The Law School offers a robust menu of experiential courses, clinics, externships, field and residency programs, and other opportunities that prepare students for the practice of law by giving them the opportunity to learn by doing. From interviewing clients to negotiating with opposing attorneys, from drafting agreements to arguing cases in court, these immersive experiences enhance the development of the Law School experience.
Clinical education at the University of Minnesota Law School includes a wide range of legal clinics that provide students with the opportunity to hone their legal skills and gain real-world client-service experience in a supportive setting. The depth and breadth of our clinical offerings range from federal immigration litigation, consumer protection, federal tax, business law, intellectual property law, environmental & energy law, and much more.
Supervised Field Placements and Residency Programs
Corporate Externship Field Placements provide immersion in the work environment of a corporate legal department.
Topical Field Placements include the Public Interest Field Placement, Human Rights Law Field Placement, Immigration Law Field Placement, Patent Field Placement, Corporate Externship Field Placement, Law Firm Field Placement and Judicial Field Placement which provide opportunities for students to gain valuable experience in the legal profession while earning credits toward their law degree. The Independent Field Placement is available for students who wish to pursue an experiential opportunity not covered by a Topical Field Placement.
Judicial Field Placement provides students with a unique vantage point on civil and criminal litigation by placing them in the field to assist judges in with the federal and state courts in Minnesota. Students serve as part-time law clerks for academic credit.
Remote Semester Field Placement provides 3L students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience in public service. Students work nearly full-time during the fall or spring semester of their third year of law school for a nonprofit or government agency while earning credit toward their law degree.
Saeks Public Interest Residency Program connects leading public interest and government organizations with high-achieving 3L students. Students work full-time during their third year of law school for a nonprofit or government agency and have a guaranteed, full-time, paid legal position with the same organization the year following graduation.
Please refer to the Field Placement and Residency Programs Overview to determine the course that best fits your needs.
First Year Programming
Law in Practice is a unique experiential program that builds early legal practice skills in the first year through a robust set of litigation and business law experiential learning modules.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) introduces students to the basic methods of ADR with a focus on negotiation, mediation, and arbitration and introduces students to the experience of serving as advocates and neutrals in these settings through simulated exercises.
Civil Litigation: Case Development and Discovery teaches students how to think both strategically and tactically with regard to case development and discovery through the simulated litigation of a civil lawsuit from its filing through summary judgment.
Evidence Drafting teaches students how to strengthen their written advocacy regarding evidence issues. Students learn how to draft effective motions in limine and advocate effectively in court when the admissibility of evidence is contested.
Intercollegiate Mock Trial Team is ideal for students who are seriously considering a career as a trial attorney. Students work with a simulated case file to develop trial skills including opening statements, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, and closing arguments. The course culminates in the trial of a simulated lawsuit from beginning to end in a national mock trial competition.
Trial Practice, a hands-on program taught in small sections by trial court judges and experienced trial lawyers, teaches students trial skills, including mechanics, tactics, and persuasion. The performance-based curriculum includes weekly in-class and videotaped exercises. The course concludes with a simulated trial before a real judge.
Moot Court & Moot Court Competition Teams
Moot Court Courses
Moot Courts provide training in written and oral advocacy by giving students mock problems involving current real-world legal issues. Students then argue the cases to appellate courts, using the techniques and processes of real lawyers.
Second-year students have the opportunity to enroll in a number of moot courts organized by subject matter - Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Moot Court, Environmental Moot Court, Intellectual Property Moot Court, and National Moot Court.
In each moot court course, students draft and revise a complete appellate brief. Students also engage in at least three oral arguments. Each course is taught by experienced attorneys - many with significant appellate experience. Experienced student instructors also play a critical role in providing thoughtful and informative feedback on oral and written advocacy.
Moot Court Competition Teams
Second and third-year students have the opportunity to apply to join more than ten moot court competition teams that travel across the country to compete against other law schools.
The Law School also sends teams to some of the most competitive competitions in the country, such as the F.B.A Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Competition, the ABA National Appellate Advocacy Competition, and the National Moot Court Competition.
Similar to the moot court courses, each team is coached by one or more local practitioners that specialize in the subject matter, specialize in appellate advocacy, or both.
Transactional skills practice courses focus on development of particular writing skills needed in drafting agreements. Courses develop students' skills in more complex and focused areas of the law.
Advanced Real Estate Transactions is a “hands on” course that exposes students to real world issues, documentation, and experiences that an attorney in the area of commercial real estate law would encounter.
Contract Drafting takes the contract principles that students learned in their first year and builds upon them in a practical way.
Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiating course builds competence in dealing with clients and opposing attorneys.