Five years ago, Chase implemented its first in-house non-profit clinic to provide live-client learning opportunities for students studying law.
Since then Chase has created three more clinics and two additional programs, each under a different area of law, giving students a chance to experience hands-on learning in their chosen field.
Students who participate in these clinics develop skills and abilities necessary to successfully practice law. Jennifer Kinsley, Assistant Professor of Law and Field Placement Program Director, said students are finding full-time employment as a result of their placements.
“One student, who spent a summer with the Army JAG corps, was one of thousands of applicants nationwide to be selected as an incoming Army JAG attorney,” Kinsley said.
Chase Clinics are not just designed for students to encounter the law in a practical environment, but rather to generate networking opportunities with outside speakers and practicing attorneys.
Kinsley spoke of one student’s externship who worked on Capitol Hill with the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network over the past summer. She was the first law student from that organization to present at a congressional meeting.
“Externships have opened opportunities for students to have an impact on the world around them in a way that law school classes do not,” Kinsley said.
Hannah Rodgers, Senior law student in the Constitutional Litigation Clinic, said Chase clinics provide a unique experience for students.
“We are able to get a limited practice license and actually represent clients in federal court,” Rodgers said. “All of the clinics provide practical skills in a way that cannot be achieved through a classroom setting.”
Through the participation of clinics, students are able to discover what they like or dislike about the area of law they are studying. Amy Halbrook, Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Children’s Law Center Clinic, states that from experience, students who participate in clinics experience a sense of relief.
“They have had anticipation and anxiety about practice, and they learn through clinics that they can and will be competent,” Halbrook said.
Occasionally, students enroll themselves into clinics that they discover aren’t the right move for them and enroll in another.
“From a teacher’s perspective, that kind of discovery is a part of the student’s identity development as a lawyer, and will help the student find a meaningful area of practice after graduation,” Halbrook said.
Two-day boot camp
Before attending Chase Children’s Law Center Clinic, students must complete a two-day boot camp at the beginning of the year. This clinic is the only one that that Chase offers that has a boot camp program. It introduces students to child law practices, child and adolescent development, basic skills development and ethical issues involving child representation.
The camp is advantageous to students because, according to Halbrook, participating in the boot camp allows students to ‘hit the ground running’ when they are assigned to client cases during the first week of the semester.
The importance of Chase clinics can be illustrated through vigorous camps and live-client teaching. It is there, where students get to utilize their personal skills and abilities, to develop more, and learn to trust themselves as advocates. Halbrook said that a clinic is a transformative experience for many students.
“I love to help students transition from learner to advocate during the course of a semester or a year,” Halbrook said.
For further information on how to apply to these clinics please visit this link here. Or fill out the application here, and email it to Professor Amy Halbrook firstname.lastname@example.org.