Legal clinic

Legal education in the United States

A legal clinic (also law clinic or law school clinic) is a law school program providing hands-on-legal experience to law school students and services to various clients. Clinics are usually directed by clinical professors.[1] Legal clinics typically do pro bono work in a particular area, providing free legal services to clients.

Students typically provide assistance with research, drafting legal arguments, and meeting with clients. In many cases, one of the clinic's professors will show up for oral argument before the Court. However, many jurisdictions have "student practice" rules that allow law-clinic students to appear and argue in court.[2][3]

Areas of service

Clinical legal studies exist in diverse areas such as immigration law, environmental law, intellectual property, housing, criminal defense, criminal prosecution, American Indian law, human rights and international criminal law.[4] Clinics sometimes sue big companies and government entities. This has led to pushback in courts and legislatures, including attempts to put limits on who clinics can sue without losing state subsidies.[5]

See also


  1. Black's Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, "clinical legal studies," (St. Paul, Minn: West Publishing Co., 1990), 254
  2. Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XX,
  3. Uniform Local Rules Of The United States District Courts For The Eastern, Middle, And Western Districts Of Louisiana, LR83.2.13,
  4. University Utrecht School of Law Clinical Programme on Conflict, Human Rights and International Justice retrieved January 30, 2010.
  5. Urbina, Ian (April 3, 2010). "School Law Clinics Face a Backlash". The New York Times. Retrieved 4 April 2010.

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