FAQs About Clinics

FAQs About Clinics

Why should I enroll in a clinic?

Clinics are a chance to learn to represent an actual client and build practice skills under the mentorship of an experienced attorney-teacher. While working with your client in the field, you also have the support of faculty and colleagues in the classroom to practice skills and discuss issues related to your cases.

How do I enroll in a clinic?

All internal clinics and some external clinics have applications to gauge interest and help plan clinic work for the coming year. In the absence of an application process, enroll just like you would in any other course. You can apply to as many clinics as you like, but can ordinarily enroll in only one clinic per semester.

Some semester-long clinics have an advanced option for students who want to continue another semester, with instructor permission.

How are clinics graded?

Yearlong clinics are credit/no credit for the first semester, and letter-graded for the second semester (but reflecting the full year's performance). Semester-long clinics (including advanced) are letter-graded.

Unlike lecture courses that may be graded based on a single final exam or paper, clinic students are graded based on preparation for and engagement in clinic work throughout.

When should I enroll in a clinic?

Most clinics are open to both 2Ls and 3Ls unless they require court appearances.

Clinics that require applications make offers before the lottery for the upcoming semester. You can enroll in clinics that don't require applications during the regular lottery. See the Comparison Chart for deadlines.

What is the clinic experience like?

CLINIC FIELDWORK EXPERIENCE (8-15 HRS/WK)

Students work individually or in teams to represent clinic clients. Although the faculty supervise the work, the goal of a clinic is to give students the tools and training to allow them to take significant responsibility for the client work and relationship, including representing clients at trial, providing legislative testimony, and drafting essential documents.

CLINIC SEMINAR AND SUPERVISION TIME (2-3 HRS/WK)

The clinics meet weekly (typically for 1-2 hours) for a classroom session. The faculty supervisor teaches relevant substantive law, skills needed for clinic work, and professional issues related to clinic practice. Clinic students also meet regularly with the faculty supervisor to discuss the work in the students' assigned cases.

WORKING WITH CLIENTS

Students in our clinics all represent or assist real clients on real legal and policy work. Many of the clinics' clients are individual people who cannot afford to pay for legal services. Some of our clinics serve nonprofit organizations or community groups, entrepreneurs or government agencies.

ADVOCATING FOR CHANGE

While many of the clinics engage primarily inproviding legal services to clients, several clinics also engage in policy work, including advocating for legislative change, helping government agencies make internal policy changes, or helping community groups effect grassroots change.