"In the clinic, you will develop your legal skills, your doctrinal and legal ethics knowledge, and your theoretical understanding in the course of representing pro bono clients. Without your representation, these clients otherwise would be without counsel because they couldn't afford to hire a lawyer."
-- Professor Margaret E. Johnson, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Experiential Education
Welcome to UB's Experiential Education Program where students work on behalf of actual clients. The Experiential Education Program encompasses two distinct programs: UB’s Clinical Law Program and UB’s Externship Program.
UB’s Clinical Law Program offers you, the clinic student, the opportunity to be licensed to practice law as a student attorney and represent actual clients under the supervision of faculty who are both expert teachers and excellent practicing lawyers. In the clinic, you will develop your legal skills, your doctrinal and legal ethics knowledge, and your theoretical understanding in the course of representing pro bono clients. Without your representation, these clients otherwise would be without counsel because they couldn't afford to hire a lawyer. The companion seminar and weekly supervision meetings with faculty ensure the development of your lawyering through preparation, performance, self-reflection, and self-evaluation. This is where you take what you have learned in books to solve real-world legal problems. Our clinics -- ranked No. 15 in the nation in 2019 by U.S. News & World Report -- are known for the depth and range of their offerings, for their deep commitment to the community, and for the excellence of their faculty.
In a clinic, you are not a law clerk. You are the lead counsel in your cases and are licensed to practice law under the supervision of our faculty. There is no other setting in which a law student can assume this level of responsibility. On any given day, you may be interviewing clients, negotiating with opposing counsel, conducting legal research and analysis, writing briefs, executing transactional documents, investigating facts, arguing an appeal or handling a trial. You will leave clinic with solid legal skills and a deep understanding of the law and legal systems. You will have gained confidence and an impressive resume that will open doors upon graduation.
UB has a wide variety of clinics that can help you determine your own legal path. You can try on the hat of a litigator or conduct corporate deals or mediate disputes. You can advocate before a state court or a government agency or the General Assembly. You can immerse yourself in the criminal justice system or try your hand at family law litigation. You can be a powerful voice for veterans or survivors of human-trafficking or immigrants or the wrongfully incarcerated. Whichever clinic you choose, you will make a profound difference in the lives of your clients.
You will work under the close supervision of our exceptional faculty, all of whom are experienced attorneys, skilled teachers and leaders within the bar. The supervision is designed to empower you to learn strategic legal decision-making, and this is done through the smallest faculty-student ratio in the law school.
In the words of one clinic alum: “From clinic, I have gained not only significant personal and professional experience, but a sense of confidence in myself. I am sincere when I say that my choice to participate in a clinic was the best decision I have made during my time at UB.”
You can learn more about the clinical program on this website, at our biannual clinical and externship information fair, or by contacting our clinical faculty directly. We would love to tell you about what sets our clinical program, and UB, apart.
UB’s Externship Program offers you the opportunity to serve as a law clerk in a field placement of your choice, whether it be with a practicing attorney, a government agency, a judge, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or a corporate counsel. Your placement will include the opportunity to engage in lawyering activities and legal analysis and writing under the supervision of a barred attorney. The companion seminar taught by experienced and esteemed practicing lawyers, judges, and our very own Director of Externships Professor Neha Lall integrates the doctrine, theory, skills and legal ethics necessary to ensure you develop your lawyering abilities. You will leave your externship with a greater understanding of legal practice, lawyering, professionalism and legal ethics as well as an enhanced resume.
You can learn more about the Externship Program on this website, at our biannual clinical and externship information fair, or by contacting Professor Neha Lall, Director of Externships.
We look forward to you participating in the Experiential Education curriculum here at UB. Participating in a clinic and an externship will be important to your development as a lawyer. In addition, the experiential education graduation requirement can be satisfied by taking any clinic, or the attorney externship plus another non-advanced externship or a different experiential course. For more information, please review the experiential education requirement here.
Margaret E. Johnson
Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Experiential Education