APPLICATION PROCESS: 2Ls apply to clinics via the ClinicApp in January of each year. If students are not accepted into their first-choice clinic, they may receive an offer for their second or third choice experiential learning opportunity. Look for e-mail from Katherine Mattes, Faculty Chair of Clinics, and announcements on the home page of the intranet. 1Ls may apply for seats in the Environmental, Immigrants’ Rights, and Legislative Advocacy clinics via the LagniApp in February of each year.
General Requirements for Litigation Clinic Students in their Third Year (does not apply to Leg. & Admin. Advocacy):
- The student practice rule (LA Supreme Court Rule XX) requires that students admitted to the limited practice of law: a) Have completed legal studies amounting to at least four full-time semesters; and b) Have completed the required law school course work in Legal Profession.
- Students who have completed three full-time semesters may enroll in the Environmental Law Clinic in the spring of their 2L year, but must take Legal Profession as a co-requisite.
Criteria for Selection Include the Following Factors (in addition to compliance with Rule XX):
- Career goals of the student
- Ability of the student to satisfy standards of professional responsibility and meet professional and academic obligations
- Ability of students to devote 12-15 hours/week to clinic responsibilities, remaining in good standing with the Law School
- Clinical programs require a substantial commitment of time, motivation, and professional responsibility.
- Students are fully responsible for their cases and for compliance with clinic duties from the beginning of classes in the fall through the end of classes. Students are responsible for their cases during vacations, exams, weekends, or other occasions of absence or scheduling conflict, including making court or agency appearances for their cases, or must provide for their handling by another student in the same clinical program or by the Supervising Attorney.
- Students must check their mailbox, e-mails, and phone messages frequently.
- Some clinics may hold orientation during the week preceding the onset of fall semester.
- Each student should expect to spend a minimum of 12-15 hours per week on clinic work.
- For reasons relating to conflicts of interest, students are not permitted to accept outside employment unless the clinic director has granted prior approval.
Clinic Course Descriptions:
Civil Rights and Federal Practice — Students, under supervision, will represent clients primarily in the areas of fair housing, equal employment opportunity, and civil rights/liberties. Students may draft motions, pleadings, discovery requests, and briefs; conduct depositions; argue motions; negotiate settlements and/or try cases in state and federal court. The seminar focuses on civil, pre-trial advocacy and procedure, and develops pre-trial skills in client interviewing, case planning, drafting pleadings and discovery requests, taking and defending depositions, motion practice, expert witnesses, and jury selection.
Criminal Justice — Students, under supervision, will represent indigent criminal defendants in all phases of a criminal case: arraignments, preliminary examinations, pretrial motions and trials; parole hearings; state post-conviction relief; appeals to the LA Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal and the LA Supreme Court; and federal habeas corpus petitions in the federal district court, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal, and United States Supreme Court. Additionally, students engage in non-litigation advocacy on behalf of clinic clients such as testifying before the state legislature, meeting with community organizations, and partaking in community legal education. The seminar consists of instruction in procedural law, evidence, professional responsibility and ethical considerations, and exercises in lawyering skills and trial technique.
Domestic Violence — Students, under supervision, will represent indigent survivors of domestic violence in cases involving protective orders, child custody, divorce, support, housing, and a variety of other legal issues. Student attorneys handle all stages of client litigation—conducting client interviews, drafting discovery and pleadings, taking and defending depositions, arguing motions, and trying contested cases in state court. The seminar focuses on civil litigation skills relating to pre-trial practice and discovery, professionalism, evidence, and trial practice.
Environmental Law — Students, under supervision, will handle environmental matters before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. These cases generally involve air and water pollution, natural resources and wildlife, energy conservation, and urban environmental issues. Student attorneys research and draft pleadings and comments, write and argue motions and petitions, conduct discovery, and present testimony and evidence at hearings and trials. Clinic meetings include advocacy instruction and related assignments.
Juvenile — Students, under supervision, will represent children in cases of juvenile delinquency. Student attorneys are required to handle all fact investigations, motions, and trials before Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, and writs and appeals in the LA Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal and LA Supreme Court. In the three-hour fall seminar, students learn procedural and substantive law, advocacy skills, civil and criminal procedure, and professional responsibility.
Leg. & Admin. Advocacy —This clinic is open to eight 2L and 3L students and covers the processes by which bills become law and rules are promulgated. Students study research methodologies, drafting techniques, constitutional restrictions, and public access to information. Each student will research and draft a bill or regulation, present it in a mock hearing, and write a research paper.
Immigrants’ Rights Law — Clinic Students in the Immigrants’ Rights Law Clinic represent detainees, migrant workers, children and other immigrants with critical legal needs working through the U.S. Immigration system. Working alongside licensed attorneys, students work on behalf of clients and community groups in a variety of settings—immigration agencies and courts, state and federal courts, as well as workshops in detention centers and/or community centers.
First Amendment Clinic — the first amendment clinic allows law students to learn substantive first amendment law while developing concrete lawyering skills through federal litigation and advocacy work. students represent clients in matters involving the first amendment “expressive” clauses, including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press and access to the courts. students have handled matters involving public protest and dissent, student speech, artistic expression, intimidations of members of the media, and much more.