Learning through Practice

There are a number of experiential opportunities at the Law Center that provide students with the opportunity to earn credit while learning through practice. The Law Center offers a range of experiential courses through clinics, externships and skills courses, and students are required to complete at least six credit hours of these experiential courses prior to graduation. We invite you to explore these web pages to learn about all of the experiential opportunities available in your 2L and 3L years. ALL COURSES listed on these webpages qualify toward the six credit hours of experiential courses required for graduation.

The Law Clinic offers 2L and 3L students the opportunity to practice law and represent indigent clients in the Baton Rouge community or act as mediators in the Baton Rouge City Court or the Family Court of East Baton Rouge Parish. The Law Clinic is analogous to a residency in medical school where, under close faculty supervision, students practice law by representing real clients with important legal issues or serve as mediators in real cases of controversy. Students practice in local courts, before administrative agencies and other venues. The Law Clinic is a self-contained legal services office located in the Law Center. Third-year students are certified to practice law pursuant to Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XX, and 2L students assist Law Center faculty in representing actual clients. Clinic offerings include the Immigration Clinic, the Juvenile Defense Clinic, the Civil Mediation Clinic, the Family Mediation Clinic, the Parole and Reentry Clinic, the Advocacy for Victims of Sexual Assault Clinic (STAR) and the Prosecution Clinic. More clinical offerings are planned in the future.

There are also numerous externship opportunities, including the Judicial Externship Program, which places students as judicial “law clerks” in state and federal courts; the Governmental Externship, which places students with the Attorney General’s Office and other state and local agencies; and the Public Interest/Nonprofit Externship, which places students with local agencies serving marginalized populations and the legal interests of the poor. The Law Center’s location in the state capitol of Baton Rouge offers tremendous advantages to placing students with state and local governmental agencies and courts where students can experience the real practice of law through a structured academic setting. The Law Center also offers students the opportunity to participate in an externship during the summer session following the first and second years of law school.

In addition to clinics, in which students represent real clients or mediate real cases, and externships, in which students earn credit for working with judges or lawyers in the community, the Law Center offers a wide range of skills courses in which students learn essential lawyering and practice skills through simulation and forensic exercises. Students can take skills courses in their 2L and 3L years.

The LSU Law Clinic is a recipient of a Models for Change Program Grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and a Prison Reentry Initiative Grant from the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation.