The development of legal skills and ethical values is central to your legal education. To aid in this development and to assist the needy in our local communities, UMass Law offers several opportunities.
Students are allowed to register for one clinic or one field placement per semester. For more information about our clinical offerings, please see the Clinical Programs Infopac (PDF) and the Field Placement Programs Infopac (PDF).
Legal clinics are law offices operated by UMass Law. They are located both on campus and at off-campus locations.
Those participating in our legal clinics offer clients, who otherwise would be unrepresented, the chance to benefit from quality legal representation for their claims.
Students involved in clinics represent low-income clients both in court and at administrative hearings under the supervision of faculty members and/or experienced practitioners. Students also counsel clients on a variety of legal matters outside the courtroom setting.
Real-world skill building
In addition to the assistance provided to local residents, a legal clinic offers much to its student representatives—a chance to develop technical "lawyering skills" as well as to grapple with the ethical issues that present themselves daily in the practice of law.
This experience is a prime way for you to put into action the knowledge you have gained during your classroom experience. Law school no longer remains an academic exercise; rather, it becomes a real-life experience.
Legal clinics are only one of the ways in which you can develop your practice skills and ethical values. UMass Law offers other programs that help our students achieve these competencies. For example, you will:
- develop the skills of legal research, analysis, and writing through the required Legal Skills curriculum
- gain lawyering skills and awareness of ethical values through the Field Placement program
- have the opportunity to offer legal help to needy residents of our community through the Pro Bono program