Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Clinical Program

With a longstanding commitment to public service and excellence in skills-oriented legal education, Southwestern houses three clinics on campus. The Children's Rights Clinic, Immigration Law Clinic, and Street Law Clinic enable the law school to offer valuable services to the community while giving students hands-on experience helping indigent and otherwise underrepresented clients.

“By offering three clinics - Children's Rights, Immigration Law and Street Law - Southwestern is providing a substantial and much needed service to the Los Angeles community."

- Professor Andrea Ramos
Director of the Immigration Law Clinic
Professors Waterstone, Ramos and Cohen, directors of the three clinics at Southwestern

Through the Children's Rights and Immigration Law live-client clinics, students are given full responsibility for a case under the supervision of a clinical faculty member. They learn how to investigate, research, and analyze the relevant facts and law and how to pursue and weigh alternative legal strategies. Students further develop their research and writing skills through the preparation of memoranda and briefs, and may have the chance to hone their advocacy skills through oral argument, examination of witnesses and presentation of evidence at hearings. Through the Street Law Clinic, students teach law-related critical life skills to youth in the Los Angeles dependency, delinquency and special education systems, honing their presentation skills and translating the law in a simpler, more practical manner.

Our law clinics help build students' skills, promote an ethic of public service, and help Southwestern as an institution contribute to putting lawyering skills in the service of disadvantaged members of our community.

Clinic students must adhere to professional responsibility requirements such as client confidentiality, civility (particularly towards opposing counsel) and duty to the court, and learn how to exhibit empathy and professionalism when counseling clients.

In addition to working directly with clients, the clinical experience includes a training session, a weekly classroom component focusing on legal skills and professionalism, and individual weekly meetings with the clinic professor. The low student-faculty ratio and close supervision enables students to develop a meaningful and close relationship with clinical faculty.

Read about student, faculty and client perspectives in Southwestern Law - Clinics (PDF)

NEWS RELEASE - Maria Palomares '09 Earns Prestigious Award from Western Center on Law & Poverty
Palomares accepting her awardOn June 25, Southwestern alumna Maria Palomares '09 was honored as the 2014 Fair Shake Rock Star by the Western Center on Law & Poverty for her work as a civil rights advocate. Palomares is a Housing and Consumer Law Attorney for Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. In her position, she works to preserve affordable housing, and fight housing discrimination based on race, language barriers or disability. Read more.