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Student Enrollment

Every school has its own method for selecting students for a clinic. It ranges from a lottery (and there are many versions of this) to open registration during general course selection to a more selective interviewing process. If clinics have any discretion over the method of enrollment, some of the issues to consider are:

  • Student demand
  • The sophistication of the clinic’s work
  • Is it a single term or multi-term clinic
  • Will there be both second year and third year law students in the clinic simultaneously
  • Diversity of viewpoints, perspectives, and experience
  • How many students can faculty reasonably supervise

A common tension exists between providing students and clients with the best experience possible and maximizing the number of students that can cycle through a clinical course. Faculty must keep in mind their pedagogical goals with regard to what they want students to take with them after they finish working in a clinic. That may influence how one treats enrollment.

Clinicians almost certainly will have to draft a description of the clinic. This is an important marketing tool for a clinic as well as it being necessary for registration. (See Course Descriptions for more information). A description may highlight the types of client engagements students experience in a clinic, the skills they are likely to develop, or the pedagogical goals of the course. Translating the experience (however one conceives it) into something that will make students stronger in practice, is essential.

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