Law Clinics and Practical Skills Home
Studying law at Lewis & Clark goes beyond lectures, papers, and exams. For years, we’ve led the way in developing practical skills opportunities for our students. Students must earn six (6) experiential credits to graduate from Lewis & Clark Law School, although many students earn more. We offer robust, successful programs for those who love hands-on learning or who want to gain work experience well before graduation, including the following opportunities:
- Animal Law Clinic
- Animal Law Litigation Clinic
- Criminal Justice Reform Clinic
- Earthrise Law Center
- Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment
- Low-Income Tax Payer Clinic
- Crime Victim Litigation Clinic
- Small Business Legal Clinic
- Western Resources Legal Center
- Lawyering Program
- Legal Practicums
- Moot Courts
- Experiential Courses
Animal Law Clinic
The Center for Animal Law Studies’ Animal Law Clinic serves as a comprehensive training ground for students interested in the full range of policy and related work to benefit animals through the direct representation of clients. Students conduct research, represent clients, work on clinic projects, and work with attorneys outside the clinic to develop the field of animal law and encourage consideration of the interests of animals in legal decision-making. Their work includes: policy, legislative, research, transactional work, ethical practice, - and strategic planning. Where possible, students also shadow local lawyers, work with lawyer practitioners around the country, observe legal proceedings, and conduct field work to better understand the problems facing animals.
Animal Law Litigation Clinic
The Animal Law Litigation Clinic (ALLC) focuses on the development of litigation skills in the context of advancing the legal protections and rights of farmed animals. It is the nation’s only clinic focused exclusively on animal law litigation. The ALLC advocates for farmed animals in the courtroom through cutting-edge lawsuits aimed at establishing and expanding legal protections and legal rights for farmed animals, including by challenging the presumption that common, inhumane farming practices are shielded from judicial scrutiny and pursuing novel causes of action. Cases are selected to maximize student learning opportunities while also making the most change for farmed animals. Students are involved in every aspect of litigation, including appearing in court on behalf of clients.
Criminal Justice Reform Clinic
The Criminal Justice Reform Clinic (CJRC) clinic opened in the summer of 2015. Students in the clinic are able to work on a variety of projects. Projects have included addressing wrongful convictions and innocence; criminal justice reform including death penalty, amicus, and Eighth Amendment work; clemency petitions; and legal issues facing individuals returning to the community from incarceration.
Earthrise Law Center
Earthrise Law Center, founded in 1996, is the domestic environmental law clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School. Earthrise’s goals are to advance efforts to protect the environment by serving as a resource for public interest organizations that need legal representation and to train and educate law students through direct involvement in complex environmental and natural resource issues. Earthrise provides rewarding clinical experience for students interested in environmental law who wish to develop their litigation, negotiation, and advocacy skills.
Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment
The Global Law Alliance for Animals and the Environment is an on-campus clinic that gives law students the opportunity to work on a range of real-life global environmental issues under the supervision of an experienced international environmental lawyer. Past student work has focused on trade and environmental issues, as well as protection of threatened and endangered species. Students also help public interest environmental lawyers in developing countries create new law or strengthen existing law by providing legal memoranda on international and domestic legal issues.
Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
The law school’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic gives students the opportunity to represent taxpayers of lesser means in controversies with the Internal Revenue Service, including audits and appeals before that agency, and trials and hearings before the U.S. Tax Court. Student participants work under the supervision of an experienced tax attorney who is a full-time member of the law school faculty. The Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic accepts for representation only those cases that maximize the student’s opportunities to learn and develop practical lawyering skills. The Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic is part of the Lewis & Clark Small Business Legal Clinic.
National Crime Victim Law Institute/Crime Victim Litigation Clinic
Established in 2000, the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) is committed to the enforcement and protection of victims’ rights in the criminal justice system. It is the only organization of its kind in the United States.
NCVLI’s Crime Victim Litigation Clinic offers students the opportunity to work closely with attorneys on a wide range of victims’ rights related issues. Clinic students will learn both practical and theoretical approaches to the assertion and enforcement of victims’ rights within the criminal justice system. They will provide technical support to victims’ rights attorneys and advocacy organizations through legal writing and research, as well as participate in the drafting of amicus curiae briefs.
Small Business Legal Clinic
Law students, working under the direction of an experienced, licensed attorney, represent small and emerging businesses in transactional (not litigation) matters.
Clinic Services Include:
- Choice of entity and entity creation
- Contract review and drafting
- Debt problems
- Business financing
- Compliance with consumer, licensing and regulatory issues
- Copyright and trademark creation
Western Resources Legal Center
The Western Resources Legal Center is a 501 (c)(3) educational organization located on campus that provides law students with instruction and opportunities to develop their legal skills and knowledge of natural resources and environmental laws through the legal representation of clients active in natural resource related industries that will lead to an appreciation for the challenges faced by, and importance of, natural resource industries.
An Externship is an opportunity for students who demonstrate strong academic ability to earn a semester’s or summer’s worth of academic credit for carefully supervised, full-time experience in a setting pertinent to their educational and career goals. The Externship program offers, in appropriate circumstances, a period of apprenticeship under the joint guidance of a carefully selected practitioner or judge and a faculty advisor.
Types of Externships:
- Business/Commercial Law Externship
- Criminal Justice Externship
- Environmental/Natural Resources Externship
- Judicial Externship
- International Law Externship
- General Externship
The law school’s Lawyering program gives students the skills necessary to investigate, analyze, and communicate legal issues, policies, practices and arguments. Students learn the elements of legal writing, analysis and research, craft written and oral arguments, and hone their skills to make them more successful advocates. The lawyering professors are experienced and well-respected in their field and focus on hands-on learning opportunities in smaller, more intimate class settings.
- Animal Law
- Entrepreneurship and the Law
- Environmental and Natural Resources Law
- Environmental Justice and Civil Rights
- Environmental Prosecutions
- In-House Counsel
- Appellate Advocacy: Intraschool and Regional
- Client Counseling
- Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition
- Federal Tax
- Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition
- Merhige National Environmental Negotiation Competition
- Mock Trial
- National Animal Law Moot Court
- Native American Law Students Association Moot Court
- ABA Negotiation Competition
The following list of classes illustrates the breadth of experiential opportunities that we offer in a classroom setting. For a list of specific classes offered this year, consult the course catalog at the Registrar’s page.
- Advanced Business
- Advanced Legal Research
- Advanced Torts
- Animal Law Litigation, Legislation & Policy
- Litigating Fed Habeas Corp Cases
- Contract Drafting
- Environmental/Animal Law Advocacy
- Environmental Litigation
- Environmental Prosecution
- Estate Planning
- Externships [numerous different areas of law]
- Family Mediation
- Federal Litigation Practice
- Judicial Clerkship Seminar
- Law in Spanish
- Mediation/Negotiation Skills
- Patent Prosecution
- Persuasion in Practice
- Sports Law
- Street Law
- Transformative Immigration Law
- Trial Advocacy