To get a sense of a lawyer’s work (preparing cases, interviewing and counseling, trying or settling cases), students may enroll in placements in a law office (public or private) or judicial chamber. Students will work under the supervision of a practicing attorney or judge, gaining practical skills in a real-world setting.
3-credit option - 130 placement hrs during the semester
4-credit option - 170 placement hrs during the semester
A weekly seminar permits students to discuss their experiences (while maintaining client confidentiality) and focuses on various ethical issues encountered in practice. Class discussions may address anything from setting up a law office to the theory and practice of legal skills like interviewing, counseling, and professionalism.
Judicial Placements - Students applying for judicial placements must submit a writing sample and, on occasion, letters of recommendation. In these placements, in addition to participating in the Field Placement class, students observe a judge in chambers and court, conduct research, and may have an opportunity to work on judicial opinions.
Advanced Field Placement Program - Students taking the Field Placement Program for a second semester attend some classes, write journal entries, meet individually with their professor, and prepare a final project.
For students working in either non-profit organizations or governmental offices requiring them to appear before the courts of the Commonwealth, Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03 approval may be available. Please see the professor for assistance coordinating your application.
Coordinated Field Placement Program
A student not presently enrolled in a clinic or Field Placement Program may get experience in a particular doctrinal area by volunteering with a lawyer who practices in a substantive area covered in a course in which the student is enrolled.
1-credit option - 70 hours per semester (avg 5 hrs/week during the semester)
2-credit option - 140 hours per semester (avg 10 hrs/week during the semester )
The doctrinal professor and student meet during the semester at least three times to discuss relevant issues of law. Students will submit journal entries to their professor in advance of each meeting, as well as weekly time logs. Professors will also speak with the Supervising Attorney at least twice during the course of the semester regarding student progress.
This option is appropriate for students who have already taken the Field Placement Program, one of the legal clinics, or who are unable to take clinics but would like to acquire law office experience while still in law school. There is no limit to the number of times a student may enroll in this credit option, nor is there an enrollment limit, but participation is contingent on the availability of both an appropriate placement and agreement of the course professor.
Due to the limited time spent in the law office, this “co-op” is not approved for Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:03.