Clinics and Practical Skills
Students at Lewis & Clark obtain 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 allow them to develop skills and expertise while helping clients. Through clinics, legal practicums, and externships, students can earn credit while developing the practical skills necessary to thrive in a public interest career. Pro bono work allows students to gain practical skills in the legal field on a voluntary, non-credit basis.
In the clinics, students work for public interest clients under the supervision of Lewis & Clark’s clinical faculty. We have several clinics available, each of which offers a public interest-minded student valuable practical experiences. Click here for more information about our clinics.
Through legal practicums, students receive course credit for part-time work under the supervision of a local attorney while still attending class on campus. Practicums that cover criminal law, disability law, and environmental law are typically of most interest to our public interest students. Click here for more information about practicums.
Externships allow students to work full-time or part-time in a public interest law office over the summer or for a semester and receive full academic credit for their work. Public interest externship placements are found across the country and around the world in nonprofits, government offices, and non-governmental organizations. Externships are an excellent way to build skills as well as connections to employers for jobs after law school.
Recent externship hosts include: the Northwest Center for Constitutional Rights, Oregon Public Broadcasting, the Center for International Environmental Law, 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.
Pro Bono and Community Service
Lewis & Clark students have long been involved in community service and pro bono work. Many of them continue that commitment as alumni, doing pro bono work as a way to use their legal skills to give back.