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Client Assignments

How clinics assign clients to students is influenced by the needs of the client, the ability of the student, pedagogical considerations, and efficiency. If a clinic takes on more sophisticated matters for clients, the work load may be more than one student can handle by himself, thus clinics may want to team students. Even without an overly complicated matter, teaming students can provide student counselors a built-in resource. In the best circumstances the students learn how to work together toward a shared goal. Special considerations when teaming students include how to supervise the work and how to handle compatibility issues between teammates.

Solo assignments also can provide a tremendous experience for students in that students are forced to figure out matters for themselves. They must establish their own relationship with the client, ascertain the client’s needs, develop a plan, and execute it. Students tend to emerge more confident in their own abilities after handling a client individually. The downside to this is that in some real-life job markets, young lawyers are unlikely to work alone. Many clinics use a combination of teamed and solo assignments.

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