The clinical law programs available at the University of La Verne College of Law and Public Service provide practical, experiential training to law students, equipping them with the confidence and skills they need to be practice-ready. Clinical legal education involves work on actual cases under the supervision of knowledgeable faculty and practicing lawyers. Students conduct research, write legal documents, and practice oral advocacy skills. Through clinical programs, students are also able to provide pro bono legal services to the local community.
The College of Law and Public Service’s clinical legal education curriculum is comprised of three components: the Lawyering Skills Practicum course, a highly successful Externship Program, and various live-client clinical opportunities.
Lawyering Skills Practicum
The core of our clinical program is the Lawyering Skills Practicum, which is a simulated law practice that takes place under the guidance of senior partners. During the practicum, law students form partnerships, establish a local bar, and develop a moral and ethical compass that will govern their actions throughout their legal career.
In the simulation, students:
- interview the client;
- negotiate a fee arrangement;
- write and file appropriate pleadings;
- pursue all evidence via discovery;
- prepare, file, and argue all appropriate motions (including a summary judgment motion);
- write briefs; and
- bring their matter before a judicial officer to resolve by a jury, arbitration, or mediation.
Lawyering Skills is a required course for J.D. students.
La Verne’s robust externship program places upper-division law students with government agencies, public interest organizations, non-profit agencies, and judges. Externships foster law student engagement with the legal community while helping students reflect on the work they will do as lawyers—and the role they will embody when they take their place among their legal peers.
The College of Law and Public Service established live-client clinics to provide practical training experiences for law students. These clinical experiences do not simply give our students the opportunity to improve their skills—they also give students a chance to demonstrate to the surrounding legal community the quality of their work. Furthermore, students develop an ethic of service that values the importance of enhancing their local community.
Justice and Immigration Clinic
The Justice and Immigration Clinic (JIC) provides pro bono legal representation to noncitizens. Law students represent clients before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in their applications for asylum, U visa, DACA, and other humanitarian forms of relief.
Law students are assigned to teams that represent live clients under the supervision of Director Rodriguez-Campos. Students are responsible for client communication, including interviewing and counseling, case planning, and development of case strategy. They draft client declarations, gather evidence including witness statements and expert reports, conduct legal research, and write legal briefs.
Immigration Law is a prerequisite/corequisite to enrolling in the JIC. Students must be in good academic standing and have completed their first year of study. Enrollment is subject to director approval.
Students may enroll in the JIC for 1-4 units per semester. Those who wish to complete their upper division writing requirement may do so by writing a case-related brief. Students must attend JIC classes Monday and Wednesday evenings, as well as weekly meetings with the JIC director.
For more information about the Justice and Immigration Clinic and how to enroll, please contact Director Krystal Rodriguez-Campos.
If you are a noncitizen seeking legal assistance for an immigration matter, please note that the Justice and Immigration Clinic only provides representation in humanitarian-based cases. The clinic is staffed by law students and operates under the constraints of an academic calendar. Each semester the clinic takes a small number of immigration cases referred to us by nonprofit organizations. Only low-income individuals are eligible for our legal services. For more information, please contact the Justice and Immigration Clinic at (909) 460-2014.
San Bernardino Misdemeanor Appellate Advocacy Clinic
The San Bernardino Misdemeanor Appellate Clinic provides students with an intensive appellate experience in the San Bernardino Superior Court. The Appellate Advocacy Clinic litigates appellate misdemeanor cases primarily before local Superior Court Appellate Panels. The clinic also considers drafting amicus briefs. The clinic selects cases that offer the highest pedagogical value for its students.
The Appellate Clinic accepts between 8 and 12 students each semester. Students register for 1 – 4 units a semester. Students work closely with professors and paralegals in a law office setting. The work varies depending on the types of cases accepted. Cases include Driving Under the Influence, Assault, Theft and Domestic Violence. Students have the primary responsibility for reading and analyzing the case record, developing substantive legal positions, researching substantive issues, developing appellate strategies, drafting briefs, and presenting oral arguments.
The Appellate Clinic includes a classroom component that meets 2 hours a week. Subjects for the weekly classes include law office management, reviewing an appellate record, organizing and drafting an appellate brief, and developing and presenting an appellate oral argument.
Find out more about our clinical law programs!
Learn more about how our clinical law programs contribute to our dynamic law curriculum. Request more information today.