Clinical legal education is a way to learn about law and lawyering from hands-on experience. Students actively take the role of legal practitioner, engaging in and learning from real life practice, while helping diverse communities.
All UC Hastings’ clinical courses integrate substantive theory with actual lawyering activities. Under the supervision of experienced clinical professors and attorneys, students bear primary responsibility for identifying issues, making decisions, managing processes, and solving problems. Clinic seminars, one-on-one sessions with supervisors, collaboration with student partners, and fieldwork in the community provide the settings for critical preparation, skills attainment, constructive feedback, and reflection.
Externships give students opportunities to develop their legal skills under close supervision at approved governmental or public interest law offices. In addition to working in the placements, students co-enroll in a faculty taught course designed to enhance the placement experience. Faculty also monitor placements to ensure their quality as learning experiences. Students assume real-world responsibilities and develop professional contacts and relationships in contexts identical to those in which they may eventually practice.