Frequently Asked Questions

What is a clinical education?
A clinical education is a teaching method that combines theoretical concepts and actual legal practice. Its purpose is to help students learn from their own experience and from their reflection on that experience.

In a clinical course, students are given the opportunity to exercise professional judgment while representing actual clients. In most clinics, students are responsible for all aspects of the client's representation. The students' experiences then become the subject of critical review and reflection. By assisting students to develop models and techniques for systematic and self-conscious review of their experiences, clinical teaching helps to make law school the beginning, not the end, of a legal education.

Will being in a clinic help me learn how to be a lawyer?
Absolutely. Teaching students how to be skilled, responsible members of the profession is a central goal of clinical education. Students in clinics learn how to be lawyers by engaging in the practice of law in a controlled educational environment that promotes self-reflection on each lawyering task.

What tasks do students do in the clinical program?
Students engage in all of the tasks normally associated with the cases and other matters in which the clinic provides representation. In most clinics, the student bears responsibility for investigation, interviewing, client counseling, planning, negotiation, strategic analysis, research, writing, and oral advocacy.

Do clinic students work with real clients?
Students work with actual clients in all clinics.

Are clients' interests compromised by having students represent them?
No. Students are supervised by highly skilled lawyers.

How many semesters is a student in a clinic and how many credits are awarded?
All clinics are conducted in one semester. The number of credits awarded ranges from 5 credits to 6 credits, depending on if the student is enrolled in the live-client clinics or the externship component.

Who may enroll in a clinic?
Our clinics are open to 3L students.

Should I take a clinic even if I plan on practicing corporate law?
Students should explore the possibility of taking a clinic irrespective of the type of law that the students intend to practice. No matter what its subject matter, each clinic teaches the essentials of planning, problem solving, strategic thinking, ethics, client relations, and the other skills associated with the practice of law.