What We Do
The Civil Practice Clinics umbrella a range of state court practice areas, each in a discrete clinic:
- Veteran’s Clinic
Students counsel and assist clients with Veteran’s benefits claims, discharge updates and legal issues related to their military service. In addition, the Clinic offers civil legal services to families of military personnel.
- Family Law Basic
Students represent clients in divorces that involve minimal property and no children.
- Family Law Advanced
Students represent clients in cases that present more advanced, mixed issues than found in a simple divorce with no children or any substantial property. Here client issues tend to focus on divorce joined with contested property, children and custody issues, parentage, grandparent access, post-judgment enforcement or modification, and state agency involvement. The Clinic also serves in court-appointed positions including amicus and ad litem appointments.
- Estate Planning
Students represent clients with modest estate planning needs, preparing an array of documents for execution.
Students represent clients in probate cases where the post-death transfer of property may involve an independent administration, dependent administration, muniment of title, determination of heirship, or small estate affidavit.
Students represent a parent or close relative seeking the guardianship or guardianship alternatives of an incapacitated adult.
- Child Welfare
Students work each semester on legal issues impacting children, which may range from special immigrant juvenile status cases to children in the foster care system.
Students hone their lawyering skills as they interview, research, strategize, draft pleadings and documents, advise and counsel clients, and, when necessary, appear in court. They work under the close supervision of full time faculty, teaching fellows, and staff attorneys to develop professional wisdom and judgment.
Why We Selected These Clinics
We had educational and community service goals in mind when we formed these clinics.
The Civil Practice Clinics are designed to help make students practice ready upon graduation. They specifically target two groups of students — those contemplating small firm or solo practice, and those seeking to be practice-ready for pro bono work as they pursue large firm, governmental or corporate legal careers. The legal issues we focus on in these clinics are topics that both groups of students are likely to encounter soon after entering practice.
The legal issues handled in these Clinics also represent major areas of unmet legal need for members of the poverty population and the working poor in our region.