The Clinic teaches law students the skills, craft and ethics of lawyering by assigning them real clients in real situations with real problems. Students learn that good lawyers are problem-solvers who help others achieve their goals, often under conditions of uncertainty. The Clinic seeks to instill in students a sense of professionalism and encourages them to pursue public interest law careers or to devote substantial portions of their legal practices to providing pro bono legal assistance to the poor.
Excellence in lawyering requires the application of legal knowledge, development of strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to grasp the multi-dimensional aspects and contextual nature of a problem. It entails appreciating that clients are people, not cases, who need empathetic counselors as well as zealous advocates. This prepares students for the real world, where problems often are neither immediately obvious nor easily defined.
The Clinic has an intensive curricular component that covers three areas:
- Substantive law such as federal and state child welfare, independent living, administrative law, special education, immigration, disabilities and public benefits
- Lawyering skills, such as interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, theory development, oral advocacy and trial practice
- Professional ethics in context, applying the Florida Rules of Ethics and American Bar Association Standards of Practice for Lawyers who Represent Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases
In weekly individual supervision meetings, students are encouraged to take ownership of their cases, plan carefully and reflect on their experiences.
- Students are required to spend 18 hours a week (6 credits) on clinic related work.
- Students are required to attend an hour, once a week case supervision/case round meeting.
- Clinic class meets for one hour and fifty minutes twice a week.
- Cumulative GPA 2.5 Higher
- Successfully Completed 32 Credits
- Professional Responsibility