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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.

In-House Clinics

Placement Clinics

All students are placed in the same or closely related agencies for these legal clinics.

Component Clinics

Students do varied clinical work related to the subject area of the course in these clinics.

Other Practice-Based Programs Offered for Credit

Clinic FAQ's

What are the priorities for admission to the clinics?

What are the procedures for applying to the clinics?

For how many clinics may I apply?   

May I take the same clinic twice?

May I repeat a placement for credit?

May I take a clinic without the co/prerequisite?

May I make my own clinic?

I found an internship. How may I get credit?

May I get credit for a summer internship?

May I remain on the wait list for one clinic and apply for a second?

I’m an evening student. Which clinics are available to me?

What are the best clinics for non-seniors?

Why do some clinics have fewer spots than others?  

What if I don’t see a clinic in an area that interests me?

How can I specialize in a certain area if I can’t repeat clinics?

What are the general policies regarding clinics?

 

 What are the priorities for admission to the clinics?

  1. 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:
    1. 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;
    2. All other students who have not previously completed a clinical program;
    3. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Other students, if eligible for the program offered.
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What are the procedures for applying to the clinics?  

 
Students will register directly with the Registrar's Office, by completing this online form. Verify with the Registrar's Office if you have questions about the dates or procedures for your clinical registration. After completion of clinical preregistration students may still register for clinical courses, but only to the extent that openings remain in a course. Each clinical course will meet for the first time during the first week of classes. All students must attend the first meeting. On the first day of classes in the semester, look for posted signs, or call either the Registrar's Office or the Clinic Office if you are not sure of the time and place of the first meeting.
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For how many clinics may I apply? 

One at a time. However, if you are wait-listed for your first choice, you may also apply for an open spot in another clinic. Additionally, both the Honors Judicial Clerkship Program and Federal Courts Clinic have separate application processes. You may apply for either of those in addition to applying for another clinic. However, if you are accepted for the Honors Judicial Clerkship Program or Federal Courts Clinic you will need to drop any other clinic to which you were initially admitted.
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May I take the same clinic twice? 

No. Students may not repeat clinics or placements for credit.
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May I repeat a placement for credit?

No. Students may not repeat clinics or placements for credit.
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May I take a clinic without the co/prerequisite? 

No. The faculty established eligibility for the legal clinics and that includes taking, or having taken, the designated co/prerequisite. Occasionally a comparable course at another institution, taken either during a summer session or prior to transferring, might be accepted in lieu of the designated co/prerequisite. The decision, made by the Dean’s Office and clinic director, typically occurs after a comparison between the New England Law | Boston course and the other law school's course to verify whether the courses cover comparable material.
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May I make my own clinic?

Students are not permitted simply to make their own clinic or otherwise obtain credit for independent internships. What they are permitted to do is propose their own placements for a particular clinic for which they are eligible. If we can approve the placement, the student can be added to the clinic. If not, the student cannot get credit, even if it's a good placement.
 
If you would like to propose a placement for inclusion into a clinic, contact the dlinical director with a proposal that includes both the placement and the clinic in which you believe the placement fits.
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I found an internship. How may I get credit? 

Students are not permitted simply to obtain credit for internships. What they are permitted to do is propose their own placements for a particular clinic for which they are eligible. If we can approve the placement, the student can be added to the clinic. If not, the student cannot get credit, even if it's a good placement.  If you would like to propose a placement for inclusion into a clinic, contact the clinical director with a proposal that includes both the placement and the clinic in which you believe the placement fits.
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May I get credit for a summer internship? 

No. At New England Law, students may not obtain summer credit for internship work. Credit for internships may only be approved where the work fits a particular clinic, for which they are eligible, and which is offered at the time the student will do the work. The clinics are fall and spring offerings only, and the courses are not offered over the summer.
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May I remain on the wait list for one clinic and apply for a second? 

Yes. Consider contacting the clinic director for information on the likelihood you might be able to get into a clinic off the wait list, and advice as to how to do so.
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I’m an evening student. Which law school clinics are available to me? 

All clinics are open to evening division and other part-time students. Some clinics, such as the Lawyering Process and the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic have lower credit sections available only to evening and other part-time students. However, not all placements will fit with the schedule of many evening students. The courts and government offices are open during the day, which may be unworkable for some students. Contact the clinic director, Professor Engler, rengler@nesl.edu, providing information about the areas of your interest and your daytime availability, for advice on which clinics or placements might provide the fit for you.
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What are the best clinics for non-seniors? 

The Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic (F) and Lawyering Process (S) are outstanding first clinics for students wanting experience in court and with clients. The Government Lawyer and Administrative Law Clinic can provide excellent first experiences in government settings. Many other clinics have low enrollments and often fill with seniors. However, students may still receive training in areas of some of those clinics, such as family law, through the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic (F) and Lawyering Process (S).
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Why do some clinics have fewer spots than others?  

Unlike with nonclinical courses, where the size of the class might be dictated by the number of seats in the classroom, with the law school clinical programs the size is limited by the availability of excellent placements that are available to our students in a particular subject area. If we enroll more students than we can reasonably place, admitted students might be forced to drop their clinic during add/drop due to the lack of placements. To avoid that, we limit enrollment.
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What if I don’t see a clinic in an area that interests me? 

You may be able to obtain necessary skills for your area of interest through the existing courses. Moreover, many such placements may fit within an existing clinical course. Listed below are some of the areas that New England Law students ask about, with ideas for clinics that might relate to your area of interest.
If you are interested in: Consider Taking These Clinics:
Business 
Interviewing & Counseling
Juvenile/Children 
Negotiation/ADR
Private Law Firms 
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How can I specialize in a certain area if I can’t repeat clinics? 

Although you may not repeat clinics or placements for credit, many subject areas could fit in multiple clinics. For example, we have approved health law placements not only in the Health Law Clinic, but in the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic (F), Lawyering Process (S), Government Lawyer, and Administrative Law Clinic. Students have performed immigration work not only in the Immigration Clinic, but in the Administrative Law Clinic and, occasionally, the Public Interest Law Seminar and Clinic (F) and Lawyering Process (S). Note that the school must reserve its core placements in a subject area for the core clinic of that subject (Health Law placements go first to the Health Law Clinic, for example), but unclaimed placements will be offered to students in other clinics, and students may propose their own placements in alternative clinics as well.
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What are the general policies regarding clinics? 

Clinical credit may be granted for legal work performed outside the law school, subject to the following requirements [fall and spring only; there is no clinical credit available for the summer]:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
      1. 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;
      2. 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;
      3. The placement must be subject to the same supervision requirements which apply to placements ordinarily associated with the course;
      4. 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.
      5. 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.
  4. No student may take more than one (1) clinical course each semester. All clinical supervisors and students are subject to the approval of the clinical director.
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