Through the School of Law's clinics, students can perform a broad range of legal tasks, all valuable preparation for legal practice. These may include:
- Interviewing and counseling clients
- Gathering and analyzing evidence
- Performing legal research
- Preparing legal memoranda and briefs
- Arguing on behalf of clients before judges and other adjudicators
Quinnipiac offers six clinic programs which award between two and eight credits.
How the Clinics Work
All of the six legal clinics at the Quinnipiac University School of Law tackle real-life legal issues from right here on campus.
The Civil Justice and Tax clinics operate within the law school's Legal Clinic, an on-campus law office that provides no-cost legal services to low-income people living in the New Haven area. They enroll about 60 students each year.
Students may be invited back for a second semester in either the Civil Justice or the Tax Clinics through our Advanced Clinic course in order to continue developing their skills and take on increased responsibility for their casework.
The Defense and Prosecution Appellate clinics also operate at the law school, but function as satellite offices of Connecticut's two state criminal appellate agencies. Ten to 12 students are enrolled each year.
The Evening Clinic permits evening students to participate in clinical education and to provide services to the community. Our current evening clinic is the Legal Ethics Project, where students work on matters from the state Disciplinary Council's office, investigating and presenting cases where a grievance has been filed against a lawyer. Through this clinic, students deepen their command of the Rules of Professional Conduct, come to understand the Lawyer Discipline process, and sharpen research, writing and oral advocacy skills. Up to six students may participate in this program per semester.
All clinic courses are open to students who have completed at least 30 credits of course work and any prerequisite courses.
Each clinic course includes both casework and a contemporaneous classroom component in which students learn substantive and procedural law relevant to their cases, develop their advocacy skills, consider their practice experiences, and discuss the legal and ethical issues they encounter.
The "IRC" Prerequisite
Introduction to Representing Clients is the first step in a continuum of experience that enables students to take responsibility for the delivery of legal services to real individuals and entities.
IRC is a simulation course designed by the clinical faculty to prepare students for client representation. It is not just for clinic and externship students, however, and is open to the entire student body. IRC students practice interviewing, counseling and negotiation skills by representing one another in mock cases, learning the art of critique by observing and evaluating one another and their own videotaped performances.
The course does much more than train competent technicians; it also encourages students to explore the values that are explicit and implicit in the actions they take in the lawyer's role, drawing on insights gleaned from self- and peer-critique and from the experience of being in role as client.
Students ordinarily take IRC in the semester preceding the clinical semester. However, with good cause, professors will authorize students to take IRC as a co-requisite.
Each semester, the law school offers several sections of the course, each of which is taught by a clinical professor or a practicing lawyer serving as an adjunct professor.
In the Civil Justice Clinic, students work under the supervision of two full-time faculty members representing low-income individuals who cannot afford counsel, and work on public policy matters to benefit disadvantaged communities.
The Civil Justice Clinic consists of 12 projects: Employment Law, Health Law, Family Law, Immigration Law, Prisoner Reentry, Education Law, Juvenile Justice, Death Penalty Abolition, Constitutional Law, Policy Advocacy, Community Lawyering, and Veterans Advocacy.
Within a single semester, students have the opportunity to do both case and policy work and can gain a diverse range of experience by working in multiple project areas. Clinic students are currently litigating cases in Connecticut Superior Court, probate court, and federal court, and before state and municipal agencies. They are also working on several major policy projects on sentencing law and family law issues.
In this clinic, you will represent low- and moderate-income individuals in administrative and court proceedings with the Internal Revenue Service at the audit, appeals and collection levels.
You also have the option to participate in an advanced clinic or evening clinic. In the advanced clinic, faculty invite a small number of students from the Civil Justice and Tax clinics to return for a second semester, during which they assume greater responsibility for casework and build upon the skills they developed during their first semester of clinic practice; if you enroll as an evening student, you will have the opportunity to work with clients of the Civil Justice and Tax clinics in a program modified to meet the special scheduling needs of students who have other commitments during traditional business hours. Read more.