The Clinical Program at the University of the District of Columbia David Clarke School of Law (UDC Law) represents a significant departure from what has now become traditional legal education. All students are required to participate in legal clinics where they work on ongoing cases with clients under the supervision of an attorney-professor. Typically, the student-faculty ratio in clinics ranges from 4 to 1 to 8 to 1.
One vital purpose of the Clinical Program is to provide legal services to citizens of the District of Columbia who could not otherwise afford representation. The clinical approach has also proven its effectiveness as a method of teaching the law. It places theory within the only context in which it is truly meaningful: the resolution of actual legal disputes.
The faculty and students at UDC Law are engaged in the practice of law on a continuing basis. By representing clients with legal problems, students learn the substantive law and lawyering skills in the most realistic setting. This clinical experience not only contributes to a better understanding of the law learned in the classroom, but also gives UDC Law graduates a significant advantage in the workplace over those whose legal education lacks such practical experience.
US News and World Report Best Law Schools 2023 ranked UDC Law fifth in the U.S. for clinical legal training.
All full-time students earn at least 14 clinic credits by participating in two 7-credit clinics and all part-time students earn at least 10 clinic credits by participating in one 10-credit evening clinic. Currently, the School offers nine clinics:
- Community Development Law Clinic
- Criminal Law Clinic
- General Practice Clinic
- Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic
- Immigration & Human Rights Clinic
- Legislation Clinic
- Tax Clinic
- Whistleblower Protection Clinic
- Youth Justice Clinic
Enrollment in the School’s clinics is limited to matriculated full-time and part-time students, and governed by a set of Clinic Guidelines.