"We all realized, early on, that we could make a difference in somebody’s life."
Andre Dayani '13
"It was the first time that I realized, as a student, that the work we were doing actually mattered and that we weren't writing these memos in a vacuum, that this was going to benefit someone’s case. … It really motivated me to do a stellar job for this client, and to work really hard."
Alexis De La Cruz '13
"There was always something to do for my client, but it was work that I wanted to do. Knowing that you're helping a real person, it just matters more. … I learned so much about myself. Being someone's attorney has more to do with being a counselor than I realized. Your relationship with your client, and how you conduct that relationship, is so important. That should be a required class in law school."
Christina Wynter '15
"I didn't take a clinic until my last semester but I really wish I had done it sooner because it was far and away the most rewarding aspect of law school. The experience of actually helping a real person whose rights had been trampled in his homeland was so powerful, it made my other classes seem trivial in comparison. I was in the Human Rights Clinic and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in that area."
Garrett Oppenheim '09
About the Clinic
Our rankings and awards
U.S. News ranks the Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic in the top 20 nationwide. Clinic faculty member Professor Bryan Adamson received the William Pincus Award from the Association of American Law Schools, one of the highest honors bestowed on a clinical educator.
The combined experience of the full-time faculty teaching in the clinic spans subject matter, practice settings, and even continents. They have worked in legal services and public defense offices as well as private law firms. They have taught in other law schools around the country and worked in important public and non-profit sector positions around the world.
In a typical semester, between 50 and 60 students enroll in clinical courses. Some clinical courses are open to second-year students. Enrollment in others is restricted to third-year students by the governing court rule.
Faculty play a supportive and facilitative role in the clinic, and students assume primary responsibility for the work done. Students conduct interviews, prepare documents, examine witnesses and address judges, opposing counsel, and other decision makers. This combination of responsibility and support is the hallmark of the clinic experience.
The Law School guarantees that each student will have the opportunity to participate in at least one clinical or externship experience. We enable and encourage students to participate in more than one such experience, as this will enhance both their readiness for practice and their awareness of the range of opportunities available to them as lawyers.
Clinic courses include a classroom component in which students engage in discussions and simulated lawyering activities based on the type of work they are or will be doing for their clients. The seminars build confidence and provide a forum for experimentation, skill development and interactive reflection.