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.
Special Clinic Registration Policies
The clinical courses fill quickly and generate lengthy waiting lists. As a result, the following applies when enrolling in a clinic:
Law Clinics Registration Policies:
1. Only students in good academic standing are eligible to register for clinical courses.
2. Additionally, certain categories of students are not eligible to register or audit any law clinics: LL.M., Humphrey Fellows, and visiting students.
3. Clinic courses with student directors will reserve slots for 2L students to ensure a mix of both 3L and 2L students in the course.
4. While students are generally enrolled in law clinics through the Lottery Registration process, students should note that the law clinics reserve the option to:
a. Prioritize the clinic waitlists and move students registered in other clinics;
b. Limit the number of clinics students can take during law school. The current clinic limit is one (1), including 1-semester clinics, unless there are no students on the waiting list;
c. Limit the number of clinics students can take per semester. The current limit is one (1).
d. Once the lottery has run, the law clinics will award slots in this order and based on 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.
e. With the above criteria and the mix of 3L and 2L students, please keep in mind that it is highly unlikely for a student to be eligible for more than one clinic during their law school program. Only student directors will complete a second clinic, the same as their first, but with a more advanced role in the clinic.
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 Kathleen Weston, the law clinics office manager, at email@example.com, to let one of them know why s/he will be absent and to request that s/he remain on the class list.
Dropping of clinic courses is allowed ONLY during the first week of the first semester. When students enroll in a clinical course, they have only seven (7) calendar days to drop a clinic.
Registration for the 2nd semester of 2-semester clinics happens 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 students’ schedule before the lottery opens. Please note:
• Any student who voluntarily drops the 2nd semester of a 2-semester clinic will not be re-enrolled. At the discretion of the supervising attorney, s/he will receive either a letter grade (which may include an “F”) or a “W” for the first semester of the clinic.
• Students who choose to drop or are unable to complete both semesters of any 2-semester clinic will receive from their supervising attorney either a letter grade (which may include an “F”) or a “W” for the first semester.
Registration of law clinics student directors. Clinic student directors will also be automatically enrolled prior to the start of the lottery, whenever possible. Please note:
• Any student director who voluntarily drops the 2nd semester of a 2-semester clinic will not be re-enrolled. At the discretion of the supervising attorney, s/he will receive either a letter grade (which may include an “F”) or a “W” for the first semester of the clinic.
• Student directors who choose to drop or are unable to complete both semesters of any 2-semester clinic will receive from their supervising attorney either a letter grade (which may include an “F”) or a “W” for the first semester.
You will find the law school cancel/add & refund deadlines along this path: http://www.law.umn.edu/current/deadlines.html.
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 clinics office manager 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.
Student Practice Certification—Other States
Most states have court rules and procedures to certify an eligible law student to appear on a client’s behalf, under the supervision of a licensed attorney in that state. Students seeking practice certification outside of Minnesota are responsible for researching the certification requirement for the state in question and submitting to the Law School Registrar’s Office all relevant forms and instructions. Questions regarding non-Minnesota student practice certification should be directed to the Registrar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.