As one of the first law schools to initiate a clinical program, UW Law School is committed to practical experience as a part of legal education. The Frank J. Remington Center and the Economic Justice Institute were among the school's first clinical programs. Over the years, UW Law has strengthened and increased the number of clinical opportunities it provides.

Hands-on lawyering experiences with real people

Clinics provide students with hands-on lawyering experiences with real people—clients, victims, witnesses, family members, lawyers, and judges—enhancing student understanding of the roles and responsibilities of practicing attorneys.

Under the supervision of clinical professors or supervising attorneys, students interview clients, perform factual investigations, conduct legal research, prepare client letters, draft legal documents, and write briefs.

Clinics

Clinics accepting 1L summer applications | All clinics comparison table | Frequently Asked Questions | Apply

Center for Patient Partnerships

The Center for Patient Partnerships is a national resource for strengthening the patient perspective in health care. Students from the Law School, across campus, and throughout the country come to this interdisciplinary health advocacy center to learn critical legal and health advocacy skills while helping patients navigate the complex health care system. Gain experience with insurance appeals, public benefit enrollment, and medical decision making. Law students also serve as legal resource navigators in local primary care clinics for community members facing health-harming legal needs and provide preventative legal services on issues such as eviction and immigration.

Additional opportunities are available in patient experience research and organizational and legislative policy advocacy through student-led “case to cause” projects. Students have the option to pursue a certificate in Health Advocacy.

Area of LawHealth, Disability, Employment
Program StartSummer, Fall, Spring
Length of Program and Credits3 or 6 credit options
Number of Positions2-6
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesNone
DirectorSarah Davis, Jill Jacklitz
Director Contactsarah.davis@wisc.edu; jjacklitz@wisc.edu

Center for Patient Partnerships Homepage

Constitutional Litigation, Appeals & Sentencing Project

The Constitutional Litigation, Appeals, and Sentencing Project (CLASP) is a one-semester program in which students will satisfy: (1) their experiential-learning requirement and (2) their upper-level writing requirement.

CLASP accepts clients who have sought assistance from other clinics within the Remington Center. Therefore, students will have the opportunity to work on the same cases as students who enroll in the Wisconsin Innocence Project, the Federal Appeals Project, the Criminal Appeals Project, and the Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons Project.

Area of LawAppellate advocacy, Criminal law
Program StartSummer
Length of Program and CreditsOne semester, 7 credits
Number of Positions6
Classes EligibleAll
PrerequisitesNone
DirectorSteve Wright
Director Contactshwright@wisc.edu

Constitutional Litigation, Appeals & Sentencing Project Homepage

Consumer Law Clinic

Consumer Law Clinic students participate in all aspects of a dynamic consumer protection practice featuring litigation and advocacy. They defend debtors in pre- and post-judgment matters. They represent consumers against scammers, fraudsters, and marketplace predators. They also delve into complex legal issues such as consumer credit transactions, forced arbitration, predatory lending, and unfair debt collection. Finally, students advocate for stronger protections and better treatment in the legal system for Wisconsin consumers in judicial, legislative, and administrative arenas.

Area of LawConsumer Protection; Consumer Debt
Program StartFall Semester
Length of Program and CreditsFall Semester (3 credits) & Spring Semester (3 credits)
Number of Positions10
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesNone
DirectorSarah Orr
Director Contactsarah.orr@wisc.edu

Consumer Law Clinic Homepage

Criminal Appeals Project

Students in the Criminal Appeals Project represent clients appealing their convictions of crimes under Wisconsin law. Students combine class work on appellate procedure and advocacy, client-centered representation, issue spotting, and persuasive writing with their work on an actual criminal appeal assigned by the State Public Defender's Office. In the fall semester, and under the supervision of an experienced appellate attorney, students meet their appeal clients, read transcripts, and communicate with the persons involved in the case. Ultimately the students must determine whether there is a meritorious appeal for each case assigned.

Assuming a case has merit, students research and write the appellate brief for the case during the spring semester. Students attend a weekly large group section where they study appellate procedure, the ethics of appellate representation, issue spotting and persuasion. They also participate in a weekly discussion where they analyze their cases. Students may participate in hearings before a court.

Area of LawCriminal, Appellate advocacy
Program StartFall
Length of Program and CreditsFall (5 cr) + Spring (5 cr) semesters
Number of Positions6
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesCriminal Procedure recommended
DirectorTristan Breedlove
Director Contacttbreedlove@wisc.edu

Criminal Appeals Project Homepage

Eviction Defense Clinic

The Eviction Defense Clinic (EDC) provides legal help for people that have an eviction court case. Clinical law students handle individual cases and engage in community-led education and advocacy.

The EDC works in a multidisciplinary community partnership with the Tenant Resource Center and the Legal Action of Wisconsin and Community Justice, Inc. to prevent evictions by providing legal services to tenants in eviction court. The partnership provides our clients wrap-around services that seek to prevent eviction, such as rental assistance, housing navigation and access to other community resources.

Area of LawLandlord/Tenant Eviction in Small Claims Court
Program StartSummer, Fall, Spring
Length of Program and CreditsOne semester ( 6 cr OR 7 cr for Summer) + one optional semester (4 cr)
Number of Positions6-8
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesProfessional Responsibilities; Those that have taken Lawyering Skills may receive priority.
DirectorSophie Crispin, Grace Kube
Director Contactcrispin@wisc.edu; gkube@wisc.edu

Eviction Defense Clinic Homepage

Family Court Clinic

Family Court Clinic students represent individual clients in family law matters under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty and provide legal information and guidance to unrepresented litigants. Through direct service to the community, students learn how to think and act like lawyers. They develop an understanding not only of the social and economic contexts in which the litigants’ problems occur, but also of the possibilities and limitations of the legal system.

The clinic provides much-needed assistance to unrepresented family law litigants in our community. It simultaneously affords law students an extraordinary opportunity to develop their lawyering skills and advance their emotional intelligence through reflection and client interactions. Students work at the Dane County Courthouse as well as at a community office, located in a low-income, culturally diverse part of the city.

Area of LawFamily, Juvenile Guardianships, Child Support
Program StartFall or Spring Semester
Length of Program and CreditsFCC Core Program 2 semesters (6 credits Fall, 3-6 credits Spring); Guardianship/SIJS FCC Program: Fall Semester, 6 credits; Child Support Program: Spring semester, 6 credits
Number of PositionsUp to 5 positions per program
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesNone
DirectorJennifer Binkley
Director Contactjbinkley@wisc.edu

Family Court Clinic Homepage

Federal Appeals Project

The Federal Appeals Project is a recent expansion of the Oxford Federal Project and offers students the opportunity to litigate federal criminal appeals assigned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

On a regular basis, the students and their supervising attorney gather to grapple with the legal and ethical issues their cases raise. Oxford Federal Project and Federal Appeals Project students learn how to navigate through a complex legal system — taking on adversarial and collaborative roles — while advocating on behalf of their clients. Most students have opportunities to appear and advocate before judges, parole hearing examiners, immigration panels, or other decision-makers.

Area of LawCriminal, appellate advocacy
Program StartFall
Length of Program and CreditsTwo semesters (5 cr, 4 cr)
Number of Positions6
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesCriminal Procedure recommended
DirectorAdam Stevenson
Director Contactadam.stevenson@wisc.edu

Federal Appeals Project Homepage

Government and Legislative Clinic

The Government and Legislative Clinic (GLC) provides students with a unique, hands-on opportunity to participate in the many facets of governmental. Through a semester-long internship placement and a weekly seminar, students gain rare access to policy creation and implementation, involve themselves in legislative procedure, and become part of the state regulatory process. Students work under the direct supervision of on-site agency counsel and clinical faculty.

In the weekly seminar, students will examine the legislative lawmaking processes, the implementation of statutes by administrative agencies through rulemaking and other procedures, and the role of courts in interpreting statutes and reviewing administrative action at the behest of affected private parties. In short, this course will survey the processes, purposes, efficacy and limitations of regulation through an administrative regime, rather than criminal enforcement or private law.

Area of LawRegulatory State, State and Federal Administrative Law, Policy
Program StartFall or Spring
Length of Program and CreditsFall (3-5 cr) semester and/or Spring (3-5 cr) semester
Number of Positions10-15
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesNone. Administrative Law highly recommended.
DirectorErin McBride
Director Contacterin.mcbride@wisc.edu

Government and Legislative Clinic Homepage

Immigrant Justice Clinic

The Immigrant Justice Clinic represents clients in immigration proceedings before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The clinic occasionally also represents clients in state court proceedings related to their immigration case. The clinic's primary focus is on advocating for individuals who are facing immigration consequences as a result of criminal charges. However, the clinic also provides services in a wide range of other cases, including representing individuals who are fleeing persecution in their homelands and are seeking asylum in the US, and individuals who have been the victims of domestic violence or other crimes. In addition to handling cases, the clinic students conduct presentations in the community to educate noncitizens about their rights and to raise awareness about the challenges faced by immigrants in our area. The clinic students regularly visit immigration detainees in the nearby jail to provide "know your rights" information and conduct intakes.

The matters handled by the clinic allow students to develop core lawyering skills, such as interviewing, counseling, fact-investigation, legal research and brief-writing, and trial advocacy. All students will have the opportunity to present a case in immigration court. Students also develop public speaking and community-relations skills through outreach and education projects. The clinic encourages students to engage in a reflective practice that examines broader issues of human migration, social justice and human rights, and the role of lawyers and the legal system.

Area of LawImmigration Detention and Removal Proceedings, Immigration Consequences of Crimes, Humanitarian Immigration Law
Program StartFall
Length of Program and Credits1 or 2 semesters
Number of Positions10
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesNone
DirectorErin Barbato
Director Contactekmurphy@wisc.edu

Immigrant Justice Clinic Homepage

Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic

The student attorneys in the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic act as business and corporate counsel to more than 250 clients per year. Participation requires thinking like a lawyer and acting like an entrepreneur. Students work on legal needs including business formation, capital structure, angel and venture-backed securities, and employment and founders contracts. Students interested in intellectual property issues will file trademark and patent applications, perform patentability and freedom-to-operate analyses, and write proprietary and open-source licenses for technology clients.

The L&E Clinic operates similarly to a private practice law firm. Participants manage their own client load, bill time, manage and prepare documents, and report to supervising attorneys, other students and outside partners.

Area of LawBusiness transactions
Program StartSummer, Fall, Spring
Length of Program and CreditsLength depends on mutual consent (3-7 credits per semester)
Number of Positions16
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesNone; Business Organizations and Introduction to Intellectual Property recommended
DirectorEmily Buchholz
Director Contactemily.buchholz@wisc.edu

Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic Homepage

Legal Assistance to Incarcerated People

Legal Assistance to Incarcerated People (LAIP) has worked to fulfill the unmet needs of underserved and vulnerable prison inmates for over four decades. Students experience and reflect on the profound human consequences of an individual's involvement in the criminal system. The students are involved in real legal work. The first week, they meet clients and have client interviews. A student may draft a motion to a court by mid-summer. With the variety of issues inmates face, students get a variety of legal experiences, both criminal and civil. The students are the advocates for their clients; they are their voice. The student ensures that the clients receive justice in the system. They advocate on paper with motions and parole letters, and orally by representing clients at hearings. Students work closely with courts, opposing attorneys, criminal justice agencies and prison personnel.

Supervising attorneys offer support and guidance, but the student decides how to serve the clients' needs. Although students have their own clients, they are part of a team and expected to talk through problems, generate ideas, and offer each other support. Students see the results that they achieve for their clients. They see cases to the end. Each stage of a case offers different challenges, giving students a chance to experience client and court interaction at each point.

Area of LawCriminal, Family, Immigration
Program StartSummer, Fall, Spring
Length of Program and CreditsSummer (7 cr), 2 semesters (3-4 cr, 3-4 cr), or 1 semester (6 cr)
Number of Positions36
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesCriminal Procedure recommended
DirectorGreg Wiercioch
Director Contactgregory.wiercioch@wisc.edu

Legal Assistance to Incarcerated People Homepage

Neighborhood Law Clinic

Students in this community-based law clinic, located in the heart of Madison's South Side, provide individual representation to clients in rental housing, public benefits, unpaid worker, and discrimination cases. Students’ legal work prevents families from becoming homeless and helps workers recover their unpaid wages. In addition, students may contribute to community advocacy projects, including legislative and policy analysis, legal education, or mobilization efforts.

The clinic provides a complex learning environment in which students develop lawyering skills and learn how to think critically about the role and limits of law as a force for justice and social change. Students engage in traditional litigation practice, using skills such as fact investigation, legal research, analysis, drafting, negotiation, counseling and trial work. Students also gain non-traditional lawyering skills through activities such as public speaking, drafting community education materials, and participating in local campaigns for social and economic justice.

Area of LawEmployment, Rental housing
Program StartFall or Spring
Length of Program and Credits6 credits in Fall; or 6 credits in Spring
Number of Positions6-8
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesNone
DirectorMitch
Director Contactmitch@wisc.edu


Oxford Federal Project

Students assist inmates in federal correctional institutions with a wide variety of legal challenges. Under the supervision of an experienced supervising attorney, clinic students visit clients in prison; investigate and research their cases; and frequently correspond with clients, the U.S. Attorneys’ offices, and the U.S. Parole Commission, as well as with family members and witnesses. The Federal Appeals Project is a recent expansion of the Oxford Federal Project and offers students the opportunity to litigate federal criminal appeals assigned by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

On a regular basis, the students and their supervising attorney gather to grapple with the legal and ethical issues their cases raise. Oxford Federal Project and Federal Appeals Project students learn how to navigate through a complex legal system — taking on adversarial and collaborative roles — while advocating on behalf of their clients. Most students have opportunities to appear and advocate before judges, parole hearing examiners, immigration panels, or other decision-makers.

Area of LawCriminal, Family Law, Immigration
Program StartFall
Length of Program and Credits2 semesters (4 cr, 4 cr)
Number of Positions6
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesCriminal Procedure recommended
DirectorAdam Stevenson
Director Contactadam.stevenson@wisc.edu

Oxford Federal Project Homepage

Prosecution Project

Students participating in the project spend a summer externing in a Wisconsin prosecutor’s office. Prior to the externship, students train intensively, preparing to learn and contribute to their trial level placement. The Wisconsin student practice rules provide law students who meet certain requirements with the opportunity to appear in court and contribute in their sponsor offices in many ways.

Students develop competency, craftsmanship and creativity in responding to the public safety challenges facing our communities. For more than 25 years, several Wisconsin district attorney offices have partnered with the Law School to sponsor our externs. These partnerships have provided both a challenging learning experience for law students and a helpful service to local communities.

Area of LawCriminal prosecution
Program StartSpring course, summer externship
Length of Program and CreditsSpring (3 credit seminar + 2 credit trial advocacy); Summer externship; Fall (2 credits)
Number of Positions23
Classes Eligible2L Only
PrerequisitesCriminal Procedure; L&CP Prosecution Function
DirectorLanny Glinberg
Director Contactlanny.glinberg@wisc.edu

Prosecution Project Homepage

Public Defender Project

NOTICE: The Public Defender Project is currently undergoing a standard review process that should be completed soon. While there may be recommendations for a few adjustments, we already know that the program and the summer placements for students WILL BE AVAILABLE in 2020. As soon as the review is finished, application materials for 2020 and an updated information sheet will be available on this page. At that time, students can apply and sign up for interviews. A copy of last year’s project description is provided for your information.

Students spend a summer externing in State Public Defender offices, with placements available all over Wisconsin. Externs begin their training in the classroom during the spring semester, but it is their work “in the trenches” that provides the real education.

Students may handle all aspects of clients’ cases, from initial appearance through trial. In addition to defending clients in criminal matters, our students also provide representation in revocations, civil commitments regarding mental health, and juvenile proceedings.

Area of LawCriminal defense
Program StartSpring course, summer externship
Length of Program and CreditsSpring (3 credit seminar + 2 credit trial advocacy); Summer externship; Fall (2 credits)
Number of Positions12-14
Classes Eligible2L Only
PrerequisitesCriminal Procedure and Evidence (both can be taken in Spring); L&CP Defense Function
DirectorJohn Gross
Director Contactjpgross3@wisc.edu

Public Defender Project Homepage

Restorative Justice Project

RJP students work on restorative justice dialogue requests where they prepare for and facilitate face-to-face meetings between victims and survivors of crime and the responsible parties. This process allows victims and survivors to obtain answers to lingering questions in the aftermath of a serious crime. It also allows both sides to gain an understanding that reaches far beyond the crime itself and often has a profound, positive impact on both of their lives.

Throughout this intensive process, students cultivate and hone their mediation and client interviewing skills and gain valuable insight into asking difficult questions, identifying creative solutions to complex issues, multi-party communication, listening, and managing conflict in challenging situations. Students also get a unique perspective on all sides of the criminal justice system, supporting and assisting crime victims and exploring responsible parties’ motivations.

RJP students also have the option to utilize restorative justice to address conflict and harm in the community. In project areas of their choice, they work with community leaders and local organizations to respond to crime, violence, and other issues such as racial disparities in the criminal legal system.

Area of LawVictim-Offender Dialogues, Mediation, Community Conferencing/Alternatives to Prosecution, Youth Courts, Prison Programs, Criminal Justice Policy & Procedure
Program StartFall
Length of Program and Credits2 semesters (3-5 credits each semester)
Number of Positions10
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesNone
DirectorJonathan Scharrer
Director Contactjonathan.scharrer@wisc.edu

Restorative Justice Project Homepage

Restraining Order & Survivor Advocacy Clinic

The Restraining Order and Survivor Advocacy (ROSA) Clinic provides direct legal services to victims/survivors of intimate-partner violence, sexual assault and/or crime in Dane, Jefferson, Rock Sauk and other surrounding counties.

Law students assist victims/survivors of intimate-partner violence and/or crime by assisting with Restraining Order petitions, providing direct representation at injunction hearings (restraining order hearings), and providing relevant resources under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty. In addition, the Clinic seeks to assist victims/survivors with additional legal needs consistent with victims’ rights under Wisconsin’s Marsy’s Law.

The ROSA Clinic exposes students to direct representation of victims/survivors of intimate-partner violence in Dane, Rock, Sauk and Jefferson and other surrounding counties. The educational goal of the clinic is to train students in litigation skills, research, analysis, client interviewing, negotiation, and in the dynamics of intimate-partner violence. ROSA Clinic students learn trauma-informed lawyering and work directly with victims and survivors of intimate-partner violence.

Area of LawIntimate Partner Violence/Sexual Assault
Program StartFall
Length of Program and Credits1 semester (1-7 credits)
Number of Positions10
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesNone
DirectorRyan Poe-Gavlinski
Director Contactryan.poegavlinski@wisc.edu

Restraining Order & Survivor Advocacy Clinic Homepage

Wisconsin Innocence Project

Law students in the Wisconsin Innocence Project have worked to free more than 20 people, relying on DNA technology, changes in forensic science, and on old-fashioned investigation to uncover the truth. The project seeks to exonerate the innocent, educate students and reform the criminal justice system by identifying and remedying the causes of wrongful convictions.

Students investigate actual innocence claims by searching for newly discovered evidence or evidence that was unknown at the time of trial. Untested physical evidence, changes in scientific knowledge, or a recantation can all form the basis to support a claim of actual innocence. When the new evidence is strong enough, students work to litigate the claims in court. Through their work on these cases, the students learn about the operation of the criminal justice system and how our system can sometimes go awry. In proving innocence years after a conviction, the students gain insight into how a wrongful conviction can occur and how it might have been prevented. By participating in this project, students work to give wrongly convicted persons, giving them their lives and freedom back after years of unjust incarceration.

Area of LawCriminal, Appellate advocacy
Program StartFall
Length of Program and Credits2 semesters (5 credits, 3 credits)
Number of Positions10
Classes Eligible2L & 3L
PrerequisitesCriminal Procedure recommended
DirectorRachel Burg
Director Contactrburg2@wisc.edu

Wisconsin Innocence Project Homepage


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can enroll in clinical programs, and when? 

Clinical programs are available to students in their second and third years of law school.

The clinics vary in their timing and duration, which include:

  • One-semester commitment
  • Required fall-spring commitment
  • Stand-alone summer programs

Finally, clinics may require a prerequisite course before students can enroll and all require that students take a classroom component, in addition to their client work.

How do students enroll in clinical programs?

Clinics provide information on how to apply at information sessions that occur on several occasions in the fall semester. The contact person(s) listed on the clinic web pages will provide information on how to apply.

Most clinics are "consent of instructor" courses, meaning they do not have open enrollment, but instead require students to apply and be accepted into the clinic.

Where do students work if they are enrolled in clinical programs?

The working location for students will depend on the program.

All of the Law School's live-client clinics are housed in the Law School. While these clinic students do the bulk of their work in the clinic offices, they may travel to meet clients in Madison (e.g. the Neighborhood Law Clinic maintains offices on the south side of Madison, where students staff office hours) or outside of Madison (e.g. LAIP clients are incarcerated around Wisconsin).

Are clinic students able to appear in court?

As of July 1, 2021, new Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules now allow students who have completed the first-year curriculum for a full-time student to appear on behalf of their client in court or at hearings if accompanied by a clinical professor or supervising attorney as set forth in SCR chapter 50.

The new rules give law students in Wisconsin earlier opportunities for first hand legal experience. Read the Wisconsin Bar's announcement about the new changes.

For more information about student certification, view the Wisconsin SCR Rule 50 FAQ.

How many credits do students receive for their clinical work?

For the clinical component of their experience, Law School Rule 3.14(5) requires a student to perform a minimum of 45 hours of work per semester per credit. Assuming a 15-week semester, that comes out to a minimum of 4 hours per credit per week.

Thus, the number of credits will vary, depending on how many hours of work a given clinical program requires for enrollment.

Most students enroll for 7 credits during the summer which corresponds to roughly 27 hours per week for the 12-week session.

Is clinical work graded?

The clinical work is generally graded as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

Do clinical course credits apply toward Law School graduation requirements?

Yes, all credits earned in clinics apply toward the 90 credits required for graduation.

In addition, a maximum of five clinical credits may be applied toward the 60-credit diploma privilege requirement.

Students should contact the instructor(s) of each clinic they are interested in, to determine the exact title of classroom courses that accompany the clinical work.

Is funding or tuition remission available for clinical experiences?

UW Law School endeavors to make experiential learning opportunities accessible for as many students as possible.

If summer students work for UW part-time, they may be entitled to tuition remission. Tuition remission for summer clinics means that students can earn credits during the summer semester without having to pay tuition, but they are required to pay nominal student segregation fees.

During the recruitment and application period each fall, students will be provided with specific details about funding and tuition remission.

Can students create their own Clinical Program?

Clinical courses are governed by Law School Rule 3.14. Students are not free to "construct their own" clinical program.

Application Process & Timelines

In spring 2023, a handful of law clinics will have one-semester openings for students. View the Spring 2023 Clinic Opportunities & Application Process for more information.

For information about the application process and timelines for clinics that begin in summer 2023 and fall 2023, consult the Canvas course titled "LAW – Experiential Learning Fair 2022." All 1L and 2L students received an invitation to that course. For questions, contact angela.haugen@wisc.edu.



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