For a brief description of some popular Civil Clinic placements, along with students’ comments about their experiences, read on.
Utah Legal Services: Poverty law with many areas of specialization, including landlord tenant, consumer law, elder, public benefits, farm workers, and domestic. Student: “Besides being immersed into a new topic (assist public benefits cases), I really enjoy handling cases that matter to people who really need it. It has given me a sense of fulfillment. Honestly, it’s good to know you can be a lawyer and achieve a sense of deed well done.”
Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic: Victims’ rights in criminal cases. Topics of law most frequently encountered include domestic violence, the protective order process, rape, and victims’ rights law. Student: “I love this clinic. I am grateful for the opportunities to observe court hearings and trials of the cases we are working on. I have learned so much about what it means to actually practice law. I’ve seen how case law is argued and statutes are explained in the contexts of new cases. It’s amazing!”
Disability Law Center: Addresses legal problems arising from a client’s disability, e.g. institutional treatment or discrimination. Student: “In the same way the Skills course taught me to always try to understand the client’s global concerns rather than just the localized issue/complaint they came in with, I have learned that disability law is (and should be) concerned with protecting human rights generally—not just those of people with disabilities.”
Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake City: Family law: Includes divorce, custody, and domestic violence. Student: “… representing a client in court has completely changed my perspective on what I might like to practice. Not only is it exhilarating to make an argument on your clients’ behalf in front of a commissioner, it is also satisfying to receive so much gratitude from the client after the proceeding concludes.”
Guardian ad Litem: Represent children in Juvenile Court abuse, neglect, parental termination cases and
District Court cohabitant abuse, divorce where abuse is alleged. Student: “I have observed family law and defense attorneys and the way they do their jobs in negotiation and hearings. This has given me the ability to imagine myself doing this work and will help me decide which field I would like to pursue after law school.” Placements available in downtown SLC or West Jordan.
Immigration Court Clinic: Assist to screen immigrants brought before the Court and counsel regarding possible defenses/voluntary departure. Assist with pro bono cases. Student: “I have had a great introduction to immigration law and how immigration attorneys interview, counsel and represent their clients in court. I have also had opportunities to do some real life research on cases that have helped the law firm win some cases/motions.”
Mentors for Moms with Lokken & Associates: Mentor and assist clients in the child protective system who are faced with losing (or have lost) physical custody of their children. Opportunity for 3L students to appear in court.