Civil Litigation Clinic

The goal of this course is to teach professionalism, skills, and ethics through representation of clients under supervision of law professors in a model law office within the College of Law. Students have an opportunity to further their skills in both pretrial and trial advocacy, case development, analytical thinking, problem solving, research, counseling, negotiation, written and oral communication, and courtroom presentation. The teaching methodology is that each activity is planned, executed, and evaluated so that the students maximize the learning from each experience and become reflective practitioners.

Cases include family law matters such as: divorce, child custody, and order of protection proceedings; debtor cases; and general civil litigation cases, all of which provide participating students with a broad range of experiences. Students take real depositions in a variety of cases, interview clients—both formally and informally, in-person and by telephone—investigate facts, and counsel clients on how to prepare for court. In addition, there are numerous court appearances and some contested hearings, providing students with practical knowledge about how matters are carried out in litigation.

In addition to representing clients, students participate in the Clinic Seminar which will meet for three hours each week. This is a graded course; students' grades are based on their performance in the clinic and seminar. Students should anticipate that they will be responsible for their cases through vacations and semester breaks, so they should plan accordingly.

Sequence and Prerequisites: Professional Responsibility (Law 680) is recommended as a prerequisite, but may be taken concurrently. Students must be eligible for certification under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711 license which requires, among other things, completion of 45 semester credits prior to the semester in which the license would be effective.