The Legal Clinical Program offers eligible second and third-year law students an opportunity to serve traditionally underserved clients under the supervision of a faculty member admitted to practice. There are currently four clinics:
Homelessness and Legal Advocacy
Guardian Ad Litem
The Homelessness and Legal Advocacy Clinic offers a comprehensive set of legal services focused on assisting and empowering low-income individuals. Students have the opportunity to interact with clients and provide direct representation on matters ranging from Family Law, Domestic Violence, Housing, Probate, Consumer Law, and other civil litigation. Under the supervision of clinic faculty and lawyers for the Virgil Hawkins Fellowship, students will develop key legal and advocacy skills.
Students enrolled in the Mediation Clinic have the opportunity to become Florida Supreme Court certified County Court Mediators. As part of the certification process, students will participate in mediation observations and conduct actual mediations of small claims and county civil disputes in County Court in the 9th Circuit, Orange, and Osceola Counties. Students will learn and develop skills crucial to the role of mediators and legal professionals. By focusing and implementing mediation methodologies, students will learn skills of active listening and communications; conflict, issue and interests spotting, information gathering and negotiations techniques; problem-solving strategies and approaches; and effective mediation settlement agreement drafting.
The Criminal Defense Clinic focuses on representing indigent clients charged with ￼criminal offenses in county and circuit courts. The students will be assigned an attorney through the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel. Students have the opportunity to conduct initial intake interviews, participate in discovery, prepare witnesses, negotiate with the state regarding plea bargains, prepare and present pre- and post-trial motions, and, if necessary, represent clients throughout an entire trial.
In the Guardian Ad Litem Clinic, students engage in legal advocacy on behalf of children, while developing a strong foundation in lawyering skills and values. The clinic addresses constitutional, statutory, and common laws impacting children, including the legal interests of parents and the government and the law’s evolving conception of children’s rights. Special emphasis is placed on dependency law, including abuse and neglect, foster care, termination of parental rights, adoption, children’s right to services and protection from harm, and state liability for harm.
Students wishing to participate in any Legal Clinic must complete an application available from the Legal Clinic and will be subject to a character and fitness evaluation.
CLINIC REQUIREMENTS, REGISTRATION AND CREDIT HOURS
- Students MUST have completed 48 credit hours for the academic session registering to participate in a Legal Clinic.
- Students MUST have completed Professional Responsibility Course
- Any Legal Clinic specific requirements, (i.e. GPA, CLI, etc.).
Complete and return a Legal Clinic General Application.
4 Credit Hours = 168 hours (approx. 13 hours per week)
Criminal Defense Clinic
6 Credit Hours = 252 hours (approx. 20 hours per week)
Guardian Ad Litem Clinic
Homelessness and Legal Advocacy Clinic
Students enrolled in Clinics will be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis only.