The University of Chicago Law School is home to many highly-regarded legal clinics and clinical projects: the projects within the Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, the Corporate Lab, The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, the Exoneration Project, the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, the Gendered Violence and the Law Clinic, the Poverty and Housing Law Clinic, and the Prosecution and Defense Clinic. These clinical programs are located in the School's Arthur O. Kane Center for Clinical Legal Education. The Law School was a pioneer in clinical legal education, having opened the very first legal clinic associated with a law school. That clinic, the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, continues to serve the people of the city of Chicago to this day, and the Law School is proud to have grown to eight projects within that clinic and added additional clinics to ensure both the growth of community service and in practical education at the Law School.
Second- and third-year students obtain practical training through the Law School’s clinical and experiential programs, in which students represent clients and engage in other lawyering roles under the supervision of full time clinical teachers, faculty, and practicing attorneys.
One of the earliest law school-affiliated legal clinics, the Mandel Clinic comprises a number of projects intended to teach students effective advocacy skills while serving as advocates for people typically denied access to justice. Current Mandel projects include:
- Abrams Environmental Law Clinic
- Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project
- Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project
- Employment Discrimination Project
- Federal Criminal Justice Clinic
- Housing Initiative
- International Human Rights Clinic
- Mental Health Project
- Social Service Project
The Exoneration Project represents clients who have been convicted of crimes of which they are innocent. The Project assists clients in asserting their claims of actual innocence in state and federal court.
The Corporate Lab aims to provide students with “real-world” work experience and to prepare them to become well-rounded legal practitioners, all the while working on cutting-edge legal projects with world-class companies.
Through a seminar combined with a field placement at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, students assist with representation of domestic and sexual violence survivors to meet a broad range of legal needs.
The Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, or IJ Clinic, is a public interest organization devoted principally to expanding economic liberties. It provides a range of legal services, especially those for start-up businesses, to local entrepreneurs in economically disadvantaged communities.
The Poverty and Housing Law Clinic exposes students to the practice of poverty law work by giving them the opportunity to work on housing related cases at the Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF), which provides free legal services to indigent clients in civil matters.
The clinic provides students with an opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system through the combination of a 2-quarter seminar and a clinical placement in either a prosecutor's office or public defender's office.
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is a human service and policy advocacy program dedicated to advocating for the best interests of immigrant and refugee children who are alone in the United States.