Fitting in a Clinic
All of the clinical courses provide exposure to real practice, give you direct responsibility for clients’ cases and include close faculty supervision. As a result, they often award more credits and are always more time-intensive than classroom courses. Each clinical course requires that you commit a substantial amount of your time and energy. In addition, you will not always be able to control exactly when your case and clients will need your attention. Flexibility in your schedule is vital. Thus, it is extremely important to plan accordingly in developing your schedule of courses and other commitments.
Students have found that it is best to take a clinical course in a semester in which you are not carrying a heavy course load, a high number of credits or an intensive round of job interviews. In particular, it is best to limit the number of other courses you are taking in the same semester as a clinic to no more than three. Of course, this will vary with the number of credits awarded by the particular clinic you take.
You should also think carefully about combining a clinic with any outside employment or volunteer work within the same semester.
In addition to specific course prerequisites (see When To Take a Clinic), some other classroom courses are particularly relevant to the work you will do in a clinical course.
- Evidence is a prerequisite for the Civil Justice Clinic. While not a prerequisite for the other clinics, it is strongly recommended that you take Evidence either prior to or concurrently with your enrollment in any clinic.
- Legal Profession is required for graduation. Issues of professional responsibility arise in all clinics. You may choose to take this course either before, after or concurrently with any clinical course.
- All of the clinics cover the topics of Interviewing and Counseling extensively. Students find that there is significant overlap and repetition between this course and any clinic.
- Trial Practice teaches courtroom skills which are helpful in every clinic. You may choose to take Trial Practice either before, after, or concurrently with your clinic course.
Various other substantive and procedural courses may be helpful to particular clinics. To see a list of the substantive areas of law practice for each clinic, see Selecting a Clinic.
If you are considering focusing your coursework in a particular legal practice area, you may wish to refer to the Course Guides, located in the Registrar's Section of the website.
You may wish to consult with the Director of the Clinic in which you are interested as to the benefits of taking particular courses and determining the best timing. In addition, you may wish to contact students who have taken particular clinical courses to obtain information about their experiences, both in terms of the time commitment and the benefits they received.
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