Legal Clinics

Our legal clinics offer students exposure to client advocacy and litigation in a supervised setting, while provided much-needed legal services to low-income or non-profit clients. Our 13 legal clinics include: Appellate, Immigration AppellateBankruptcy Litigation, Criminal and Juvenile DefenseElder Law and Guardianship AlternativesImmigration Law, Community Justice ProjectCatholic Social Thought and the United Nations, Consumer BankruptcyFederal Commutations, TrademarkNonprofit Organizations, and Religious Liberty Appellate. Clients are referred to the legal clinics through a variety of social service agencies and programs.

Our clinics provide students with opportunities to develop competent legal practice skills, to apply substantive course work to actual cases and to examine the institutional, ethical and personal problems inherent in the lives of today's practicing lawyers. They are designed to help students develop their own perspective on client advocacy and litigation and learn a structured approach to the lawyering process that will assist them in their legal studies and legal career.

At the same time, the clinics provide legal services to individuals who could not otherwise afford them, including immigrants, the elderly, homeless adults and youth, victims of social injustice, and persons with chemical dependency.

 

St. Martin de Porres

The Patron Saint of the Legal Clinics

St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639) was born in Lima, Peru, the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman (John de Porres) and a freed slave (Anna Velasquez). He earned a reputation as a servant to the poor, the destitute, the ill, and the slave. Pope John XXIII in 1962 shared the following about him:

He did not blame others for their shortcomings. Certain that he deserved more severe punishment for his sins than others did, he would overlook their worst offenses. He was tireless in his efforts to reform the criminal, and he would sit up with the sick to bring them comfort. For the poor he would provide food, clothing, and medicine. He did all he could to care for poor farmhands, blacks, and mulattoes who were looked down upon as slaves.

We have chosen St. Martin de Porres as a symbol for the work and spirit we hope to foster in service of the working poor.

The image used on this page is a photograph of a stained glass window in the St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Oregon. The Cathedral has graciously provided us with the image for use on our website.

How do I apply?

The application will be available here starting at noon on February 15th.

May I apply to more than one clinic?

Yes. You will be asked to choose and rank up to 5 clinics on your application. 

I already participated in a clinic at UST. May I take more than one clinic?

Yes. Students may take more than one clinic during their time at UST. Students who enroll in a clinic may also be given the opportunity by their supervising faculty member to enroll in the advanced section of that clinic in subsequent semesters.

How much of a time commitment is clinic?

Clinic students dedicate several hours per week outside of the classroom for research, writing, and meetings with instructors, clients, and case teams. The amount of time varies by clinic and can fluctuate throughout the semester, depending upon the nature of the matter(s) you are assigned.  For 6-credit clinics, this is a minimum of 255 per semester, which comes out to approximately 20 hours per week. For 3-credit clinics, this is 127.5 hours or 10 hours per week. 

When is the application due?

Priority consideration will be given to students who submit their application by March 1st at Noon. If spots become available between now and the fall semester and if the waiting list has been exhausted, we will review applications that were submitted after the deadline.

When will I know if I am admitted? 

The initial round of offers will be sent to your St Thomas account on or around March 18th. As spots become available, we will extend offers to students on the wait lists after March 18th. 

How do I accept an offer?  

Signed acceptance document must be delivered to the Legal Services Clinic at 30 S. 10th Street by March 20th at 4pm. Waitlisted applicants may be extended offers after March 18th and must be returned to the clinic by 4pm the next business day.

How do I learn more?

Join us for an info session on Monday, February 18th at 12:30pm in MSL 235. Clinic faculty, staff, and students will be available to answer questions. If you are unable to join us and have questions, please feel free contact Kerry Conboy at (651) 962-4941 or Kerry.Conboy@stthomas.edu.