Clinical Education Program
Washington University School of Law’s award-winning Clinical Education Program, consistently ranked among the nation’s premier programs, provides law students with opportunities to learn professional skills and values by working directly with clients, attorneys, judges, and legislators. With 16 distinct law clinics and externships, including programs based in Washington, D.C., New York City and operating internationally, law students have unparalleled opportunities to hone their skills as future practitioners while helping to increase access to justice.
Founded in 1973, the program enables students to assist needy clients in a full range of substantive areas, including appellate, child and family defense, civil rights, criminal defense, environmental, housing, immigration, intellectual property, juvenile justice, and non-profit organization matters.
Clinical courses are demanding, rigorous, and exhilarating, providing students with real-world substantive, procedural and ethical challenges. In their role as lawyers, clinic students learn problem solving, judgment, advocacy, communication, collaboration, ethics, and the relationship between law, facts, and evidence -- under the tutelage of experienced faculty mentors -- with teacher-student ratios usually as low as 1:8.
Clinical courses not only help prepare creative, competent, and ethical practitioners; clinics also provide high quality legal services for under-represented individuals and groups in the community. Clinics introduce students to public interest lawyering and professional responsibility, inspiring tomorrow's attorneys to work for justice in their professional lives.
Recognizing that acquiring professional skills and values in a real world context is an essential component of legal education, Washington University School of Law guarantees every interested student at least one clinical opportunity during his or her second or third year of law school.