How the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic’s Fake Stash House Cases Changed a Controversial Charging Practice, Lowered a Discovery Standard, and Saved Clients Hundreds of Years in Prison

Walking into the ceremonial courtroom on the 25th floor of the Everett M. Dirksen US Courthouse on December 14, 2017, Linnet Davis-Stermitz, ’18, knew that the scene before her was exceptional, although it would take several years and two federal clerkships to understand just how exceptional.

The clinical programs operate through six distinct, autonomous units that function as separate 'law firms' with their own faculty and support staff: 

In addition, there are two other clinics in which students work on behalf of clients in a supervised field placement at an outside agency and take a companion seminar at the Law School:

Law School Clinics: Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic
Law School Clinics: Abrams Environmental Law Clinic
Law School Clinics: Immigrants’ Rights Clinic
Law School Clinics: Employment Law Clinic
Law School Clinics: Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic
Law School Clinics: Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab
Law School Clinics: Federal Criminal Justice Clinic
Law School Clinics: Exoneration Project
Law School Clinics: IJ Clinic on Entrepreneurship
Law School Clinics: Innovation Clinic
In East Chicago and Detroit, the Abrams Clinic Is Tackling Environmental Issues for Underserved Communities—and Broadening the Scope of Environmental Legal Work

In 2016, the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic began working with East Chicago, Indiana, residents in their fight for a safe cleanup of the soil contamination that has harmed the area for decades. In a different project, the clinic represents Soulardarity, a nonprofit that helps residents in the Detroit area launch their own solar energy projects, advocate for reliable electricity service, and more.

On the surface, these two projects are very different.

Information for Students

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. The Law School’s clinical and experiential programs give students an opportunity to learn litigation, legislative advocacy, and transactional skills.

More info for students
The Clinic Experience

Soo Park, class of 2014 and participant in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic, describes the student experience in UChicago Law's clinical program.