Welcome to the Clinical Program

The Clinical Program at American University Washington College of Law offers ten in-house clinics and participates in the city-wide program D.C. Law Students in Court. Our students represent low-income and under-represented clients or groups in litigation, administrative, transactional, and policy matters. Though they receive faculty guidance and extensive feedback, student attorneys are responsible for managing litigation, carrying out transactional work, and engaging in issue-based advocacy. By learning the criteria for good lawyering and practicing regular self-evaluation, student attorneys develop reflective habits that encourage continuous professional growth.

Each year, more than 200 second- and third-year law students participate in Clinic for either a semester or an entire academic year, depending on the clinic. Clinic teaches client-centered lawyering, which means students learn to exercise empathy, listen to their clients, and let their clients determine the course of the representation. Through their case work, students learn basic lawyering skills, including interviewing and counseling clients, developing a case theory to support their client's interests, gathering facts, properly organizing documents and case files, thinking strategically, engaging in oral advocacy, and being agile and flexible in response to unexpected changes of circumstance.

All Clinic work is for course credit and is graded. Students participating in Clinic must take a 2-3 credit seminar each semester, in which they hone their skills and identify values through readings, role-plays, simulation exercises, and case rounds. Students receive 3-4 credits per semester for their field work, which includes weekly supervision meetings with Clinic faculty members.

The AUWCL Clinical Program has long been recognized as a leader in the field of clinical education.  The Clinic provides a transformative experience for students making the transition from law school to law practice.