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Students Take Oath During Clinic Affirmation Ceremony

Provide Legal Services to Low-Income or Non-Profit Clients

Legal Clinics

Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services

Working in one of our 10 legal clinics, you will provide representation and assistance to the underserved populations of the Twin Cities on problems ranging from health care to political asylum to issues of social justice.

Our clinics are part of the St. Thomas Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services, which is among the first of its kind in the country. The center takes a holistic approach to serving clients in that, under the guidance of faculty, students from the disciplines of law, social work and psychology work collaboratively to help clients in need.

The St. Thomas legal clinics are supported through a generous donation from Robins Kaplan LLP.

Clinic Overview Videos

Community Justice Project

The Community Justice Project builds bridges with stakeholders and conducts intensive research to find solutions to social justice issues in our community.
Watch Video About Community Justice Project

Legal Clinics

The Appellate Clinic works on a pro bono civil appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Under the supervision of Professor Greg Sisk, students review the trial court record, identify and research issues for appeal, prepare an opening brief and a reply brief, and may be designated to present the oral argument to the court. Students must complete Lawyering Skills III before working in the Appellate Clinic.

The Bankruptcy Litigation Clinic represents an indigent party in Federal Bankruptcy Court. Students handle cases from beginning to end—draft a complaint, answer, conduct discovery, participate in motion practice, and finally, defend the client at the trial. Typical cases involve representing a debtor who has been sued for a denial of discharge or a creditor who wants claims declared non-dischargeable. Students work under the supervision of bankruptcy attorneys from the firm Cozen O’Connor.

The Community Justice Project focuses on bridge building with community stakeholders and problem solving in distressed communities. It takes a comprehensive look at improving the lives of the African American community in the Twin Cities. The CJP has engaged in intensive research into practical solutions to longstanding challenges such as racial disparities in the criminal justice system, police brutality and racial disparities in the educational and juvenile justice systems for at-risk youth.

Students in the Criminal and Juvenile Defense Clinic represent both children and adults accused of crimes in Hennepin County and the greater Twin Cities area. Students have an opportunity to represent clients from the start to finish of a case, and appear regularly in court for arraignments, conferences, motions hearings, bench trials, jury trials and sentencing hearings. Students develop skills in fact investigation, client counseling, interviewing, negotiation, motions writing, oral argument, witness examination, jury selection and all other aspects of pretrial and trial litigation.

The first of its kind in the country, the Federal Commutations Clinic explores issues of commutation and looks particularly at cases when students may assist individuals seeking a commutation of sentence. Students investigate requests for assistance, analyze the merits of cases, and make recommendations about whether or not to pursue a particular case. Participation in the Federal Commutations Clinic is likely to involve travel to federal penitentiaries.

The Immigration Law Practice Group represents immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. as a result of persecution or a fear of persecution in their home countries. They conduct client interviews, conduct local and international fact investigations, draft immigration applications and client affidavits and represent clients before immigration related divisions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Students may also participate in immigration-related advocacy projects with community organizations.

The Nonprofit Organizations Clinic focuses on the legal needs of existing and aspiring nonprofit organizations. This clinic is designed to help nonprofits get off the ground and sustain themselves as they promote social and economic justice here and abroad. Students who participate in this clinic are likely to volunteer for nonprofit organizations; learn about governance, compliance, operations and management; and help promote servant leadership and social justice.

This clinical course gives a small number of students each semester the opportunity to write appellate briefs, primarily amicus curiae briefs, in cases involving religious liberty in the U.S. Supreme Court, lower federal courts, and state appellate courts. The primary clients are national civil-liberties organizations and national religious organizations. Each student should expect to draft one appellate brief and, depending on workload, other written work product. Through readings as well as practice, students will learn basic principles of religious liberty, conscience protection, and appellate writing, including intensive writing work and attention to the distinctive strategic issues in drafting effective amicus briefs.

The Special Education Clinic provides pro bono assistance to the families of elementary and secondary students who have been identified as qualifying for special education services pursuant to an individualized education program (IEP). Students gain an understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in order to apply it when reviewing IEPs and advising clients. Clients are referred to the clinic through community partners, and not through self-referrals.

Students in the Trademark Clinic practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), counseling clients, such as business owners and entrepreneurs, regarding trademark matters, and drafting and filing trademark applications, responses to PTO actions and other documents in trademark applications. The Trademark Clinic is certified by the PTO.

Clinical Faculty

Rachel Moran headshot

Rachel Moran

Criminal and Juvenile Defense Clinic
Carl Warren headshot

Carl Warren

Community Justice Project
Mark Osler headshot

Mark Osler

Federal Commutations Clinic
Gregory Sisk headshot

Gregory Sisk

Federal Appellate Clinic
Thomas Berg headshot

Thomas Berg

Religious Liberty Appellate Clinic
Virgil Wiebe headshot

Virgil Wiebe

Immigration Law Practice Group
Elizabeth Schiltz headshot

Elizabeth Schiltz

Special Education Clinic
St. Thomas Shield

Jenn Urban

Nonprofit Organizations Clinic
Andrea Jepsen Headshot

Andrea Jepsen

Special Education Clinic