Standardized Client Program

Participating in the Law in Practice Standardized Client Program allows individuals from the local community to partner with first-year law students, instructors, faculty, and administrators to provide important educational experiences by bringing the client perspective to the forefront of legal education. Standardized clients are individuals from the community who are coached to accurately and consistently recreate the personal and legal history, personality, and emotional state of an actual client. 

Together, we work to leverage the diversity of the client experience to develop culturally sensitive attorneys prepared to meet the legal needs of our communities.

Standardized Client Roles and Responsibilities

Standardized clients – laypersons who are trained to portray clients’ personal and legal histories, and emotional or behavioral characteristics - are instrumental in teaching and assessment activities involving claims analysis and client counseling. Standardized clients also are trained to complete evaluations of learner performance and provide verbal feedback to learners.

The Law in Practice Program Coordinator works to match people’s skills, backgrounds, and interests with appropriate roles. Participants receive training for all assigned projects.

Time Commitment

Law in Practice is a spring semester class. Our simulations run from mid-January through the beginning of April. Classes are held on Thursday afternoons/evenings and Friday mornings. You will sign up for simulations based on your availability.


We strive to create a pool of standardized clients that reflects the diversity of our community. We encourage applications from individuals of all ages, races/ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds.

Successful standardized clients are:

  • Committed to the education of future lawyers
  • Reliable and punctual
  • Excellent communicators with strong interpersonal skills
  • Able and willing to work cooperatively with program staff, learners, faculty and administrators
  • Flexible with scheduling and assignments (note: most simulation projects take place during traditional business hours) 

Compensation and benefits

Standardized clients are paid hourly for their work; campus parking expenses are also covered by the University. Standardized clients are categorized as independent contractors at the University of Minnesota. This means that standardized clients are not eligible to receive benefits from the university such as health insurance, vacation, and sick time. Work opportunities available for standardized clients are dependent on our stakeholders’ needs and specifications.

Apply Now

All you need to do to apply is submit this short survey. Once we receive your application, we'll be in touch to set up an interview.