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.
About the Clinics
The clinical programs operate through six distinct, autonomous units that function as separate 'law firms' with their own faculty and support staff:
- Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, which includes:
- Exoneration Project Clinic
- Innovation Clinic
- Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship
- Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic
- Kirkland & Ellis Corporate Lab Clinic
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:
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.
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.
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.