Mock oral argument

Experiential Learning

Extensive experiential opportunities help you put your knowledge into practice.

The Law School offers dozens of courses, clinics, externships, a Public Interest Law Residency Program, and numerous other opportunities that equip students for the marketplace. From interviewing clients to negotiating with opposing attorneys, from drafting agreements to arguing cases in court, these practical, skill-building opportunities enhance and expand the Law School experience.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) introduces students to the basic methods and promotes practice through simulated exercises.

Capstone Courses integrate doctrinal instruction with skills and professional training. Two types of capstone courses are available: simulation and policy development capstones.

Clinical Education at the University of Minnesota Law School offers 25 diverse clinics where students can hone their legal skills and gain real-world experience with clients in a supportive setting.

Corporate Externships provide immersion in the work environment of a corporate legal department.

Field Placements include the Remote Semester Program, Public Interest Field Placement, Human Rights Law Field Placement, Immigration Law Field Placement, and Independent Field Placement which provide opportunities for students to gain valuable experience in the legal profession and in public service while earning credits toward their law degree.

Interviewing, Negotiating and Counseling course builds competence in dealing with clients and opposing attorneys.

Judicial Externships provide real-life experiences with the federal district court, state appellate court, and state district courts in Minnesota. Students serve as part-time law clerks for academic credit.

Law in Practice builds early legal practice skills in the first year.

Legal Writing builds writing, analysis, and research skills in the first year through multiple opportunities to practice writing and receive detailed feedback from professors throughout the year.

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.

Pretrial Practice and Depositions courses throughout the curriculum emphasize both formal and informal trial preparation, building on the basic interviewing and counseling skills, but also emphasizing drafting, discovery and motions.

Transactional skills practice courses focus on development of particular writing skills needed in drafting agreements of various kinds. Courses develop students’ skills in more complex and focused areas of the law, including International Contracts Seminar, Pretrial Skills, Advanced Real Estate Drafting, and Interviewing, Negotiating and Counseling.

Trial Practice program, a hands-on program taught in small sections by prominent federal and state trial court judges, teaches students trial skills, including procedures, tactics and persuasion. The performance-based curriculum includes weekly in-class and videotaped exercises. Students participate in sessions on jury selection, opening statements, direct and cross-examination of witnesses, expert testimony, introduction of evidence, objections, and closing arguments. The course concludes with a simulated trial before a real judge and a volunteer jury from the community. Students also can take the Advanced Trial Practice course.

  • Anna Finstrom

    Anna Finstrom (’15)

    Hands-On Experience

    “As a student in the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic, I had an invaluable face-to-face encounter with a multi-layered legal process: we learned how a client’s real-life story translates into complex legal arguments; we saw how a case developed over time from a local decision to appeal at the highest court in the nation; and finally we achieved a successful result by negotiation and settlement. ”
    Minnesota Court of Appeals Clerk

Contact Information

University of Minnesota Law School

Walter F. Mondale Hall | 229 19th Avenue South | Minneapolis, MN 55455

P: 612-625-5000

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