Most law schools offer superb training in lawyering skills. Many law schools have pioneering clinical legal education since early 1970s and have blazed an outstanding path of innovation and excellence. Clinical legal education offers extensive and rigorous practical training for student-lawyers interested in litigation, transactional and public interest work. In most law schools, every first-year student is required to take a foundational lawyering skills course, and upper-division students choose from among the many clinical course offerings.
In a law school clinic, students receive law-school credit while they represent real clients or mediate real cases. They learn relevant lawyering skills through close supervision by an experienced lawyer or faculty member. Clinics offer students an opportunity to serve the community and reflect on their experience as they become a lawyer.
Clinical courses include a range of live-client clinics such as Depositions and Discovery in Complex Litigation, the Environmental Law Clinic or Community Economic Development in which students represents actual clients or community groups. The Clinical Program also offers a series of sophisticated simulation-based skills courses such as our outstanding trial advocacy classes and a series of transactional clinical courses. In these varied clinical settings, students learn how to interview and counsel clients, represent groups, draft legal documents, examine and cross-examine witnesses, resolve disputes, and argue before a judge or jury. Students interested in transactional practice can learn how to finance a start-up company, sell a private company, advise a community-based organization engaged in economic development projects, or manage a myriad of environmental issues that arise when selling a business.
In most law schools, these clinics and clinical courses are taught by superlative faculty who have won numerous teaching awards and who have contributed many of the cornerstone ideas that form the basis of clinical scholarship.