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Clinical Programs

USC's clinical training programs are designed to develop lawyering skills of the highest quality. The USC Gould School of Law offers two types of clinical training: classroom courses that include simulated exercises, and supervised casework with actual clients. Through classroom exercises, students use hypothetical case materials in simulated law office and courtroom settings, with actors playing the roles of clients and witnesses. Then, students learn legal skills and principles by working on actual cases for real clients under the supervision of faculty member. The following clinical programs combine classroom exercises with client representation.

Spring/Summer 2015

Spring/Summer 2016 USC Gould School of Law Clinical Perspectives Newsletter

Read the most recent issue of USC Gould School of Law Clinical Perspectives Newsletter.

Immigration Clinic

The clinic provides pro bono representation to clients in a variety of immigration cases including asylum, applications for relief under the Violence Against Women Act, and other applications for relief from removal.

Intellectual Property and Technology Law Clinic

A joint project of the USC Gould School of Law, the USC Annenberg Center for Communication, and USC Information Services Division, the clinic represents clients in a wide-ranging set of projects related to cutting-edge issues in intellectual property and technology law.

International Human Rights Clinic

The International Human Rights Clinic gives students the opportunity to work on projects and cases, both local and international, which confront the most pressing human rights concerns of our day. Under the supervision of Clinic Director Professor Hannah Garry, students seek justice on behalf of victims, hold perpetrators of serious human rights abuses accountable and work towards progressive development of the law. Through this experience, students acquire knowledge and skills for effective international lawyering and human rights advocacy while supporting the critical work of human rights advocates and organizations worldwide.

Mediation Clinic

In the Mediation Clinic, students learn the dispute resolution skills required to become professional mediators, and then apply those skills by mediating actual court cases.

Post-Conviction Justice Project

The clinic represents California federal and state inmates in post-conviction issues ranging from parole board hearings to petitions for writ of habeas corpus.

Small Business Clinic

The Small Business Clinic provides basic corporate legal assistance to entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profit organizations, ranging from entity selection and formation to contract drafting.


Explore a substantive legal issue in depth while gaining hands-on experience working with clients through one of our practicums:

Access to Justice Practicum

Work closely with faculty and outside advocates on real-world projects involving important civil rights, poverty law or access to justice issues for low-income people. You will join a project team and gain experience in litigation, amicus briefs and/or drafting legislation, reports or advocacy manuals.

Past projects have included:

  • foster care impact litigation cases
  • a report on working conditions in California's underground economy
  • amicus briefs to the Ninth Circuit, California Supreme Court and California Court of Appeal in housing, disability rights, Freedom of Information Act and labor cases

Up to four JD students may enroll in the practicum, and you will receive academic credit for the course.

Children's Legal Issues Practicum

Assist a family from start to finish in finalizing a foster child adoption and gain experience in California's child welfare system, juvenile court system, and foster care and adoption law. You will also learn about special education and mental health services for foster children with special needs as well as techniques to successfully advocate for eligibility and increased funding.

Under the supervision of a public counsel attorney, students:

  • conduct new client interviews
  • complete legal documents
  • assess legal issues
  • assess the level of services and benefits received by children
  • assist attorneys with casework
  • conduct legal research

Up to five JD students may enroll in the practicum, and you will receive academic credit for the course.

Medical-Legal Community Partnership Seminar and Practicum

Partner with students from the Keck School of Medicine and the Price School of Public Policy to work in medical-legal community partnerships with attorneys from Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County.

Learn about legal issues including access to medical care and addressing community barriers to health, such as medical debt, income and food insecurity, employment issues, landlord/tenant disputes, immigration and family law.

Under the supervision of an attorney, you will:

  • interview clients
  • draft legal memoranda and legal advice or advocacy letters
  • work on litigation and policy advocacy
  • resolve cases

Up to eight JD students may enroll in the practicum, and you will receive academic credit for the course.

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