What is a Law Clinic?

Group picture of the Sierra Leone NGO group, including Osman Kargbo of Dignity Association,  Mambu Feika of Prison Watch Sierra Leone, Ibrahim Tommy of the Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law, Valerie Tucker of IPAS and clinic students, Diana Navas and Jacqueline Zamarripa from the International Human Rights Law Clinic.

The Clinical Program at American University, Washington College of Law, is a fully operational law firm within the law school. The program is divided into ten individual clinics:

Our students represent low-income and under-represented clients or groups in litigation, administrative, and transactional matters.  Most of our clients are in the District of Columbia or suburban Maryland.  As opposed to internships or similar programs where students assist more experienced attorneys in handling cases, our students are certified to practice law under D.C., Maryland, or federal/agency student practice rules. They learn to be lawyers by taking responsibility for the entire matter, making the necessary strategic decisions and performing all accompanying tasks, subject to faculty supervision. While in Clinic, students also participate in seminars where they learn concrete lawyering skills that they need to handle their cases.  We aim to produce graduates who are ready to start practicing law from the time they finish law school.

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