Pacific McGeorge Legal Clinics
Our commitment to experiential learning opportunities for students is woven into our culture. In addition to training tomorrow's legal advocates, our pioneering legal clinics deliver quality pro bono representation to underserved community members. Our students routinely earn impressive victories on behalf of their clients.
Our clinic students are enriched both academically and personally by helping community members navigate a variety of legal challenges. Students learn to apply legal theory to practice, develop professional lawyering skills, and perhaps most importantly, become reflective practitioners and lifelong learners.
Our on-campus clinics (Immigration Law, Elder and HealthLaw, and Bankruptcy), referred to collectively as "Community Legal Services (CLS)" have been serving our community since 1964. Students are placed in the role of an attorney in a law office setting serving low-income clients. Students take major responsibility for real cases under careful faculty supervision, deal with the particular issues in the pending cases, and then use those real-life experiences to discuss in an academic setting the issues that lawyers face in their legal careers.
We have established four innovative hybrid clinics, each with an important community partner where students do much of their work off-campus. We have one of only two Federal Defender Clinics in the country where our students handle bench and jury trials in federal court, a Criminal Appellate Advocacy Clinic where our students draft appellate briefs in criminal cases, and two mediation clinics: the Prisoner Civil Rights and the Housing Mediation Clinics.
Legislative and Public Policy Clinic students gain practical experience in researching, drafting, and pursuing adoption of California state legislative and regulatory proposals. Students participate in a weekly meeting to present the results of their team collaborations with other students outside of the classroom and to receive feedback from the professor and fellow students. Students are responsible for identifying a client in need of a state law change, analyzing the deficiencies in current law and practice, drafting proposed statues or regulations, refining the proposals to reflect public affairs and political realities, crafting a strategy for effectuating the change, and pursuing adoption of their final proposals in the California Legislature or an administrative agency. By the end of the clinic, students are expected to have demonstrated competence in devising and executing a realistic strategy for passing legislation or petitioning a state government department to adopt a rule change.
The Administrative Adjudication Clinic gives students a comprehensive overview of the administrative process through classes and simulated hearings. Students are then assigned to an administrative agency to participate as an actual decision-maker.
Message From The Dean
"Legal Clinics have been a hallmark of Pacific McGeorge for over 40 years. We have a broad array of clinical programs to meet our students' learning needs and serve our community's legal needs. Clinical experience is one of the ways that our school shows its commitment to public service and real-world work experiences for our students. We teach what can best be learned through experience: creative problem solving and skilled advocating for clients.
Our faculty, who provide supervision and mentoring to clinic students, are experienced practitioners and talented teachers. Through their leadership, scholarship, and commitment to the community, our students have access to rich experiential learning opportunities as they prepare to be self-sufficient legal practitioners." — Francis J. Mootz III, Dean and Professor of Law
Legal Clinic Offerings
For the 2014-2015 academic year, Pacific McGeorge offers nine specialized legal clinics:
- Administrative Adjudication Clinic — offered in the Spring
- Bankruptcy Clinic — offered in both Fall & Spring
- Criminal Appellate Advocacy Clinic — offered in the Spring
- Elder and Health Law Clinic — offered in both Fall & Spring
- Federal Defender Clinic — a year-long clinic
- Housing Mediation Clinic — offered in both Fall & Spring
- Immigration Law Clinic — offered in both Fall & Spring
- Legislative and Public Policy Clinic — a year-long clinic
- Prisoner Civil Rights Mediation Clinic — a year-long clinic
The Clinic Recruitment Fair will be held in the Student Center on April 14, 2015 for the 2015-2016 clinics. You can get more information about each clinic and the application process.