from the UNL College of Law.
Are Weibling Project services confidential?
Yes, everything you tell the legal advisor or mental health provider is strictly confidential. Later, if you wish us to release your information to a local attorney, we will be happy to do so with your written permission.
Who are the Weibling Project mental health staff people?
The mental health staff are supervised students in the UNL doctoral program in clinical psychology. They typically have at least a master's degree and are supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist.
What sort of research studies will I be asked to participate in?
Because one mission of the Weibling Project is to learn more about what it is like for people when they experience discrimination, we invite all Weibling Project clients to participate in our research project. We will tell you all about the research and what it involves (typically completing some surveys) and you can decide if you want to participate at that time. You do not have to participate in the research to receive Weibling Project services.