Clinics Frequently Asked Questions

Clinics provide a unique learning experience that allows students to inhabit the role of a lawyer and all that it entails, including assuming substantial responsibility for real legal work on behalf of real clients. The in-house clinics are taught by professors whose primary professional commitment is teaching and who have expertise in clinical pedagogy. These faculty closely supervise and are focused on students’ learning and development as they move through the process of handling real legal matters. In clinics, students work closely with both faculty and peers.  The clinics include a seminar component, weekly supervision meetings, and case rounds, which are group meetings in which students examine critical incidents in cases, themes that arise through clinic experiences, and targeted lawyering issues. Clinics offer students a unique opportunity to better understand how the law works in real life and to gain valuable practice skills before they graduate from law school. Students in clinics will be certified under the Georgia Student Practice Rule. The clinic structure allows students to draw upon and further develop their substantive knowledge, doctrinal reasoning, lawyering skills, ethical engagement, and professional identity.

As with all courses, effective time management is essential. Students are not prohibited from working while enrolled in a clinic. However, the clinics serve clients, and students must ensure there are no conflicts of interest presented by their outside employment, that the clients’ needs are being met, and that the clients’ interests are protected. Prospective students should discuss their work schedule with the clinic professor prior to enrollment. Students should also fully disclose and discuss all potential conflicts of interest. The clinic will decide if the conflict is sufficient to disqualify the student.

The work will vary depending upon the clinic. However, all in-house clinics offer students the opportunity to work on their own cases, interview and counsel clients, draft documents, and engage in many other lawyering tasks with under the close supervision and mentoring of a licensed attorney whose primary job is to teach and supervise students in the clinic.

Students in the in-house clinics are assigned to their own cases and work under the supervision of law faculty or a supervising attorney.
The goal for students who participate in clinics is learning for “transfer.” In other words, through intensive supervision, feedback and reflection, students learn and are able to transfer their learning to new situations and environments. Students will learn multiple skills in the context of real-life experiences and receive a high degree of supervision and feedback on their performance. Thus, even though there may not be a clinic that directly addresses a particular subject matter of interest, the knowledge and skills a student learns in clinic are transferable to any kind of legal work.

A specific desire to practice in the area of law handled by a particular clinic is not necessary. Clinics and other experiential courses are the perfect opportunity for students to explore potential areas of interest. Many students enroll in clinics or other experiential courses in order to gain the skills experience, regardless of the subject matter, and after participating in a clinic or other course, they find their interest.

All clinics have a classroom seminar as well as specific requirements for office hours during which students work on cases and serve clients each week. Students will also have regular supervision meetings to go over the status of their cases.  The total hours required depends upon the type of clinic offered, the credit hours, and other factors, including the complexity of the work. Students may be required to spend a minimum of seven to ten hours per week on clinic work outside of class time. To find out the requirements for individual clinics, consult the director of the clinic in which you are interested.

Here is a list of the professors who teach in the clinical and externship courses.

In most cases, students may not drop a clinic once enrolled if that clinic requires students to sign an enrollment agreement. This is because the course component of the clinic cannot be filled by others who may have accepted other commitments. To withdraw after signing the agreement, students must receive permission from the clinic’s director.

All students are eligible to take clinics if they meet the eligibility criteria. In order to enroll in a clinic, you must be able to attend the clinic during the class times listed on the schedule.  The Investor Advocacy Clinic works well for part-time students as its class is often offered in the evening.  The Philip C. Cook Low Income Taxpayer Clinic is also occasionally offered in the evening. Part-time students also have enrolled in the other clinics.  If you have questions about whether your schedule could work with one of our clinics, please contact the Professor who teaches in that clinic. Students whose schedule does not permit day-time participation may wish to explore externship opportunities, of which there are several that can accommodate evening work.  Please contact the Director of the Externship Program, Kendall Kerew, to discuss your interests and scheduling.

There is no cap on the number of clinics or experiential courses a student may take. However, students may only take six credit hours of externships, which is the equivalent of two semesters.

Other than the prerequisites noted for individual courses, students are typically eligible for application and enrollment in a clinic after successful completion of all first-year required courses.

The in-house clinics are one semester. Students may take up to two semesters of the Health Law Partnership (HeLP) Clinic, Investor Advocacy Clinic and the Philip C. Cook Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. There is no limit on the number of clinic credits that a student may earn.

All of the off-site clinics are one year long.

In-house clinics are graded. Off-site clinics are pass/fail.

The in-house clinics are four credit hours per semester.  The off-site clinics are a total of six credits for the year.

Enrollment in the in-house clinics is by application each fall and spring. Access the application form.

It depends upon demand. Students may apply for all three in-house clinics at the same time and indicate their order of preference.

Students can take more than one clinic. There is no restriction on the number of clinic credits a student may earn. Students may not enroll in more than one clinic at the same time.

Yes. If you are not accepted, the individual clinics maintain a waitlist. Students are taken off the waitlist as slots become available.