General Course Requirements

The Clinical Education Program offers 18 law clinics and externship courses.  Course requirements vary based on the course or placement. 

Hours Requirements 

Each student is required to spend a certain number of hours per credit hour at the clinical placement each week during the semester.  For law clinics taught by faculty members, this number is 3.5 hours per credit hour per week.  For externships this number is 4 hours per credit hour per week.  The hours stated are minimum requirements for the semester and must be attained before credit will be given for the course.  The expected number of hours is as follows: 

Law Clinics*
Credit hours  Hours per week  Required hours per semester 
(13 weeks)
 
4 14 182
6 21 273
8 28 364

 

Externships**
Credit hours  Hours per week  Required hours per semester  
(13 weeks)
 
3 12 156
4 16 208

In some weeks you will work more than your required number of hours, and in some weeks you may have conflicts that cause you to work less than the required number.  If you work more, you may credit the additional hours against future shortages based on unforeseen or unusual circumstances.  However, over the course of the semester you must work at least the required number of hours to receive credit for the course.  In any event, competent, ethical lawyering involves balancing obligations and serving as a reliable member of the team.  It is vitally important that your supervising attorneys/faculty members, legislators, and judges know they can count on you.  This means you must anticipate potential problems and conflicts in your schedule, and plan ahead.

* These include: These include: Appellate; Children and Family Advocacy; Civil Rights; Community Justice & Mediation; Criminal Justice; Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property; and Interdisciplinary Environmental; Juvenile Law and Justice; Low Income Taxpayer  and Prosecution law clinics.

** These include: Congressional & Administrative Law Externship; Corporate Judicial Externship; Government Lawyering Externship; International Justice & Conflict Resolution Externship; Judicial Clerkship Externship; Lawyering Practice Externship; New York City Regulatory and Business Externship; Patent Law Externship; and Semester-in-Practice Externship.  Each additional credit hour requires an additional 52 hours of work at your placement, and the total number of credit hours you will receive upon successful completion of your placement is determined at the time of registration. 

Summer Session Hours Requirements 

Summer clinical placements require the same total number of hours as clinical placements during the academic year.  However, the summer session is only 10 weeks whereas a semester during the academic year is 13 weeks.  Accordingly, summer clinical placements require a higher number of hours per credit hour per week:  

Summer Session Externships
Credit hours  Hours per week  Required hours for summer
(10 weeks)
 
3 15.6 156
4 20.8 208
6 32.4 324

Reporting Hours and Activities 

Your faculty instructor will explain where to record your clinical hours and how to report them, e.g., in 1/10th hour or 1/4th hour segments.  Keep your time records current as you go through each working day.  By doing so, you will not have to rely on your memory and you will not be faced with accumulated past-due forms.

Learning Contracts or Clinical Evaluation Forms 

The clinics/externships utilize a variety of written materials to enhance communication, establish learning goals, and gain feedback. These materials include learning contracts, self-evaluation forms, placement-feedback forms, journaling and other reflective assignments, and course syllabi or memoranda identifying the objectives, assignments, expectations, and requirements for the course.  Check with your faculty instructor for specific details regarding your clinic.

Grading 

Direct- and close-supervision clinics are graded on a modified pass/fail basis (high pass/pass/low pass/fail).  Externships, as well as supervised practica and research, are graded pass/fail.