The clinical law programs available at the University of La Verne College of Law 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’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.
For more information on our clinical externships, please read our FAQs. To apply for a clinical externship, submit an application to Kelly Fragiacomo, Associate Director of Career Development.
The College of Law established two 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.
Disability Rights Legal Center Clinic
The Disability Rights Legal Clinic focuses on disability civil rights litigation and special education issues for low-income and minority families. The clinic addresses some of the most extreme problems for people with disabilities in Inland Southern California, including the failure to provide free and appropriate education for students with disabilities, the treatment of youth with disabilities in the juvenile justice and foster care systems, lack of access to the justice system, and lack of access to healthcare.
To apply for the clinic, submit an application on their website. Applications need to be received at least four (4) weeks prior to the start of the enrolling semester. For more information, contact Elizabeth Eubanks.
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 forms of relief.
Law students are assigned to teams that represent live-clients under the supervision of Professor 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 instructor approval.
First time students can enroll in the JIC for 4 units. Those who wish to complete their upper division writing requirement may enroll for 5 units. Students must attend JIC classes every Monday and Wednesday from 5:00pm to 6:00pm, as well as weekly meetings with the JIC director.
Returning students may enroll in the JIC for 1 to 4 units.
For more information about the Justice and Immigration Clinic and how to enroll, please contact Professor 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.
Misdemeanor Appellate Advocacy Clinic
The Misdemeanor Appellate Advocacy Clinic represents clients who wish to appeal their cases in the San Bernardino Superior Courts. The clinic works in coordination and collaboration with the San Bernardino Judicial System in providing live-client clinical experiences in misdemeanor criminal cases. For more information, please contact Professor Michele Assael-Shafia.
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.