Public Policy Clinic

Utah Public Policy Clinic

The Public Policy Clinic provides law students with an opportunity to effect policy change through public education, community outreach, the legislative process, and complex civil litigation.

To learn more about enrollment in the Public Policy Practicum, visit the clinical program website, or contact Kay Shelton, Associate Director of Clinical Programs, Room 185, (801) 585-7703. For more information contact us at

In March 2015, the Public Policy Clinic received the University of Utah College of Social Work Moving It Forward Social Justice Award. The Award for Community Organization Advocacy through Education recognizes the persistent and continued initiative and leadership the clinic has shown in furthering the cause of the social and economic justice for our communities.

School-to-Prison Pipeline

The Clinic is currently focused on putting an end to the school-to-prison pipeline in Utah.  The school-to-prison pipeline refers to the set of policies and practices that funnel our children towards the criminal justice system instead of the higher education system.  Here, in Utah, the imposition of harsh school discipline begins in elementary school; students with disabilities are twice as likely to be disciplined as non-disabled students; and students of color are disciplined one and a half to three and a half times more often than expected. The over-use of school discipline has consequences for both the students disciplined (they are more likely to drop out of high school) and for the economy of our state and the safety of our communities (students who drop out are more likely to be arrested as adults).

View the press release »

View the document, From Fingerpaint to Fingerprints: The Utah School-to-Prison Pipeline