Law Practice Clinic

Law Practice Clinic

Pre-requisite: Completion of first year curriculum, Pre-or-co-requisite: Ethics

Summer 2013--Prof. Steven Homer
Fall 2013--Prof. April Land
Spring 2014--Prof. Aliza Organick

The Law Practice Clinic will emphasize the development of professional skills and values by assigning students to represent clients in a variety of both civil and criminal cases.  In their casework, students will be individually and closely supervised in their representation of low-income clients.  Each student will be assigned a mix of cases typical of a general law practice in New Mexico with some opportunity for a more specialized type of practice taking into account each student's preferences and career plans, available faculty resources and client and community needs.  Among other practice areas, case matters may involve juvenile delinquency defense, family law, criminal misdemeanor defense, landlord/tenant, contract disputes, wills and immigration.  The Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters will provide more focus in the area of juvenile delinquency and criminal defense.  The emphasis on student casework is to give law students direct experience with live clients and real cases and to provide close individual and collaborative faculty supervision.  In addition to providing real world experience, students are encouraged to develop and explore the professional dimensions of client-oriented problem solving.  Students are expected to develop and assume full professional responsibility for competent, professional and ethical decision-making in helping their clients solve their legal problems.

The classroom component seeks to help prepare students to represent his or her clients competently, to promote professionalism in dealing with clients, lawyers, staff and others; and to provide experience in individual and collaborative problem solving.  Classroom sessions include discussion of pending clinic cases and assigned readings; role-play and simulation; and collaborative planning and evaluation.  The classroom component typically addresses such skills and topics as:  client interviewing and counseling, case evaluation, legal research, fact investigation, drafting documents and correspondence, motion practice, discovery, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution, procedure, case management, law office management, the use of computer technology in the law office, and professional responsibility and ethics.

Students will be required (1) to attend and actively participate in up to five classroom sessions (ten during summer’s first three weeks) during each week of the academic semester and (2) to maintain, in addition to classroom hours, a schedule of 24 (2-hours block) fixed office hours (physically present in the clinic, working on clinic matters) each week during Summer, or 16 (2-hours block) fixed office hours each week during Fall and Spring semesters.

Students having any questions about this clinic are encouraged to visit with Profs. Homer, Land, or Organick.