William & Mary Law School offers you many opportunities to practice the wide range of skills necessary to provide clients with competent representation of the highest caliber and be successful in the practice of law. In addition to being an Associate in your Legal Skills firm for two-years, which will offer you a solid foundation in lawyering skills and professional ethics, you will have many opportunities in your second and third years to represent real clients in actual cases through our clinical program; the hard part might be choosing between all the clinics we offer.
Lawyering in the community:
- Enrollment in the Domestic Violence Clinic would enable you to represent victims of domestic violence in obtaining protection, as well as in the legal issues that arise as a result of such violence.
- In the Federal Tax Clinic, you would assist in the representation of low income Virginia taxpayers before the IRS, U.S. Tax Court, and U.S. District Court.
- If you want to participate in the legal investigation and research of inmate claims of actual innocence, you can enroll in the Innocence Project Clinic.
- Working in the Family Law Clinic in the Williamsburg office of the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia allows you to provide legal services to indigent people in a variety of civil matters.
The Special Education Advocacy Clinic and the Veterans' Benefits Clinic:
- The Special Education Advocacy Clinic will allow you to assist children with special needs and their families in special education matters. This clinic is graded by letter grade.
- Enrolling in the Veterans' Benefits Clinic will offer you the opportunity to learn veterans disability law and procedure and aid military veterans in the filing, adjudication, and appeal of their disability claims with the Veterans Administration, working in conjunction with the psychology students at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond (VCU) to refer clients for assessment, counseling, and therapy as needed. The Veterans' Benefits Clinic is the first service-learning project of the Health Policy and Law Initiative between William & Mary Law and VCU. Both Veterans' Benefits Clinic I and Veterans' Benefits Clinic II are graded by letter grade. Students must take VBCI before registering for VBCII.
Our newest clinics:
- The Appellate and Supreme Court Clinic introduces 3L students to appellate practice in the federal Courts of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Students will work as a team to identify cases suitable for the clinic and then work as pairs to prepare appellate briefs in cases involving the First and Fourth Amendments.
- The Elder Law Clinic will help second- and third-year students to understand the substantive legal issues affecting the elderly. The experience will also help to improve the students’ interviewing, counseling, research, writing and advocacy skills as they advance their client’s interests.
As a clinic student, you will have the opportunity to practice your lawyering skills and judgment while still supported by faculty who can reflect on and analyze your performance, and help you develop strategies for future improvement. Being in a clinic also allows you to consider issues of social justice and ethical-moral dilemmas that arise in the practice of law, while you are unrestricted by financial or employment considerations. For more information about our clinical opportunities, click here to contact [[perobe,Professor Patty Roberts, Director of Clinical Programs]].
Clinic Grading and Credits
All clinics are for 3 credits and last one semester. The majority of William & Mary's clinics are pass-fail.