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Policies and Procedures

Below is a list of all the topics on which you can find information on policies and procedures. The Policies and Procedures page is in the process of being updated. For questions about information not contained below, contact the Dean of Students Office at lawdos@umn.edu.


The Law Clinics provide second- and third-year law students with an exciting practical educational opportunity. Located in Rooms 190 and 95, the Clinics operate as a law firm staffed by faculty and students. The Student Practice Rule adopted by the Minnesota Supreme Court allows Clinic students to represent clients in actual court and administrative agency proceedings, as well as transactional matters, under the supervision of Clinic faculty.

Clinic Course Registration and Add/Drop Policy


This memorandum contains important information about registration rules and processes, and should answer many questions you have regarding clinic registration.

The following rules and policies apply to enroll in a Clinic course:

1. Only students in good academic standing are eligible to participate in a clinic course.

2. Students must have passed Law in Practice and the Legal Writing course. (Transfer students contact the Clinic Administrator, Nicole Smiley smil0025@umn.edu, if you don’t meet this requirement)

3. Additionally, certain categories of students are not eligible to register or audit any clinic courses: LL.M., Humphrey Fellows, exchange and visiting students.

4. Students may only be enrolled in one clinical course per semester. Students may take more than one clinical course during their law school career, just not concurrently.

5. Clinic courses with student directors will reserve slots for 2L students to ensure a mix of both 3L and 2L students.

6. The Law Clinic will arrange the clinic enrollment and waitlists using the following criteria:

a. The law clinic slots will be awarded based on the lottery order and the following criteria, keeping in mind the mix of 3L and 2L students in each clinic:

i. 3L student with no prior clinic enrollment;

ii. 2L student with no prior clinic enrollment;

iii. 3L student who has completed a one-semester clinic;

iv. 2L student who has completed a one-semester clinic;

v. 3L student who has completed a two-semester clinic; and

vi. 2L student who has completed a two-semester clinic.

7. Students who participated or did not participate in the clinic lottery will be able to add themselves to a clinic course waitlist once open enrollment begins.

Attendance for the first class session of any clinical course is mandatory. If any student misses the first class session without pre-approval, the clinics will consider that student no longer enrolled in the course and offer the open slot to the next student on the waiting list. To get pre-approval, a student must contact the professor teaching the clinic or Nicole Smiley, Law Clinic Administrator, at smil0025@umn.edu, to let one of them know why s/he will be absent and to request to remain on the class list.

Limited Drop - Dropping of clinic courses is allowed ONLY during the first week of the first semester. Students enrolled in a clinic course for Fall 2015 will only have until Monday, September 14, 2015 (by midnight) to drop the clinic course. You will find the law school cancel/add & refund deadlines for Fall 2015 along this path: http://www.law.umn.edu/current/deadlines.html

Registration for the 2nd semester of 2-semester clinic courses occurs AUTOMATICALLY. Students currently registered in the 1st semester of their 2-semester clinic do not need to use a lottery slot for the continuation of the course. The registrar will automatically add the course to the student’s schedule before the lottery opens.

Failure to complete both semesters of a 2-semester clinic. Students who choose to drop or are unable to complete both semesters of any 2-semester clinic, for any reason, will receive from their Clinical Professor/Supervising Attorney either an “F” or a “W” for the first semester.

• Any student who voluntarily removes themselves from the 2nd semester of a 2-semester clinic will not be re-enrolled. At the discretion of the Clinical Professor/ Supervising Attorney, s/he will receive either an “F” or a “W” for the first semester of the clinic.

The Law Clinic Lottery

Registration bidding for Fall 2015 Clinic courses starts at 8:00 am March 9th will go through 8:00 pm March 10th. This is before and separate from general Law School Lottery.

The Law Clinic lottery is a fair, randomized process that assigns students to open Clinic courses and places them on waitlists, according to students’ ranked course bids. Students will be emailed a link to the Clinic Lottery Survey (google form) where you will be able to rank up to four clinical courses. After the Survey closes, the lottery randomization will run and students will be enrolled into a course based on their ranked course bids. Students who receive a clinic course will be notified by March 23rd and will see their enrollment in a clinic course before making their standard law school lottery bids.

To prepare for the lottery go to the Law School Clinic website to see a description of each clinic course and to read the Clinic 2015-2016 Course Guide (including class times): http://www.law.umn.edu/current/clinics.html

Please think carefully about how you choose and rank your Clinic choices:

Students who receive a clinic course in the clinic lottery will not be able to remove themselves until open registration. This means if you receive a clinic course in the clinic lottery you will remain in it through the general lottery.

• A student may only take one clinic course at a time and will be enrolled/waitlisted into a clinic course based on that ranking. (Ex. If you get into your second choice clinic, you will not be automatically placed on the waiting list for your third choice.)


Courses available for Fall 2015 enrollment as of 3/4/2015

Two Semester Clinics (Fall 2015 – Sp 2016)

o Bankruptcy

o Business Law

o Child Advocacy & Juvenile Justice

o Civil Practice

o Civil Rights Enforcement

o Community Mediation

o Community Practice

o Consumer Protection

o Criminal Justice

o Detainee Rights: Immigration Incarceration

o Environmental Sustainability: Land, Water and Energy

o Family Law

o Federal Immigration Litigation

o Immigration & Human Rights

o Indian Child Welfare Act

o Innocence Project

o Insurance Law

o Tax (Federal Income)

o Workers’ Rights

One Semester Clinics (Fall 2015)

o Misdemeanor Prosecution


Tentative One Semester Spring 2016 Clinics: These will not be offered in the Fall 2015 lottery.

o Human Rights Litigation & Int’l Legal Advocacy

o Housing

o Federal Defense


Student Practice Certification– Minnesota

The Student Practice Rule adopted by the Minnesota Supreme Court allows students to represent government agencies and indigent clients in actual court and administrative agency proceedings under the supervision of a licensed attorney. The Student Practice Rules can be found in the Minnesota Rules of Court. There are two rules: Rule 1, General Student Practice and Rule 2, Clinical Student Practice.

Minnesota Student Practice Eligibility

To be eligible, a student must be currently enrolled, have completed at least two semesters of full-time study (24 credits), and be in good academic standing (2.0 G.P.A). The rule also states that students must identify themselves as a student and be accepted by the client.

Rule 1 – General Practice Rule

Rule 1 applies to students working for a government agency or appearing on behalf of an indigent client. It does not apply to students working at private law firms representing clients for a fee. Students who work for private firms that contract to act on behalf of a government agency may be certified. For example, a firm that contracts to complete public defender cases may ask that a student be certified to represent those clients.

The Rule states that the government agency or persons representing an indigent client must submit in writing to the student’s law school the student’s name and a statement that the student will be properly supervised under the provisions of the rule. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to complete the Law School’s Student Practice Certification Form and obtain the practicing attorney’s signature to make a request to be certified under Rule 1. This requirement is found under Rule 1.03 of the Student Practice Rules.

Students seeking practice certification under Rule 1 should complete the Student Practice Certification Form, available on-line under w: Current Students / Forms / Student Practice Certification. It must be completed and signed by the practicing attorney, and submitted to the Registrar’s Office at the 2nd floor Information Desk. Once the form is received, certification takes approximately two weeks.

Rule 2 – Clinical Student Practice

Rule 2 applies to students enrolled in a clinic course. Student names are automatically submitted to the Minnesota Supreme Court if they are in a clinic where there may be an opportunity to represent a client. When the drop/add period ends after the first week of school, student names are submitted to the attorney registration clerk. Within two weeks, students will be certified. Students will not be personally notified of their certification. Please see the registrar or law clinic administrator with questions regarding clinic student certification. Students who are not in good standing are ineligible to participate in the Clinics and for student practice certification.

Certification under one rule DOES NOT include certification under the other.

Students who work for a government agency and who are also enrolled in a clinic course must be certified under each rule. The Supreme Court maintains a record of who is assuming responsibility for student activities in court. The University of Minnesota Law School accepts that responsibility under Rule 2, Clinical Student Practice. However, the employer must accept that responsibility under Rule 1, General Student Practice.

Length of certification

Both Rule 1 and Rule 2 certifications remain in effect for 12 months. You may be re-certified for an additional 12 months by request. Certification could terminate sooner if certain events occur as stated in Rule 1.03 or Rule 2.03 of the Student Practice Rules.