Why to Give: Supporting Clinics

“The Law School trained me to think like a lawyer, but it was at the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic where I learned to *be* a lawyer, learning how to represent clients, listen to their needs and use all my talents to defend their rights.  The mentoring and direct experience I received at the Clinic was invaluable to my professional training, and I give to the Clinic every year to ensure today's students will continue to have such a great head start in becoming superior lawyers.” – Adam Bonin, ‘97

For more than fifty years, the clinics at the Law School have been fulfilling an important mission: to teach students effective advocacy skills, professional ethics, and the effect of legal institutions on the poor; to examine and apply legal theory while serving as advocates for people typically denied access to justice; and to reform legal education and the legal system to be more responsive to the interests of the poor. The many clinics and projects here at the Law School have provided a strong practical legal education to thousands of students in the last half-century, and representation to thousands of people who would not otherwise have had access to the legal system.

Our extraordinary clinical faculty, many of them alumni of our Law School and our clinics themselves, work tirelessly to train our students in litigation, transactional practice, and advocacy. They run, for all intents and purposes, a large public interest law firm right in the middle of our community, allowing our students to function as real lawyers on behalf of real clients, being supported at every step by experienced faculty members. Our clinical faculty members are both expert lawyers in their clinical fields and gifted teachers of the methods, skills, and tactics the students need for their future careers.

Your gifts support the important work of our clinics, and in these difficult times, the work of our clinics is more important than ever before. Our students need the practical experience and first-hand knowledge to hit the ground running when they begin their first legal jobs. Whether those jobs are in the private or public sector, in litigation, transactional, or advocacy work, the training they receive from their clinical work will put them ahead of many of their colleagues on day one. Of course, in a difficult economy, there is more need for the clinic’s services to clients, and for many, access to justice depends on the kind of help our clinics offer. Your gifts allow the Law School to hire and retain the best clinic faculty members, to expand the work of the clinic and the number of students who can work there, and to expand the number of clients the clinic can serve. Your gifts make a difference in the lives and careers of our students, and, of course, in the lives of their clients.