Top Questions About Law Clinics – Part 1

Law clinics are one of the three types of experiential courses that assure practical experience opportunities at Quinnipiac Law. Every Quinnipiac Law student is guaranteed a meaningful, practical and real-life experience in our law clinics or our externship program. In addition, all students are required to take at least six credits of experiential credits, and we have a wide array of simulation skills courses to round out our experiential opportunities and prepare you to practice law in the clinics and beyond.

Take a look at the questions and answers below for a view inside our law clinics. For more, visit our website here.

What is a law clinic?

A law clinic is a course in which law students work with actual clients on real cases, under the supervision of a faculty member who serves as the supervising attorney. Quinnipiac offers a number of clinics that encompass a wide range of practice areas, all grouped under the broad category of clinical programs.

The clinic experience is nuanced and impactful: participation in a law clinic goes well beyond just introducing you to the role of the attorney – it places you in a pivotal position, assuming many of the duties of lawyering as you work to represent real clients in real time. The clinic experience offers a range of perspectives. One of our clinics, for example, allows you to mediate cases with the intention of helping parties in distress solve their disputes, and another permits students to work with small businesses. From whatever perspective you serve, however, you are helping people with serious legal issues.

For clients, many of whom would not have been able to afford legal representation, experience with a law clinic can be nothing short of life changing.

There’s no doubt: your work in a law clinic stands to have a powerful effect on your clients or the mediating parties – and on your development as an attorney.

What are the areas of the law I can get involved with through Quinnipiac’s clinics?

Quinnipiac Law’s clinic program is organized around eight law clinics and advanced clinics. It may be more useful, though, to think in terms of the clinic “practice areas” that are available within those clinics – the particular areas of the law you can choose to focus on during your clinic experience.

At Quinnipiac, the practice areas include: Criminal Defense Appellate Practice, Criminal Prosecution Appellate Practice, Criminal Justice Reform, Family Law, Human Trafficking Prevention Project, Immigrants’ Rights Policy, Immigration & Refugee Law, Juvenile Justice, Mediation, Negotiation, Prisoner Reentry, Prisoners’ Rights, Tax, Transgender Rights, Veterans Advocacy, and Voting Rights. At any time, our clinics may add another subject area in order to respond to the needs of the community. As we said, real people in real time.  Read more about our Law Clinics here.

Anything in particular I should know about Quinnipiac’s clinical program?

Quinnipiac Law’s clinical program is extremely robust, and thanks to Connecticut’s generous “student-practice rule” Quinnipiac students can start doing clinic work beginning in the summer after their first year. This matters: you have the potential to gain more – and more varied – experience than students in states that do not have similar guidelines.

Quinnipiac clinic faculty and leadership are incredibly hands-on when it comes to providing guidance and resources, and many Quinnipiac students take advantage of the opportunity to engage in clinic work. In the last three years alone, students in Quinnipiac’s Civil Justice and Tax Clinics, for example, have logged an extraordinary 18,000 hours of work on behalf of their clients.

The work of our law clinic students is a point of pride, and notable accomplishments from favorable court decisions to important legislative changes are shared and celebrated within the entire law school community. At its core, though, the clinic experience is as a day-to-day training ground, a rich and varied environment for professional growth.

Continue to Clinics Part 2

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