University of St. Thomas Law School Clinical Offerings

February 15, 2019

Clinic students will learn the substantive law, lawyering skills and professional ethics necessary to serve clients or advance community projects in their clinics.  Instruction methods will include lectures, simulations, class discussions, case rounds, case team meetings and student presentations.   Enrollment is by permission only after application. 


APPELLATE CLINIC: 2019-2020 Academic Year. Work may begin in mid-summer, although most of the work will not require being present in the law school. Only available to 3Ls, who must have completed Lawyering Skills III before beginning the Appellate Clinic. Students in the Appellate clinic will work on a pro bono civil appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Under faculty supervision, students will review the trial court record, identify and research issues for appeal, prepare an opening brief and a reply brief, and a student may be designated to present the oral argument to the court. 2 students for the year-long course. 3 credits in the fall, 1-3 credits in the spring.


APPELLATE IMMIGRATION CLINIC: 2019-2020 Academic Year. Students in the Appellate Immigration clinic will work on a pro bono civil appeal or amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals or Board of Immigration Appeals. Students will review the trial court record, identify and research issues for appeal, prepare an opening brief and a reply brief, and a student may be designated to present the oral argument to the court. 4 students per year. 3 credits in the fall, 1-3 credits in the spring. Students should anticipate two semesters, but second semester involvement is dependent on case progress


BANKRUPTCY LITIGATION CLINIC: 2019-2020 Academic Year. The Bankruptcy Litigation clinic involves representing an indigent party in Federal Bankruptcy Court. Students will handle cases from beginning to end. The student may draft a complaint, answer, conduct discovery, participate in motion practice, and finally, defend the client at the trial. Typical cases involve representing either a debtor who has been sued for a denial of discharge, or representing a creditor to have one or more of the creditor's claims declared non-dischargeable. Students are under the supervision of bankruptcy attorneys from the firm of Cozen O’Connor. 4-6 students. 3 credits/semester


CATHOLIC SOCIAL THOUGHT AND THE UNITED NATIONS: Spring 2020The course provides service-learning opportunities to students interested in advancing Catholic Social Teaching through international law. Class readings and other instructional materials provide a brief introduction to the international legal framework that governs international relations among states, with a special emphasis on the actions of the United Nations and the relationship of those actions to the domestic law of states. Particular issues addressed by Church teaching and international agreements or statements will be examined in preparation for student participation in lobbying activities at meetings of United Nation's bodies. After the conclusion of a one-week lobbying experience, students prepare two papers. Enrollment is limited to 10 students admitted by permission of the instructor. 3 credits. Offered yearly.


COMMUNITY JUSTICE PROJECT: Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 Community Justice Project is a public policy clinic. Student engage in legislative advocacy, problem-solving, legal research and writing, community outreach, and help to shape public policy on cutting-edge civil rights issues.  Students focus on creating systemic changes in the arenas of economic development, disproportionalities in public education, housing disparities, criminal justice, juvenile justice, and reentry. The Community Justice Project also works to build bridges with stakeholders in community, local government, law enforcement, nonprofits, and philanthropy. Up to 8 students per semester. 6 credits.


CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY CLINIC: Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 Students in the Consumer Bankruptcy clinic will represent clients in filing a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceeding.  Students will interview and counsel clients, collect financial information, draft bankruptcy court forms, attend a 341 meeting of creditors, and appear in bankruptcy court.  Students are under the supervision of bankruptcy attorneys from the firm of Cozen O’Connor.  8 students per semester.  3 credits.  Preference given to students who have previously or are currently taking Bankruptcy Law.


CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE DEFENSE CLINIC.  Fall 2019 or Spring 2020. Students in the Criminal and Juvenile Defense Clinic represent both children and adults accused of crimes in Hennepin County and the greater Twin Cities area. Students have the opportunity to represent clients from the start to finish of a case, and will appear regularly in court for arraignments, conferences, motions hearings, bench trials, jury trials and sentencing hearings. Students will develop skills in fact investigation, client counseling, interviewing, negotiation, motions writing, oral argument, witness examination, jury selection, and all other aspects of pretrial and trial litigation. 8 students per semester. 6 credits.


ELDER LAW AND GUARDIANSHIP ALTERNATIVES: Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 Students in the Elder Law and Guardianship Alternatives clinic primarily represents young adults with disabilities and elders in cases involving possible guardianship and conservatorship.  Students will also work in educating judges, attorneys, educators, social service providers, and the general public about alternatives to guardianship.  Students will engage in public policy advocacy to encourage and support the use of alternatives to guardianship that preserve the autonomy and dignity of clients.  Students will interview and counsel clients, research and investigate legal and factual issues, develop a theory of the case, draft transactional documents, draft and file pleadings, do discovery, negotiate settlements, and represent clients in bench trials in probate court  Students are under the supervision of an attorney working for the groundbreaking Center for Excellence in Supported Decision-Making and for Estate and Elder Law Services, a non-profit law firm under the auspices of Volunteers of America.  4 students per semester.  4 credits. 


FEDERAL COMMUTATIONS CLINIC: 2019-2020 academic year. Students in the Federal Commutations clinic represent individuals seeking federal pardons or commutations of sentence. Will likely involve travel to federal penitentiaries. Students in this clinic are expected to continue work in the spring semester. 6 students per year. 2 credits/semester


NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS CLINIC: 2019-2020 academic year. This nonprofit clinical course focuses on the legal needs of aspiring nonprofits that originate from law students at UST law. As this course helps these organizations get off the ground and sustain themselves, the course provide a vehicle graduates can harness to promote social and economic justice here and abroad. Students who take this class are better equipped to volunteer for nonprofit organizations and serve on their boards, promoting servant leadership and social justice. 6 students. 2 semester commitment, 3 credits each semester


RELIGIOUS LIBERTY APPELLATE: Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 Students will research, draft and write Amicus curiae appellate briefs for national organizations in significant religious-liberty cases. Students can anticipate learning the theory, strategy, and practice for protecting religious liberty.  2 students per semester. 3 credits.


IMMIGRATION LAW PRACTICE GROUP: Fall 2019 or Spring 2020  Students in the Immigration Law Practice Group will represent immigrants seeking to improve legal status in the United States. Students will travel to detention facilities in the greater Twin Cities area and represent clients in Immigration Court.  Political asylum applications, trafficking claims, and other forms of immigration relief may be handled. Students will engage in many of the following activities: conduct client interviews, engage in local and international fact investigation, draft immigration applications and client affidavits, work with expert witnesses, draft legal briefs, and represent clients before immigration judges and immigration related divisions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  Advocacy work with community-based organizations may also be undertaken. Up to 6 students per semester.  6 credits. 


TRADEMARK LAW: Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 Students in the Trademark Law clinic will gain the analytical skills, practical knowledge, and legal background to counsel businesses in the area of intellectual property. Students will counsel clients about trademark applications, prepare and file trademark applications, and prepare responses to Office Actions. Students may have the opportunity to bring or defend opposition or cancellation proceedings and argue before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Classes take place at Barnes & Thornberg. 6 students per semester. 3 credits.


Applications for priority consideration are due March 1st 2019 at Noon.