See the Law-in-Action Approach
of Wisconsin Law School's tradition of excellence and its law-in-action approach to legal education are highlighted in its clinical and skills
training programs. It is this law-in-action approach — in which students learn
not only what the law is, but also how the law works — that helps develop well-educated,
thoughtful graduates who are able successfully to bridge the gap between law
school and practice. Clinical students receive a rich educational experience,
applying the legal theory they have learned in the classroom to help real people
outside of the classroom.
Center for Patient Partnerships
The Center for Patient Partnerships is an interdisciplinary healthcare advocacy center and a national resource for strengthening the consumer perspective in health care. Graduate students from across campus come to the Center to work directly with individuals living with a serious illness. Students provide support and information related to a wide variety of substantive issues including internal insurance appeals, public benefit programs and health policy. A thirty hour orientation and weekly seminar on current issues provide additional learning opportunities. Second and third-year students can participate during the fall, spring or summer semesters. The Center offers a Consumer Health Advocacy Certificate for 12 credits.
Economic Justice Institute
The Economic Justice Institute offers opportunities for students to work
various aspects of civil law addressing economic inequality and poverty,
including alternative dispute resolution, consumer, employment,
housing, family, and immigration law. EJI students have extensive
contact. Watch the video about clinical education at Wisconsin.
- Consumer Law Clinic: The Consumer Law Clinic represents low- and moderate-income consumers in individual and class action lawsuits in federal and state courts. The Clinic operates year-round and is open to students who have completed their first year of law school. The Consumer Law Clinic trains students in all aspects of civil litigation.
- Family Court Clinic: The Family Court Clinic is a clinical program designed to help make the legal system more accessible to low-income, unrepresented people with divorce, post-divorce, paternity, and restraining order matters. Students do not serve as advocates, but rather as facilitators/mediators, working with the parties to prepare cases for decision. Students undergo in-depth skills training in interviewing, counseling, and negotiations, and learn the nuts and bolts of family law.
- Mediation Clinic: The mission of the Mediation Clinic is to train law students to provide a vital service to the community, helping members resolve pressing personal and legal conflicts. Of the many cases that are referred to the Mediation Clinic, a majority result in agreement between the parties.
- Neighborhood Law Clinic: The Neighborhood Law Clinic provides a broad range of legal services designed to improve the economic well-being of low income clients, primarily in housing, employment and government benefits cases. The Neighborhood Law Clinic is open to students who have completed their first year of law school. The project is a full-year commitment, and includes a regular seminar in addition to the clinical work.
Frank J. Remington Center
The Frank J. Remington Center is a law-in-action program of the Law School made up of clinical projects dedicated to teaching, service, and research. The Center provides law students with the opportunity to develop the substantive knowledge, professional skills, and judgment necessary to excel as attorneys; provides high-quality service in individual cases; and engages in empirical research necessary to bring about systemic improvements. Students receive course credit for their clinical work The Center's Newsletter describes the Center's activities in more detail, and the Center's many clinical projects are listed below. The Remington Center is located in Room 4318 of the Law School.
- Criminal Appeals Project
The Criminal Appeals Project gives students an opportunity to be directly involved in the appellate process. Under the direct supervision of clinical faculty, students work in pairs on the appeal of two criminal convictions. The clinical, which is available to second- and third-year law students, requires a two-semester (fall-spring) commitment.
- Family Law Project - Restorative Justice
The Family Law Project is a civil law project serving incarcerated clients. Students in the Family Law Project, like those in the Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons Project, work under the direct supervision of clinical faculty to provide legal assistance to state and federal prison inmates throughout Wisconsin. The clinical, which is available to second- and third-year law students, requires a two-semester commitment.
The Restorative Justice Project gives students the opportunity to practice mediation skills and assess the effectiveness of an alternative dispute resolution process by providing mediation between the victims of crime and the criminal offenders. The project is open to students who have completed their first year of Law School.
- Legal Assistance to Institutionalized
The Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons Project, known as LAIP, is the largest of the Remington Center's clinical projects. In LAIP, students work under the direct supervision of clinical faculty to provide legal assistance to state and federal prison inmates throughout Wisconsin.
- Oxford Federal Project
The Oxford Federal Project assists inmates incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin with a variety of legal concerns. In addition to questions about federal cases, other criminal matters, and family law concerns, students also have the opportunity to be directly involved in appeals arising from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
- The Federal Appeals Project (FAP), an expansion of the existing Oxford Federal Project, gives students an opportunity to litigate federal criminal appeals in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Students work in pairs on an appellate case under close clinical supervision. The student's work includes investigation, research, briefing, and possibly arguing the case before the Seventh Circuit. FAP, which is available to second- and third-year law students, requires a two-semester (fall-spring) commitment.
- Re-entry Project
The Re-entry Project provides a wide range of legal assistance to clients who are on community supervision through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections' Division of Community Corrections. The clinic emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to legal representation and provides assistance to clients with civil, criminal, and administrative matters. Specific areas of assistance include housing law, employment discrimination, child support, disability law, correction of credit reports, revocation hearings, alternatives to revocation, early release from supervision, and disposition of criminal matters.
- Wisconsin Innocence Project
In the Innocence Project, UW law students, under the direct supervision of clinical faculty, investigate and litigate claims of innocence in cases involving inmates in state and federal prisons in Wisconsin and elsewhere. The Innocence Project is available to students who are accepted into the program in the summer after their first or second year of law school and requires a one year commitment (Summer full time, Fall 7 credits, Spring 2 credits).
Government and Legislative Law Clinic
The Government and Legislative Law Clinic (GLLC) provides students with the unique opportunity to observe and participate in the many facets of governmental law, policy and the legislative process.
Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic
The Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic (L&E Clinic) is a multi-semester transactional course providing students the opportunity to work with startup businesses and entrepreneurs. Student attorneys, under the supervision of clinical faculty, deal with issues including creating and maintaining corporate entities, providing basic legal advice on contracts, securities, intellectual property, employer-employee matters and a variety of other issues facing startup businesses and entrepreneurs. To supplement the supervision received from clinical faculty, student lawyers receive guidance, support and supervision from experienced business law and corporate attorneys.
Internships & Externships
Hayes Police-Prosecution Project
The Hayes Police-Prosecution Project includes a ten-week summer externship that allows law students to work with police and prosecutors on real-world public safety problems. Hayes externs have worked on such public-safety problems such as youth gangs, sexual assault, domestic violence, habitual offending, child abuse, robbery, abandoned houses, drug abuse and trafficking, and alcohol-related crime and disorder.
Prosecution Project (Remington
This program provides an opportunity for second-year students to work as summer interns in district attorneys' offices throughout Wisconsin. The student's summer experience is sandwiched between a spring classroom component and a fall reflective seminar.
Public Defender Project (Remington
The Public Defender Project gives second-year students the opportunity to work as summer interns in State Public Defender trial offices throughout Wisconsin. The students' summer experience is sandwiched between a spring classroom component and a fall reflective seminar
The Judicial Internship Program places students with trial and appellate judges throughout Wisconsin, including placements with the Wisconsin Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Student work varies but always emphasizes research and writing. A classroom component accompanies the placement. For more information, contact Professor David Schultz at 262-6881, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Labor Law Externship
The Labor Law Externship provides placements for students in a labor law setting. Students spend two days a week working under the supervision of attorneys of the National Labor Relations Board in Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission in Madison, or in other similar agencies. They attend hearings, write draft opinions, research issues, write memos, and in general are exposed to the broad range of work done by the agency. A weekly seminar on current issues provides additional learning opportunities.
Department of Justice
Clinical Externship Program
Students work in various civil units of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, at the Department of Natural Resources, or the Public Service Commission. The program offers law students a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in public advocacy and litigation. Externs practice trial, appellate and administrative law with some of the state's most well-respected litigators, working on matters of statewide importance. A bi-weekly seminar accompanies the placement.
Midwest Environmental Advocates Externship
Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA) is Wisconsin's only non-profit environmental law firm. Student externs earn 7 semester credits working 21 hours a week at MEA. Students work with MEA lawyers on litigation, both administrative and judicial, rule making and policy development at the state and local level. MEA's mission includes helping citizens to organize and participate in solutions to environmental protection and environmental justice issues, giving students the opportunity to work with citizens at the grass roots level.
- Disability Rights Wisconsin
Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is the state's protection and advocacy agency for people with all types of serious disabilities. It provides a wide variety of legal and advocacy services for people who have been traditionally under served by the legal profession. Student activities can include investigation of client complaints, filing grievances and requests for hearings, informal negotiations, and preparation for litigation and/or administrative hearings. Students may also be involved with legislative and administrative issues.
- Wisconsin Coalition Against
Domestic Violence Clinical Program
The UW-Madison Law School offers an externship program (clinical) for students at the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WCADV). Students assist with legal inquiries and research regarding domestic violence issues.
- Law Externship Program
In the fall of 2011, the Law School began a new externship initiative, allowing students to apply for a broad range of potential externship opportunities at government agencies and non-profit organizations and, if approved by the Law School, to receive appropriate academic credit for participation.
Lawyering Skills Program
The Lawyering Skills Program provides a number of simulation courses that enable students to develop lawyering skills in a carefully supervised, hands-on classroom setting. Oral communication skills, negotiations, writing for practice, and client counseling are some of the courses offered through the program. The cornerstone of the Lawyering Skills Program is the Lawyering Skills Course, a hands-on optional third-year course that integrates what students have learned throughout law school to the core skills needed for effective law practice. The course emphasizes the skills students will need in the early years of practice.
Pro Bono Opportunities
Pro Bono Program
The Pro Bono Program provides students with volunteer opportunities to deliver legal services to underrepresented community members. Students are assisted and supported by the Pro Bono Program staff with placements in nonprofit and private law firms, legal aid groups, in-house programs and other programs, where their work is performed under attorney supervision. In keeping with the law school’s law-in-action tradition, students develop legal and professional skills, gain practical, hands-on experience in real work environments and explore their ethical responsibility to provide pro bono service. Students who complete a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono service work are eligible for induction into the Pro Bono Society and may receive pro bono distinction at graduation.