The Clinic Experience
Students participate in clinic orientation before the start of classes, after which they are sworn in to practice law as a Student Practitioner under the supervision of a Clinic Professor. Clinic students are assigned civil or criminal cases with jurisdiction in municipal, state, federal and/or administrative courts. Student Practitioners are expected to represent clients from the point of their case assignment through final disposition or the end of the course, whichever comes first.
Representation includes, but is not be limited to, client interviews, fact investigation, informal and formal discovery, drafting and filing of pleadings, legal research, writing of fact and legal memoranda, communications with opposing counsel, court appearances, including trial and appellate work, and law office management. Student Practitioners must devote a minimum of 15 hours per week to clinic class and case work in this course.
Standard participation is two full semesters during the fall and spring semesters of the 3L year; however, certain sections of Law Clinic are offered for one semester only. For each semester of Law Clinic that a student successfully completes, he or she will earn five credit hours, letter graded, three skills credits, and five hours of experiential learning credits.
Prerequisite: LAW L770 Lawyering III
2020-2021 Clinic Application
The Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Frequently Asked Questions
We encourage students to research the various clinical experiences offered and meet with clinical administration and faculty to discuss your interests. Enroll in skills classes that will help with live-client representation, such as, client interviewing, trial skills, discovery, soft skills, litigation, research, writing and communication.
Students must apply to the Law Clinic sometime in the Spring semester of their second year of law school. Every February, signs are posted and memos are sent out to all second-year law students calling for those interested in joining the Law Clinic to apply. Because students are placed on a first come first serve basis, students are encouraged to apply early.
Students may take clinic in the summer/fall/spring, summer/fall, or fall/spring. Students must participate in the clinic for at least two semesters. From time to time, clinical courses may be offered for one semester. Students should prepare for an exciting experience with the understanding you will be placed in a full immersion live-client clinic.
As a general rule, the Clinic requires a two-semester commitment. The following one-semester clinics are, however, available:
- Criminal Defense (Fall Semester, Prof. Mitchell)
- Technology and Legal Innovation (Spring Semester, Prof. Mitchell)
- Community Justice (Spring Semester, Prof. Finger)
- Prosecution (Fall or Spring, Prof. Quigley)
Because Law Clinic is one of the most popular enrollment options at Loyola, we encourage students to apply early. Clinic administration will let students know by April whether they are accepted to clinic. Once accepted, students must attend an orientation course in early or late summer in order to learn clinic office procedures, be sworn in, and receive their cases. If accepted, students are presumed obligated to enroll in the course and complete two semesters, as placements are limited.