Southwestern's clinical program offers law students an ideal setting in which to gain greater practical skills and an invaluable real-context view of the law in action while contributing much needed services to the 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. The low student-faculty ratio and close supervision enables students to develop a meaningful and close relationship with clinical faculty.
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 members of our community.
- Appellate Litigation Clinic
Students work with a professor in litigating a pro bono appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, up to and including oral argument before the court.
- Children's Rights Clinic
Students represent low-income children in school discipline proceedings or children with disabilities in special education proceedings, and work with community groups to advocate for better and more equitable educational opportunities.
- Department of Fair Employment and Housing - Civil Rights Clinic
Students gain hands-on experience in handling DFEH mediations and investigating claims under the supervision of a faculty member. Through the classroom component, they are taught how to evaluate the merits of a case, from analyzing the interests of and developing relationships with the various parties to valuing the case, developing negotiation strategies and developing a case plan.
- Entertainment and the Arts Legal Clinic I and II
Students who have demonstrated exceptional competency and interest in media and entertainment law are selected for this clinic. Students provide production business and legal affairs services for independent films under the supervision of faculty.
- Immigration Law Clinic
Students represent children and adults in immigration matters such as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Violence Against Women Act and U-Visa cases where clients have been abused, neglected or abandoned, or have been victims of a crime.
- Street Law Clinic
Students teach critical legal life skills to high school students, most of whom are involved in the dependency or delinquency system. The clinic students step into the roles of teacher, mentor and advocate to inform the teenagers about their rights and provide legal information and resources they need to successfully transition to independent living.
- Youth Offender Parole Hearing Clinic
Students in this new clinic work with a professor in preparing a case and representing inmates who were youth offenders in special parole hearings.