Clinics and Practical Skills
Students at Lewis & Clark get the foundation for their public interest careers in the classroom and build on that foundation with hands-on experiences and practical training in programs that both foster learning and help clients. Students have a wide range of practical skills opportunities to choose from in which they can gain credit toward their degree. These include on-and off-campus clinics, legal practicum, and externships. Pro bono work also allows students to obtain practical skills in the legal field on a voluntary, non-credit basis.
In clinics, students work for public interest clients under the supervision of Lewis & Clark’s clinical faculty. We have several clinics available, each of which can offer public interest-minded student valuable practical experiences.
Through legal practica, students receive course credit for part-time work under the supervision of a local attorney while still attending class on campus. While we offer several practicum placements, those that cover animal law, criminal law, environmental law, environmental justice, environmental prosecutions, and natural resources law, may be of most interest to our public interest students.
Through the externship program, students have the chance to work full-time in a public interest office over the summer or an entire semester while receiving full academic credit for their work. Public interest externships occur across the country and around the world in nonprofits, government offices, and NGOs. Externships are an excellent way to build skills and connections to employers for jobs after law school.
Recent externship hosts have included the Northwest Center for Constitutional Rights; Oregon Public Broadcasting; the Center for International Environmental Law; the St. Andrew Legal Clinic; Youth, Rights & Justice; Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services; Civil Liberties Defense Center; GLBT Community Center; Labor Education Research Center; the Oregon Innocence Project; Center for Food Safety; Animal Legal Defense Fund, and many more.
Lewis & Clark students have long been involved in and committed to community service and pro bono work. Many of them continue that spirit as alumni, doing pro bono work as a way to use their legal skills to give back.