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EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

Real-World Training at Utah Law

Experiential learning – learning through practical experience – is a critical component of every student’s training at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. In experiential courses, including in-house clinics, externships, and simulations, students get hands-on experience and individualized training that bridges the gap between the classroom and real-world lawyering. All students must complete six credits of experiential coursework before graduating. Many students choose to do more. See below for more information.

IN-HOUSE CLINICS

Many of our students find that a clinic experience is the most valuable, rewarding and challenging part of law school.

Clinic students learn through real-world work, intensive seminars, and regular meetings with faculty supervisors. Every clinic student gains valuable skills, knowledge, and mental habits that help prepare them for a successful practice. They also gain deep insight into the strategic, ethical, and relational dimensions of the legal profession.

Creative Advocacy Lab
The Creative Advocacy Lab explores modes of legal advocacy beyond traditional client representation, re-envisioning lawyers as community educators, problem-solvers, and storytellers. In collaboration with community partners, students will use creative tools—like design thinking, narrative, plain language writing, and visual communication—to make legal information accessible to those who need it.

Advanced Creative Advocacy Lab
Students who have completed one semester of Creative Advocacy Lab may enroll as advanced students in subsequent semesters. This opportunity is reserved for Creative Advocacy Lab students whose learning and advocacy goals align with a community partner’s need to design legal informational resources.

Environmental Justice Clinic
The Environmental Justice Clinic partners with low-income communities and communities of color to challenge the inequitable distribution of environmental burdens and benefits and ensure meaningful participation in environmental decision-making. Students enrolled in the clinic use a range of tools and an interdisciplinary approach to advance environmental justice.

Refugee Law Clinic
The Refugee Law Clinic offers students the opportunity to represent refugees and other immigrants who are seeking protection from persecution in their country of origin. The clinic partners with organizations serving the refugee and immigrant community in Utah. Students assist clients with accessing resettlement benefits (including work authorization), applications for asylum and other humanitarian forms of protection, and other legal projects and policy initiatives to advocate on behalf of the immigrant and refugee community in Utah.

EXTERNSHIPS

In externships, students earn academic credit while gaining practical skills and training under licensed attorneys in the field. S.J. Quinney has a wide variety of externship placements in over a hundred different settings across more than a dozen different areas of law, and new placements are developed every semester.

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SIMULATIONS

Simulation courses engage students in dynamic, real-world lawyering tasks based on hypothetical scenarios. From the annual simulation in Global Perspectives on Counterterrorism to closing arguments in Trial Advocacy, from conceptualizing large-scale projects in Real Estate Development to drafting divorce settlement agreements in Family Law Practice Lab, students build concrete skills to be practice ready.

 

PRACTICUMS

Innovation for Justice (i4J)
Housed at both the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and the University of Utah Eccles School of Business, Innovation for Justice (i4J) applies design- and systems-thinking methodologies to expose inequalities in the justice system and create new, replicable, and scalable strategies for legal empowerment. Courses include Innovating Legal Services, UX4 Justice, and Leadership in Legal Innovation.

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Experiential Learning FAQs