Learning through Practice
There are a number of experiential opportunities at the Law Center that provide students with the opportunity to earn credit while learning through practice. The Law Center offers a range of experiential courses through clinics, field placements and simulation courses, and students are required to complete at least six credit hours of these experiential courses prior to graduation. We invite you to explore these web pages to learn about all of the experiential opportunities available in your 2L and 3L years. ALL COURSES listed on these webpages qualify toward the six credit hours of experiential courses required for graduation.
There are many Law Clinic options that offer students the opportunity to practice law and represent indigent clients in the Baton Rouge community or act as mediators in the Baton Rouge City Court. The Law Clinic is analogous to a residency in medical school where, under close faculty supervision, students practice law by representing real clients with important legal issues or serve as mediators in real cases of controversy. Students practice in local courts, before administrative agencies and other venues. The Law Clinic is a self-contained legal services office located in the Law Center. Third-year students are certified to practice law pursuant to Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XX, and 2L students assist Law Center faculty in representing actual clients. Clinic offerings include the Immigration Clinic (will not be offered in Fall 2021), the Juvenile Defense Clinic, the Civil Mediation Clinic, the Parole and Reentry Clinic, and the Prosecution Clinic. A new opportunity coming in Fall 2021 is the Wrongful Conviction Clinic. More clinical offerings are planned in the future.
There are also numerous Field Placement opportunities, including the Judicial Field Placement, which places students as judicial “law clerks” in state and federal courts; the Governmental Field Placement, which places students with the Attorney General’s Office and other state and local agencies; and the Public Interest/Nonprofit Field Placement, which places students with local agencies serving marginalized populations and the legal interests of the poor. The Law Center’s location in the state capitol of Baton Rouge offers tremendous advantages to placing students with state and local governmental agencies and courts where students can experience the real practice of law through a structured academic setting. The Law Center also offers students the opportunity to participate in an field placement during the summer session following the first and second years of law school. Summer Field Placement Students can participate in on online class and be placed in law offices or judges chambers anywhere in the world. Many choose field placement in their hometown or a location where they ultimately would like to establish their legal career.
In addition to clinics and field placements, the Law Center offers a wide range of simulation courses in which students learn essential lawyering and practice skills through simulation and forensic exercises. Students can take simulations courses in their 2L and 3L years. Students are encouraged to take experiential courses in all three categories of offerings because each offers students different opportunities. Students can learn fundamental lawyering skills through simulation courses, however Field Placement and Clinic opportunities take students into real practice outside of the Law Center. Law Clinics provide students with the opportunity to actually practice lawyering skills with real clients.
The LSU Law Clinic is a recipient of a Models for Change Program Grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and a Prison Reentry Initiative Grant from the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation.