Ronald A. Peterson Clinic at home in new building
What started as a concrete, windowless building filled with university maintenance equipment and supplies is now the beautiful and functional Seattle University School of Law Annex, which houses the acclaimed Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic.
“This gorgeous space is the perfect symbol of Seattle University’s deep commitment to our students, faculty, clients, and this community, and to the critical importance of clinical legal education,” Clinic Director Lisa Brodoff said.
The Ronald A. Peterson Law Clinic offers 13 different clinics in which students apply what they’ve learned in their substantive courses and in legal writing to the representation of real people with real and often critical legal problems that go to their access to food, shelter, housing, health care, protection from abuse, and denial of human rights.
The Annex, less than a block from the law school’s Sullivan Hall, also houses the law school’s thriving Externship Program, which allows students to work in judicial chambers or other supervised practice settings to gain invaluable work experience before graduation.
Locating these two important skills programs together is part of the law school’s innovative approach to ensuring the best experiential learning opportunities for students.
Brodoff compared the clinic, externship and other programs to the glass bridge at the Annex entry.
“When you walk across that bridge, you feel very exposed and maybe a tad insecure, and still excited to be in that place. But you know that you are really being fully supported by the glass and steel beams,” Brodoff said. “We, the faculty, are that bridge to practice for the students. We are there to support, cajole, question, guide, and encourage them every step of the way in their representation. And now we’ll be reminded of that role every day we walk under that lovely bridge.”