Experiential Education

A critical component of your legal training is taking the substantive knowledge from the classroom and applying it in real, practical, and professional settings with clients, other lawyers, judges, and policymakers. The experiential education offerings at FAMU College of Law enhance the classroom curriculum and provide a range of hands-on opportunities to impact the lives of people in need of legal assistance and prepare for your future success as lawyer. The experiential education program is committed to helping fulfill the College of Law’s mission to provide legal resources to undeserved communities.

Every student must complete six credit hours of experiential learning. The Experiential Learning Requirement may be satisfied by enrollment in a legal clinic, the field placement program, or a simulation course. These options are described below. Professional Responsibility (LAW 5750) is a prerequisite for all clinics and field placements. Clinics and field placements are graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis only.  Students must have completed 48 hours of course credit to apply for a clinic.

If you have questions or need more information about clinical programs or field placements, please contact Professor Mark Dorosin, Director of Legal Clinics and Field Placements: mark.dorosin@famu.edu 407-254-4043.

Message From Office of Legal Clinic and Field Placements

Welcome to the Legal Clinic and Field Placement Program. Our program enhances the classroom curriculum and provides students a range of hands-on, experiential educational opportunities. Every student must complete one or more experiential courses totaling at least six credit hours. 

The experiential education requirement may be satisfied by enrollment in a legal clinic, a field placement, or a simulation course. These options are described in more detail below.  

 


 

placeholder placeholder
placeholder placeholder
placeholder placeholder

 

Experiential Education

 The College of Law strongly recommends that students interested in enrolling in a clinic or field placement become a Certified Legal Intern (“CLI”) pursuant to the requirements of the Student Practice Rule of the Florida Bar. Students who become certified can appear and argue in court, sign legal documents, and handle a range of case advocacy and litigation responsibilities. CLI is invaluable in maximizing your experiential learning opportunities and can improve the chances for employment after graduation.

To become CLI eligible students must register with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and receive a “Notice of Registrant Clearance.” Because this process takes time, students should file their application during the first year of law school. Students who are not sure or do not intend to sit for the FL Bar can also apply to become a CLI. Once you receive your clearance letter and are enrolled in a CLI eligible clinic or field placement, clinic faculty will assist you in completing the process.

Field placements offer students semester-long opportunities to leave the traditional classroom setting and, under supervision of a clinic faculty member and a licensed attorney at an approved site, engage directly in the practice of law. Students may receive up to 4 credits during the fall and spring semesters, and up to 6 credits in summer (with clinic faculty approval). Students can earn no more than 9 total field placement credits.

The Field Placement course requires both direct legal work at the placement site and a seminar class that requires submission of weekly time logs, written assignments, and class attendance and participation. Students must timely complete both on-site hours required and all seminar assignments to get credit for the course.

Pre-approved placement sites include judicial externships, government agencies, public interest organizations, non-profit organizations, law firms, and corporate legal offices.  The College of Law maintains a regularly updated list of sites that are seeking students. Placements are not limited to those sites, but any other proposed field placement site must be approved by the Clinic Director. The field placement must offer activities similar to a lawyer representing a client; you cannot get credit for tasks normally completed by administrative assistants, paralegals, or legal assistants.

Students are responsible for applying directly to the site where they wish to serve their field placement. Once a student secures a field placement opportunity, the student must complete and submit a field placement application. The application must be signed by the student and the attorney who will serve as the placement site supervisor and include the student’s resume and transcript. If the application is approved, the student will then be authorized to register for the course. 

The Legal Clinical Program offers eligible upper-level students the opportunity to serve traditionally underserved clients under the supervision of a faculty member admitted to practice. There are currently three clinics:

Mediation

Guardian ad Litem

Economic Justice

Students enrolled in the Mediation Clinic can become Florida Supreme Court certified County Court Mediators. Students observe and conduct actual mediations of small claims and county disputes in Orange and Osceola County Court, and develop crucial mediation and lawyering including mediation methodologies, active listening, effective communication, issue and interests spotting, negotiation, problem-solving strategies, and effective drafting. There is a mandatory clinic fee for the county certification training.

Contact: Prof. Eunice Caussade-Garcia: eunice.caussade@famu.edu 407-254-3285.

clinic

The Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Clinic provides legal advocacy on behalf of children to ensure that their best interests are effectively represented. The GAL Clinic addresses laws impacting children’s rights, the legal interests of parents, and the government’s role in protecting children. 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. The GAL Clinic is a CLI eligible clinical program.

Contact: Prof. Kim Crag-Chaderton kim.cragchaderton@famu.edu 407-254-3226.

final

 The Economic Justice (EJ) Clinic provides transactional legal services to underserved businesses, organizations, and individuals to support positive economic development. The EJ Clinic represents clients needing assistance with business formation, tax exemption, regulatory issues, contract drafting, and heirs’ property. The EJ Clinic also engages in public outreach, education, and advocacy to address ongoing issues of racial economic disparities.

Contact: Prof. Mark Dorosin: mark.dorosin@famu.edu 407-254-4043 

Mediation Clinic: 4 Credit Hours = 168 hours

(approximately 13 hours/week in Fall/Spring; 17 hours/week in Summer)
Guardian ad Litem and the Economic Justice Clinics: 6 Credit Hours = 252 hours (approximately 20 hours/week in Fall/Spring; approximately 25 hours/week in Summer)

Students wishing to participate in any Legal Clinic must have completed 48 credit hours and an application. The application is available from the Legal Clinic. Students applying for Legal Clinics will be subject to a character and fitness evaluation

 

A simulation course provides experience reasonably similar to a lawyer advising or representing clients, working with sets of facts and circumstances devised by a faculty member. The College of Law regularly offers the following simulation courses:  

  • Contact Drafting
  • Domestic Violence Workshop
  • Environmental Practice Workshop
  • Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiation
  • Mediation Theory and Practice
  • Pretrial Practice Workshop
  • Trial Practice
  • Advanced Trial Practice 

In addition, the College of Law may offer other courses that may satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs may designate other courses as meeting the Experiential Learning Requirement on a case-by-case basis where the designated course meets the standards for experiential learning.

 

 

placeholder

Mark Dorosin- Associate Professor of Law

Director of Legal Clinics & Field Placements


P:
407-254-4043
E:
mark.dorosin@famu.edu