UCLA Law’s law clinic courses teach students how to be skilled, zealous, responsible lawyers and advocates. Each law clinic provides students with the tools they need to practice law and advocate for policies that respond to clients’ needs, push systemic change, and lead to justice. In every law clinic course, students serve as the lead attorney on a case or project, usually on a collaborative team. Most law clinics at UCLA Law have a mission of taking on cases or projects that assist clients who would otherwise be unable to access legal services due to longstanding systemic oppression. UCLA Law offers more than 20 law clinic courses each academic year.
Each law clinic course contains three unique components: in the classroom, students develop the practical skills and knowledge bases they need to become creative, competent advocates; in the field, students take on primary responsibility for every aspect of their case and project work; and in supervision, students engage in critical assessment and reflection with expert faculty in order to understand their role as lawyer.
Law Clinic Courses
Students provide legal assistance to Afghans paroled into the United States who have resettled in Los Angeles. Students receive an intense immersion in asylum law, as well as the skills involved in conducting trauma-informed legal screenings and consultations; and, they provide urgently-needed immigration screenings for Afghan parolees in our community to help connect them with longer-term legal support and representation.
The California Environmental Legislation & Policy Clinic gives students a unique opportunity to experience the legislative process in California through direct work with legislative staffers and engagement with advocates and stakeholders. Students work on cutting-edge environmental issues, contributing to innovative legislative solutions, and gain a nuanced understanding of what it takes to make law in California.
Civil Rights & Police Accountability - not currently offered
Students use multidisciplinary techniques to increase investment in low-income neighborhoods in order to produce economic transformation and community empowerment. Working in connection with local community development corporations and legal services organizations, students will provide assistance on a variety of neighborhood revitalization projects
Students provide representation, technical assistance, and education to community-based organizations and system-involved youth. In partnership with community, students will deepen litigation skills, engage in multi-modal advocacy, and explore the nexus between public education, child protective services, and policing in Los Angeles County.
Corporate Practice Clinic - not currently offered
Students work on real cases and problems facing individuals charged with crimes and living with criminal records. They also may take on broader criminal justice policy projects, working in collaboration with other community members and service providers. As an important community resource, the clinic endeavors to take on challenging cases that fill an important gap in legal service provision in Los Angeles.
Students provide legal counsel and representation to documentary filmmakers. Legal services may include assisting filmmakers in gathering news and content, providing intellectual property counsel and training, drafting and negotiating a wide variety of agreements, and advising regarding defamation, privacy, and other First Amendment and liability issues.
Students work on teams to draft and file friend-of-the-court briefs on behalf of nonprofits in a wide range of First Amendment cases. These cases may involve libel, student speech, the right of publicity, trademark law, and many more topics.
Students represent environmental and environmental justice organizations on a variety of matters, usually in collaboration with other experienced counsel. Students frequently work on cases involving environmental protection, environmental justice, land use, and natural resources issues. While some clinic projects are litigation-oriented, many projects involve administrative law or policy advocacy.
Students will focus on mechanisms for human rights accountability in domestic courts, including local civil rights litigation of §1983 claims for unhoused people, trafficking lawsuits under the Trafficking Victim Protection Act (TVPRA), consumer fraud cases based on false claims of “sustainability” that target corporations selling goods produced with slave labor, and Alien Tort Statute cases.
Students serve immigrant families on the site of the Robert F. Kennedy campus of six K-12 public schools located in Koreatown. Students’ work involves individual representation of immigrant students and family members on immigration matters, brief legal consultations on immigration as well as a range of additional legal areas (workers’ rights, housing, public benefits, etc.), and community outreach and education.
Students address broad-based, systemic issues of immigrants’ rights in a practical setting, with an emphasis on state and local engagement with immigration law and immigrants’ rights. Students will work with community organizations on access to K-12 and higher education; public funding for low-income immigrants facing deportation; and policies in states, cities, and school districts regarding their involvement with federal immigration enforcement.
Students gain substantive knowledge and professional and practical skills related to understanding the landscape of international laws, institutions, and practices that comprise present climate-change regime, as well as its limitations and challenges. They will analyze the mandates and capacities of present international institutions, treaties, and other governance regimes, and potential directions for reform.
Students learn to navigate international human rights legal theory and practice in the service of real clients and partners. In groups, students will collaborate with leading human rights organizations and advocates on a variety of projects, to advance these partners’ legal, policy and advocacy goals. They will gain firsthand experience with international human rights lawyering and develop important skills for this practice, and for public interest-oriented lawyering more broadly.
Music Industry Clinic - not currently offered
Students will offer patent related legal services on a pro bono basis to entrepreneurs, small businesses, start-ups, and non-profits. Students will be introduced to actual practice involving clients, case management, and patent filing and prosecution procedures before the USPTO.
The Pretrial Justice Clinic takes a two-pronged advocacy approach to tackle the injustices of pretrial incarceration. First, students represent clients in felony bail hearings in collaboration with the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office. Second, students engage in a policy-oriented project focused on systems change in the pretrial context. This approach is designed to train students in multi-modal advocacy that connects individual client work with opportunities for systems transformation.
Students will develop and deploy a broad toolkit of strategies, both traditional and novel, to undermine the incentives that fuel the expansion of carceral control and challenge unconstitutional conditions of confinement. Students will engage with the particular challenges, both practical and ethical, of representing incarcerated clients, and will consider what movement lawyering and abolitionist lawyering look like in the context of prisoners’ rights advocacy.
Students will gain practical, hands-on training and experience working on live and simulated real estate transactions involving the development and finance of affordable housing. Students will represent one or two developers at various stages in the process of developing affordable housing for low-income residents of Los Angeles.
Students will teach law-related topics in local public high schools and participate in weekly teaching seminars at UCLA Law. The course is based on a community legal education approach. In consultation with the host high school teacher, each student develops their own curriculum across a spectrum of legal areas and issues.
Students work on real cases before the United States Supreme Court, while learning how the Court selects and decides its cases and how lawyers shape their arguments. Students’ work consists primarily of drafting certiorari petitions and amicus briefs, and sometimes drafting merits briefs as well. Most of the cases will involve criminal procedure issues, but students also have worked on cases involving issues in a wide range of other areas of law.
Students learn how various talent from media, music, fashion, and sports expand their brand into retail markets through licensing, merchandising, branding and endorsement deals, particularly in digital and new media. Students will then learn how to apply this knowledge in a series of live‐client NIL Pop‐Up Clinics in collaboration with UCLA Athletics. During these NIL Pop-Up Clinics, students will learn how to interview and conduct client intakes, issue spot, manage client priorities, and provide advice and counsel to UCLA college athletes on their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals.
Students provide legal assistance to Native nations. Through policy and transactional work, students will be exposed to tribal law and governance. Students will gain experience in legislative drafting, appellate work, and significant comparative law analysis. Subject matters have included cultural resource protection, criminal justice, child welfare, election law, and justice system development. Ideally, each project will include at least one trip to meet with the tribal client on their tribal lands.
UCLA Administrative Adjudication Clinic - not currently offered
Students will serve as legal advocates for individual veteran clients and on behalf of organizations serving veteran communities. Students’ client work will focus on citation defense, expungements, and disability benefits for unhoused or housing insecure veterans. Students also may engage in policy and litigation projects, partnering with grassroots and advocacy organizations focused on policing and the criminal justice system, housing justice, racial justice, or disability rights