Clinical Law Programs at New England Law
Clinical courses are an integral part of a New England Law | Boston education. These programs allow students to put classroom learning into practice in a real-world setting. Along the way, students undertake rigorous legal and factual analysis and gain exposure to issues of policy and ethics that seldom arise in the classroom.
New England Law is a pioneer in combining a classroom component with each clinical program, an approach that enhances the educational value of the practical experience of field work. Most law school clinics also require a course in a related subject area as a prerequisite or co-requisite.
Students who have taken law clinics early on at New England Law often find that the experience has enriched their understanding of upper-level classroom courses. Clinical law programs may also augment their preparation for the bar examination while providing a boost to both their resumes and networking efforts. In addition, the clinical courses provide excellent opportunities to perform public service and public interest legal work.
All students are placed in the same or closely related agencies for these legal clinics.
Students do varied clinical work related to the subject area of the course in these clinics.
- Advanced Clinic
- Administrative Law
- Business and Intellectual Property Clinic
- Criminal Procedure II
- Environmental Law
- Family Law
- Federal Courts
- Health Law
- Immigration Law
- Land Use Law
- Massachusetts Practice
- Mediation & Dispute Resolution Clinic
Other Practice-Based Programs Offered for Credit
- Students who will be in their last year of law school at the time the clinical course is to be offered; however, the clinic director retains discretion to reserve slots in clinical courses to ensure that a sufficient number of clinic slots remain open to students in their next-to-last hear. It is therefore possible that seniors may be wait-listed for certain legal clinics even if slots are awarded to students in their next-to-last year. Within the group of last year students, priority will be assigned as follows:
- Students who have not previously been admitted to a clinical program but who have applied for admission to one and have been excluded through a lottery or other selection process;
- All other students who have not previously completed a clinical program;
- All other students, with priority given to those who have completed the fewest clinical programs. Within each group in a-c above, students taking clinical component course at the same time they are taking the co-requisite will receive a higher priority than those students who have previously taken the prerequisite or co-requisite.
- Students who will be in their next-to-last year of law school at the time the clinical course is to be offered. Within this group, priority will be assigned in the same way as in 1 above.
- Other students, if eligible for the program offered.
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- Such work must be performed without compensation and must be adequately supervised to ensure that the student's activities comport with the highest achievable standards of professional responsibility and legal skill and that the student be made aware of the strengths and weaknesses of his or her performance and be given an opportunity to correct any deficiencies.
- Such work must be performed in conjunction with a classroom component, it must be related to the subject matter of the classroom exercises, and the work and classroom exercises must further a common educational purpose, as determined by the course instructor. If a clinical component requires periodic group meetings between the course instructor and all students in the clinic (at least five times during the semester), then a student who has already completed the classroom course may enroll in the clinic, provided that preference in admission be given to those students who are enrolled in the classroom course in the same semester in which they are enrolled in the clinic.
- Ordinarily, the law school will arrange the placements in which students will work for clinical credit. However, a student may arrange such a placement under the following conditions:
- The work must be performed in conjunction with a law school course for which clinical credit has been approved by the faculty, and in which the student will be enrolled while performing the work;
- The work which the student proposes to do must be substantially similar to work performed by students in placements ordinarily associated with the course, and the weekly time requirement must be the same;
- The placement must be subject to the same supervision requirements which apply to placements ordinarily associated with the course;
- The student must, at least one week before the first meeting of the course, submit to the director of clinical programs a proposal including a description of the placement, of the work the student proposes to do, and of the provisions made for supervision of the work. That proposal must be approved by the director of clinical programs and by the course instructor, and it will be approved if it conforms to the requirements set forth in this policy and if there is a place for the student in the course.
- If the proposal is approved, the student will receive the same number of clinical credits as would be received if the student were in a placement ordinarily associated with the course, unless the faculty has established a lesser number of credits for such an alternative placement.
- Students are able to take clinics once they have completed their required courses (second year for day students and third year for students in the part-time day and evening programs). All clinical supervisors and students are subject to the approval of the clinical director.
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New England Law | Boston’s Clinical Program allows students to put classroom learning into practice in a real-world setting. By placing students in settings in which they learn valuable lawyering skills in context, in courses and experiences that are connected to classroom learning, the experiences help students learn by doing and connect theory to practice. Students undertake legal and factual analysis in actual practice settings, developing professional practices and an understanding of a lawyer’s ethical obligations through their clinic work. The experiences expose students to issues of policy, ethics and the operation of a legal system in a manner that is difficult to simulate in the classroom alone. The structure of the courses, with the related classroom component, allows students to discuss, and reflect on, their work with peers and faculty members. [Back to top.]