Many students at Fordham find that no experience is more rewarding than participation in the Law School’s Clinical and Experiential Education program. Enrollment in a clinical offering allows students the opportunity to apply the substantive law learned in the classroom in a “real world” setting, preparing students to become effective advocates and practitioners.
The Clinical and Experiential Education program has three primary components: Clinics, Simulation courses, and Externship courses. The opportunities for students within each of these components vary, but are equally challenging and fulfilling: one student may enroll in Trial Advocacy and simulate cross-examination in a courtroom, while another may appear at a hearing on behalf of an individual facing criminal charges.
Clinics vary in their number of credits, but most provide two credits for a weekly seminar component and three credits for a casework component. All clinics are upper level electives, most require Fundamental Lawyering Skills (FLS) as a prerequisite or corequesite, and certain clinics suggest or require other courses. Some clinics are offered every other semester. Learn more about requirements for the current semester's clinic offerings.
To participate in a clinic, students must apply online by a deadline several weeks prior to registration. In advance of the application period, the Clinical Legal Education program will email students an announcement of the online application availability, as well as details of application procedures and deadlines. Detailed descriptions of the clinics and clinic applications are available online on the Clinical Legal Education webpage.
- Appellate Litigation
- Community Economic Development
- Consumer Litigation
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- Criminal Defense
- Family Advocacy
- Federal Litigation
- Immigrant Rights
- International Human Rights
- International Law & Development in Africa
- Queens District Attorney Prosecution
- Samuelson-Glushko Intellectual Property and Information Law
- Securities Litigation & Arbitration
- Legislative & Policy Advocacy
Simulation courses employ simulation or role-play technique, in varying degrees, to teach substantive law and/or specific lawyering skills. The range of skills taught includes case or matter planning, case theory development, fact analysis, interviewing, counseling, negotiation, mediation, witness examination, and argument. Students engage in simulation exercises designed to mirror real lawyering problems and are subsequently critiqued by the faculty member. They also receive constructive feedback from the professional New York City actors who play the role of client during simulations. Students also engage in self-critique and reflection. Many of the exercises are videotaped and reviewed during the critique process to provide the student with an in-depth, firsthand account of her performance.
Externships are courses in which students participate in fieldwork away from the Law School and attend an accompanying seminar, earning academic credit for both.
Students must complete 130 hours of fieldwork in the fall and spring semesters, and 160 hours of fieldwork during the summer session. Fieldwork can be in a judge’s chambers, government law office, nonprofit organization, or other approved placement. Seminars meet approximately every two weeks.
The following are some of the externship seminars that are offered:
- Civil – Government and Nonprofit Placements
- Criminal Justice
- New York City Council
- Intellectual Property/Media/Fashion/Information Law
- Out-of-Town (summer only)
Interested students should view the Externship program’s webpage to learn more about placement opportunities and the policies and procedures of the Externship program, including eligibility, application procedures, and deadlines.