The College of Law Clinical Program is an important component of the overall educational experience for upper-level law students at the College of Law. In our clinical offerings, you’ll have the chance to help clients seek redress for their problems and hone courtroom presentation and advocacy skills. Through other clinics, you’ll have the opportunity to effect changes in the law by participating in law reform projects. A wide array of clinical offerings will enable you to gain plenty of practical legal experience before you graduate.
Civil Practice Clinic
The Civil Practice Clinic helps students bridge the gap between theory and practice while providing an important public service to the community. Under the supervision of clinical faculty members, and with the help of a structured classroom curriculum designed to prepare you well, you’ll represent clients who can’t afford to hire private legal counsel. Matters often handled by students include cases related to civil rights, housing, immigration and asylum, family law, disability, real estate, contracts, tort defense, elder law, juvenile law, and non-profit community work.
Criminal Law Practice Program
The Criminal Law Practice Program places law students in prosecutors’ offices in the region. While assigned to these offices, students handle misdemeanor and traffic prosecutions, and may participate in initial charging decisions, plea negotiations, trials and final appeals. Substantial emphasis is given to the development of courtroom skills. Faculty supervision and regular classroom seminars complement the office experience.
In addition, the College of Law offers several summer, funded internships in prosecutors' offices across the country as part of the Reinberger Honors Program in Prosecution. In this selective program, students work side-by-side with prosecutors for seven weeks during the summer, learning every facet of a prosecutor's job. Many Reinberger fellows have gone on to careers as prosecutors after graduation, as have alumni of the Prosecutors' Clinic.
Dispute Resolution Clinic
The Dispute Resolution Clinic offers students a unique blend of both an in-house clinic and an external placement. Students serve as volunteer mediators in a variety of settings, including the Lucas County Juvenile Justice Center and Toledo Municipal Court. Students mediate cases involving unruly and delinquent youth and small claims matters such as consumer complaints, landlord and tenant disputes, automobile accidents, and minor criminal matters. Skills such as effective listening and communication, interviewing, counseling, negotiating, problem-solving and alternative methods of dispute resolution are all developed through formal mediation training, classroom exercises, coursework and experience mediating actual cases.
Domestic Violence & Juvenile Law Clinic
The Domestic Violence & Juvenile Law Clinic is a one-semester course in which students assist clients who are victims of domestic violence. Students work under the supervision of clinical faculty and perform all of the traditional functions of a civil attorney, including interviewing and counseling clients, conducting legal research, developing case theories, engaging in discovery and motion practice, negotiating with opposing counsel, drafting pleadings and other legal documents, presenting oral arguments in court, and taking appropriate cases to trial and appeal, if warranted. Readings, classroom lectures, simulations and videos complement live civil practice.
Public Service Externship Clinic
The Public Service Externship Clinic at the College of Law provides law students the opportunity to experience the reality of practice by spending a semester working in judges' chambers, legal services offices, prosecutors' offices and other public services settings.
Summer placement opportunities are especially broad. Egypt, London, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles are some of the areas where students have secured prestigious externships and earned College of Law credit. Class meetings, conference calls, and e-mails with College of Law faculty support students throughout their externship experiences. Guided by a classroom component that equips them with skills to thrive in every stage and setting of their legal careers, they also receive substantial instruction and feedback from helpful, qualified field supervisors.