Clinical Courses

The courses listed below provide a taste of the clinical courses offered at the Law School. This list includes the courses taught in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. Not all of these courses are offered every year, but this list will give you a representative sample of the variety of courses we might offer over any two-year period. Other new courses will likely be offered during your time at the Law School.

PLEASE NOTE: This page does not include courses for the current academic year. To browse current course offerings, visit my.UChicago.

Abrams Environmental Law Clinic

Spring 2019, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock

Students in the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic fight against water pollution, promote clean energy, protect natural resources and human health, and address legacy contamination. Clinic students engage in a wide variety of activities to learn practical legal skills, such as conducting factual investigations, interviewing witnesses and preparing affidavits, reviewing administrative determinations, drafting motions, working with experts, arguing motions and presenting at trial or an administrative hearing, among other activities. The Clinic generally represents regional and national environmental organizations and works with co-counsel, thus exposing students to the staff of these organizations and other experienced environmental lawyers. In addition to litigation, the Clinic may also engage in legislative reform and rule-making efforts; students interested solely in that kind of work should notify the instructor before joining the Clinic, if possible. Environmental Law is a co-requisite.  A student enrolling in the Clinic for the first time should sign up for two credits; in subsequent quarters, she or he may enroll for one, two or three credits per quarter after consultation with clinic faculty.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Spring 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Autumn 2018, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock
  • Winter 2019, Mark N. Templeton and Robert A. Weinstock

Civil Rights Clinic: Police Accountability

Spring 2019, Craig Futterman

The Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project (PAP) is one of the nation's leading law civil rights clinics focusing on issues of criminal justice. Through the lens of live-client work, students examine how and where litigation fits into broader efforts to improve police accountability and ultimately the criminal justice system. Students provide legal services to indigent victims of police abuse in federal and state courts. They litigate civil rights cases at each level of the court system from trial through appeals. Some students also represent children and adults in related juvenile or criminal defense matters. Students take primary responsibility for all aspects of the litigation, including client counseling, fact investigation, case strategy, witness interviews, legal research, pleadings and legal memoranda, discovery, depositions, motion practice, evidentiary hearings, trials, and appeals. A significant amount of legal writing is expected. Students work in teams on cases or projects, and meet with the instructor on at minimum a weekly basis. Students also take primary responsibility for the Clinic's policy and public education work. PAP teaches students to apply and critically examine legal theory in the context of representation of people in need. It teaches students to analyze how and why individual cases of abuse occur and to connect them to systemic problems, often leading to "public impact" litigation and other strategies for policy reform. Through our immersion in live client work, we engage fundamental issues of race, class, and gender, and their intersection with legal institutions. We instruct students in legal ethics and advocacy skills. And we seek to instill in them a public service ethos, as they begin their legal careers. Students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence, Criminal Procedure I, and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Constitutional Law III is also recommended.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2018, Craig Futterman
  • Spring 2018, Craig Futterman
  • Autumn 2018, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2019, Craig Futterman

Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic

Spring 2019, Herschella G. Conyers

The Project provides law and social work students the supervised opportunity to represent children and young adults accused of crime in juvenile and criminal court. Representation includes addressing the social, psychological and educational needs of our clients and their families. In addition to direct representation, students are involved in policy reform and public education including work with coalitions on issues of juvenile life without parole, youth violence, mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences of conviction. Students will participate in case selection and litigation strategies. Students will be expected to do legal research and writing including drafting motions and memoranda on various legal issues, i.e. evidentiary questions, sentencing, etc. and brief writing. Additionally, students will do pre-trial investigation and fact development including interviewing clients and witnesses. 3L students who have taken a trial practice course will have the opportunity to argue motions and second chair hearings and trials. Policy work will include general research on issues, drafting statement and position papers and attendance at meetings. Corequisite: Evidence must be taken at some point that the student is in the clinic.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Herschella G. Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Winter 2018, Herschella G. Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Spring 2018, Herschella G. Conyers and Randolph Stone
  • Autumn 2018, Herschella G. Conyers
  • Winter 2019, Herschella G. Conyers

Employment Law Clinic

Spring 2019, Randall Schmidt

Randall D. Schmidt and his students operate the Clinic's Employment Law Clinic. The Clinic focuses primarily on pre-trial litigation and handles a number of individual cases and class actions. In individual cases, the Clinic represents clients in cases before the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Human Rights Commission and seeks to obtain relief for clients from race, sex, national origin, and handicap discrimination in the work place. In the class actions, the Clinic represents groups of employees in employment and civil rights actions in federal court. Additionally, in its individual cases and law reform/impact cases, the Clinic seeks to improve the procedures and remedies available to victims of employment discrimination so that employees have a fair opportunity to present their claims in a reasonably expeditious way. To accomplish this goal, the Clinic is active in the legislative arena and participates with other civil rights groups in efforts to amend and improve state and federal laws. It is suggested, but not required, that all students in the Employment Law Clinic take the Employment Discrimination Law seminar. It is recommended that third-year students take, prior to their third year, either the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop or some other trial practice course. The student's grade is based on class participation. Academic credit varies and will be awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty. Evidence is a prerequisite for 3L's in the clinic. The Intensive Trial Practice Workshop (or an equivalent trial practice course) is recommended for 3L's in the clinic.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Randall Schmidt
  • Winter 2018, Randall Schmidt
  • Spring 2018, Randall Schmidt
  • Autumn 2018, Randall Schmidt
  • Winter 2019, Randall Schmidt

Entrepreneurship and the Law

Autumn 2018, Elizabeth W. Kregor and Amy M. Hermalik

This seminar examines how the law and legal counsel influence innovation and entrepreneurship in the US, including by micro-enterprises and high-growth disruptors. The seminar explores the position of the entrepreneur in society, in the economy, and in our constitutional framework, in order to analyze the entrepreneur's fundamental legal needs. We survey legal questions particular to start-ups, including strategies for structuring a business organization, financing, and protecting intellectual property. Assignments require students to research issues that apply to hypothetical and real start-ups and practice lawyerly skills like strategic planning, negotiation, drafting, and counseling. Students' grades will be based on active participation, a written assignment, and a research paper.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Salen M. Churi, Elizabeth W. Kregor, and Amy M. Hermalik

Exoneration Project Clinic

Spring 2019, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, and Joshua Tepfer

The Exoneration Project is a post-conviction clinical project that represents people convicted of crimes of which they are innocent. Students working in our project assist in every aspect of representation including selecting cases, advising clients, investigating and developing evidence, drafting pleadings, making oral arguments, examining witnesses at evidentiary hearings, and working on all aspects of appellate litigation. Through participation in our project, students explore issues of error and inequality in the criminal justice system, including police and prosecutorial misconduct, the use of faulty scientific evidence, coerced confessions, unreliable eyewitness testimony, and ineffective assistance of counsel. The Exoneration Project is an intensive, rigorous experience designed for students who are committed to providing the best possible representation to deserving clients. Second-year students wishing to enroll in the Project are encouraged to take Evidence in their second year. Third-year students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Students are also strongly encouraged but not required to take Criminal Procedure I, and Criminal Procedure II. Students selected for this project will receive credit for the work they do in accordance with the credit rules for all other clinical programs.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Winter 2018, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Spring 2018, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
  • Autumn 2018, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl A. Leonard
  • Winter 2019, Tara E. Thompson, David B. Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl A. Leonard

Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

Spring 2019, Alison Siegler

The Federal Criminal Justice Clinic zealously represents indigent defendants charged with federal crimes and gives students a unique opportunity to practice in federal court. The FCJC is the first legal clinic in the country to exclusively represent indigent clients charged with federal felonies. We enter our federal district court cases at the time of arrest, take them to trial or guilty plea and sentencing, and then carry them through appeal and beyond. As part of our broader mission to promote fairness in the criminal justice system, we also take Seventh Circuit appeals and write amicus briefs and petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. FCJC students may have an opportunity to interview clients and witnesses; meet with clients at the jail and out on bond; conduct and participate in bond hearings, preliminary hearings, arraignments, evidentiary hearings, plea hearings, sentencing hearings, and trials; research, write, and argue motions and briefs; negotiate with prosecutors; and participate in case investigations. Students involved in appellate litigation write briefs to the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court and may conduct oral argument in the Seventh Circuit. The seminar component includes skills exercises, simulations, lectures, case rounds, and discussions. The pre-requisites/co-requisites are Evidence and Criminal Procedure I; these courses may be taken at any time during 2L or 3L year. It is strongly recommended that students interested in joining the FCJC take Prof. Siegler's Criminal Procedure course in Spring 2019 and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop at the beginning of 3L year. The FCJC is a year-long clinic and is typically only open to 3Ls. Any slots that remain after bidding closes will be opened to 2Ls. Students who want to learn more about the FCJC may contact Professor Siegler or Professor Zunkel for more information.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Winter 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and James R. DuBray
  • Spring 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and James R. DuBray
  • Autumn 2018, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller
  • Winter 2019, Alison Siegler, Erica K. Zunkel, and Judith P. Miller

Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic

Spring 2019, Jeffrey E. Leslie

The Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic provides legal representation on complex real estate development projects to build affordable housing.  Clients include nonprofit, community-based affordable housing developers and housing cooperatives.  Students serve as deal lawyers, working with clients and teams of professionals -- such as financial consultants, architects, marketing professionals, property managers, and social service providers -- to bring affordable housing and mixed use development projects to fruition.  Projects range from single family rehabs with budgets in the $30,000 to $75,000 range, to multi-million dollar rental and mixed use projects financed by low income housing tax credits, tax exempt bonds, TIF, and other layered subsidies.  Students also counsel nonprofit clients on governance and tax issues related to their work.  In addition to their client work, students meet as a group in a weekly two-hour seminar in autumn quarter, and in a weekly one-hour seminar during winter and spring quarters, to discuss the substantive rules and legal skills pertinent to real estate development transactions and to examine emergent issues arising out of the students' work. During the fall quarter seminar, returning clinic students need only attend the first hour; new students should attend for the full two hours. In the winter and spring quarters, all students should attend all the one-hour seminar sessions. Academic credit for the Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic varies and is awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2018, Jeffrey Leslie
  • Winter 2019, Jeffrey Leslie

Innovation Clinic

Spring 2019, Emily A. Underwood

The Innovation Clinic gives students the opportunity to counsel startups and venture capital funds on a broad range of corporate law and strategic issues, including regulatory compliance, entity formation, stock options and employee equity, privacy, employment, governance and founders' agreements, and commercial agreements. The Innovation Clinic also supervises students participating in the Innovation Fund Associates program, where they can participate in teams working to diligence the Fund's potential investments. Note that Innovation Fund Associates must apply separately to the Innovation Fund to be included in this program, and applications are accepted each fall for the following calendar year, but students are not required to be Innovation Fund Associates in order to participate in the Innovation Clinic. In addition to their work with the Clinic's clients and the substantive topic areas to be covered, students will have the opportunity to train in, and develop, the soft skills that separate good lawyers from highly effective lawyers in a transactional practice, such as negotiation, client management, preparedness and flexibility.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Salen M. Churi
  • Winter 2018, Salen M. Churi
  • Spring 2018, Salen M. Churi
  • Autumn 2018, Emily A. Underwood
  • Winter 2019, Emily A. Underwood

Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship

Spring 2019, Elizabeth W. Kregor and Amy M. Hermalik

The Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship, or IJ Clinic, provides legal assistance to low-income entrepreneurs who are pursuing the American Dream in spite of legal obstacles. IJ Clinic students develop practical skills in transactional lawyering while helping creative entrepreneurs earn an honest living, innovate, and build businesses that build neighborhoods. Students advise clients on issues such as business formation, licensing, zoning, strategic relationships, intellectual property protection, and regulatory compliance. Students become trusted advisors for their clients and have the opportunity to consult with clients on business developments; draft and review custom contracts; negotiate deals; research complex regulatory schemes and advise clients on how to comply; and occasionally appear before administrative bodies. Students may also work on policy projects to change laws that restrict low-income entrepreneurs. Policy work may involve legislative drafting, lobbying, and community organizing. Academic credit varies and will be awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical staff. A commitment of at least two consecutive quarters is required.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Elizabeth W. Kregor and Amy M. Hermalik
  • Winter 2018, Elizabeth W. Kregor and Amy M. Hermalik
  • Spring 2018, Elizabeth W. Kregor and Amy M. Hermalik
  • Autumn 2018, Elizabeth W. Kregor and Amy M. Hermalik
  • Winter 2019, Elizabeth W. Kregor and Amy M. Hermalik

Intensive Trial Practice Workshop

Autumn 2018, Herschella G. Conyers, Craig Futterman, Erica K. Zunkel, and Jorge Alonso

This is a required class for participation in the Civil Rights-Police Accountability Clinic, the Criminal & Juvenile Justice Project Clinic, and the Exoneration Project Clinic. This class is strongly recommended for participation in the Employment Law Clinic and the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic. This class teaches trial preparation, trial advocacy, and strategy through a variety of teaching techniques, including lectures and demonstrations, but primarily through simulated trial exercises. Topics include opening statements, witness preparation, direct and cross examination, expert witnesses, objections at trial, and closing argument. Practicing lawyers and judges are enlisted to provide students with demonstrations and critiques from varied perspectives. The class concludes with a simulated jury trial presided over by sitting state and federal court judges. Open to 3L J.D. students only. Completion of this class partially satisfies one of the requirements for admission to the trial bar of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Students who have taken Trial Advocacy (LAWS 67603) or Trial Practice: Strategy and Advocacy (LAWS 91702) may not take this class.

Previously:

  • August 2017, Herschella G. Conyers, Randolph Stone, and Craig Futterman

International Human Rights Clinic

Spring 2019, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli

The International Human Rights Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice globally and in the United States. The Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms, other substantive law, and multidimensional strategies to draw attention to human rights violations, develop practical solutions and promote accountability on the part of state and non-state actors. The Clinic works with clients and organizational partners through advocacy campaigns, research and litigation in domestic, foreign, and international tribunals. Working in project teams, students develop and hone essential lawyering skills, including oral advocacy, fact-finding, research, legal and non-legal writing, interviewing, media advocacy, cultural competency and strategic thinking. Some students may have the option (but are not required) to undertake international or domestic travel in connection with their projects during the Autumn, Winter or Spring quarter breaks. Students may enroll for up to three credits a quarter. New students should plan to take the clinic for three quarters for a minimum of two credits each quarter. Returning students may enroll for one credit each quarter.International Human Rights Law and Public International Law are recommended but not required co requisites.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Claudia M. Flores
  • Winter 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Spring 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Autumn 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Winter 2019, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli

Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic

Spring 2019, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky

The Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic represents parties and amici curiae in cases before the United States Supreme Court and other appellate courts. Students work on all aspects of the clinic's cases -- from formulating case strategy; to researching and writing merits briefs, amicus curiae briefs, and petitions for certiorari; to preparing for oral arguments. Students also conduct research on cases that may be suitable to bring to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although the clinic's focus is the U.S. Supreme Court, the clinic may also handle cases in the United States Courts of Appeals and the Illinois Supreme Court. The clinic is supervised by Assistant Clinical Professor Sarah Konsky, Professor David Strauss, and members of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice group at Jenner & Block. U.S. Supreme Court: Theory and Practice (LAWS 50311) is a required co-requisite for 2L and 3L students participating in the clinic. Students who have successfully completed a course covering content comparable to the U.S. Supreme Court: Theory and Practice seminar may seek consent from Professor Konsky to waive the co-requisite requirement. If you have taken LAWS 50311 previously, no special approval is needed. Academic credit for the clinic varies and is awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Winter 2018, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Spring 2018, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Autumn 2018, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Winter 2019, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky

Mental Health Advocacy Clinic

Spring 2019, Mark J. Heyman

Mental Health Advocacy teaches a variety of advocacy skills. With the permission of the clinical teacher, students may choose to focus on litigation, legislation, or both. Students engaged in litigation may interview clients and witnesses; research and draft pleadings and legal memoranda, including briefs to reviewing courts; conduct formal and informal discovery; negotiate with opposing counsel and others; conduct evidentiary hearings and trials; and present oral argument in trial and appellate courts. Students who have completed fifty percent of the credits needed for graduation may be licensed to appear, under the supervision of the clinical teacher, in state and federal trial and appellate courts pursuant to court rules and practices. Students engaged in legislative advocacy may research and draft legislation and supporting materials, devise and implement strategies to obtain the enactment or defeat of legislation, negotiate with representatives of various interest groups, and testify in legislative hearings.  The course aims to provide students with an understanding of the relationships between individual advocacy tasks and the ultimate goals of clients, between litigation and legislative advocacy, and between advocacy on behalf of individual clients and advocacy for systemic change. Prior or contemporaneous enrollment in Law and the Mental Health System is encouraged, but not required. See the general rules for all clinical courses for further details concerning enrollment, including the rules governing the award of credit. There is a mandatory one-credit seminar component for this course which meets once a week during the Autumn Quarter. Mental Health Advocacy satisfies part of the writing requirement if substantial written work is completed. Student may enroll in this clinical course for between one and six quarters.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2017, Mark J. Heyman
  • Winter 2018, Mark J. Heyman
  • Spring 2018, Mark J. Heyman
  • Autumn 2018, Mark J. Heyman
  • Winter 2019, Mark J. Heyman

Poverty and Housing Law Clinic

Spring 2019, Lawrence Wood

This clinic, conducted over two sequential quarters, exposes students to the practice of poverty law by giving them the opportunity to work on housing cases at LAF, the Midwest's largest provider of free civil legal services to people who are living in poverty or otherwise vulnerable. Students may be be asked to attend administrative grievance hearings, represent tenants facing unwarranted evictions, and prevent landlords from performing lockouts or refusing to make necessary repairs. All students will be expected to interview clients, prepare written discovery, conduct research, and draft motions. In addition to working 12 hours a week at LAF, students will attend a weekly two-hour class to learn about subsidized housing programs, eviction actions, housing discrimination, representing tenants with disabilities, the intersection between domestic violence and housing, and the extensive and often misunderstood connection between criminal law and housing.

Previously:

  • Winter 2019, Lawrence Wood

Pre-Trial Advocacy

Autumn 2017, Lisa A. Hausten and Erin E. Kelly

This seminar will focus on litigation strategies and skills that are instrumental in the day-to-day life of a litigator, many of which are used in both the pretrial and trial phases of litigation. Students will get to interview witnesses, negotiate discovery disputes, take depositions, cross-examine witnesses and draft and argue motions in limine, in addition to learning to evaluate and develop facts and legal theories and study tactical moves to disarm the opposing side and narrow the case for trial. The seminar employs a variety of learning methodologies, including lectures, small group discussions, and participation in mock exercises with live witnesses. Students taking Pre-Trial Advocacy are also eligible to enroll in the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Because of the overlap in topics, students are ineligible for Pre-Trial Advocacy if they have taken or are currently enrolled in the Mental Health Advocacy Clinic. The student's grade is based on class participation, including participation in mock exercises, and written work product.Evidence is a prerequisite, but may be taken concurrently.

Prosecution and Defense Clinic

Spring 2018, Lisa M. Noller and Molly Armour

The Prosecution and Defense Clinic provides students with an opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system through: (1) a 2-quarter seminar taught by a former Assistant United States Attorney and a career defense lawyer; and, (2) a clinical placement in either a prosecutor's office or public defender's office.  The course will familiarize students with the legal procedures and issues which arise in a typical criminal case as well as ethical and other social justice issues encountered by all criminal justice attorneys and courts.  The clinic provides students with a unique combination of substantive criminal law and procedure, ethics, trial practice, and hands-on experience through a clinical placement.Each student in the clinic will be responsible for securing a field placement and participating in a pre-screened externship program with a federal or state prosecutor or defender office for the winter and spring quarters.  Examples include the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois or the Public Defender's office in any northern Illinois county.  Students will comply with the clinical placement's requirements regarding hours and assignments, and may be expected to research substantive criminal law issues, draft affirmative and responsive pleadings and memos, interview witnesses and clients, assist lawyers with court hearings and where permitted (and with an appropriate 711 license), appear in court under the supervision of practicing attorneys.Other components of each student's grade are: seminar classroom participation; trial practice exercises; journal entries; and, a 10-page practice paper or research paper.  There is no final exam (in either quarter) and students will earn up to seven credits for the course, depending on the placement.  Because of the practical component, the class size will be limited to twelve 2L or 3L students.

Previously:

  • Winter 2018, Lisa M. Noller and Molly Armour

Trial Advocacy

Spring 2019, Jay Cohen

This class will focus on the trial phases of civil litigation. Simulated trial problems designed to promote knowledge of the litigation process and to afford individual experience in selected phases of trial practice will be employed to familiarize students with pragmatic tactical issues and solutions. Written trial materials will be used and instruction will by lecture, demonstration, and exercise (including a mini-trial). Students who have taken the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop (LAWS 67503) may not take Trial Advocacy (LAWS 67603). An understanding of the Federal Rules of Evidence is preferred but not a prerequisite. Final grades will be based on class participation, performance during courtroom exercises and the mini-trial, and one or more written assignments. If students wish to earn 3 credits, they will also be required to submit a 15-page researched trial brief in connection with the final trial. Enrollment is limited to 12 students.

Previously:

  • Spring 2018, Jay Cohen