Mizzou Law Clinics, Practicums & Externships
Credit for Competitive Mock Trial and Arbitration Teams
Students who compete on behalf of the School of Law on select competitive mock trial and arbitration teams receive academic credit for their work. The teams for which students can receive credit are the Missouri Attorney General’s Cup, Labor and Employment, Arbitration, Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial, and National Trial Competition.
A student may receive a maximum of three credits for participation in competitions for which they are selected, with a limit of one credit per each semester. While students are not prohibited from participating in numerous competitions, the number of credits counted and earned is capped. Students may not receive credit for participating in competitions during their first year.
Criminal Prosecution Clinic
Under the supervision of Boone County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Professor of Law Kandice K. Johnson, students in the Criminal Prosecution Clinic learn how to present cases, conduct direct and cross-examinations, and evaluate evidence as they handle cases for the State of Missouri. Cases include a broad range of misdemeanors and felonies, making the clinic one of only a handful at American law schools that allows students to prosecute felony cases. While providing academic lessons about criminal prosecution, the clinic also focuses on the various issues that arise with each unique case.
The law school’s Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic (ELC) was launched in the fall of 2015 to provide clinical opportunities for students to work with small and start-up business clients. The clinic, directed by attorney James M. Niemann, assists members of the university and Mid-Missouri communities seeking to start businesses by providing supervised legal services involving entity planning and formation, governance issues, employee issues, intellectual property analysis, governmental regulations and contract drafting.
The Externship offers students an opportunity to develop the skills necessary to bridge the gap between law school and law practice. Through the Externship, students prepare for “effective and responsible participation in the legal profession” (ABA Std. 301) by applying the core concepts learned in law school courses to the challenges presented in the actual, in-office practice of law.
In the Family Violence Clinic, students represent indigent victims of domestic abuse, working in trial courts on matters such as clemency petitions for victims and drafting and lobbying for legislation affecting abused women, children and families. The clinic also conducts interdisciplinary programs with other colleges at the University of Missouri, including a funded research alliance with the School of Journalism and the School of Medicine to examine the response to violence against women in rural Missouri counties. The Family Violence Clinic has been led by a nurse, lawyer and faculty member Mary Beck since 1993.
In 2007, the University of Missouri System provided funding to launch a joint innocence project with The Midwest Innocence Project, a non-profit organization based in Kansas City, Mo. Students work with an experienced lawyer and clinical professor who serves as legal director for the Innocence Project, handling cases of possible innocence from six states with the opportunity to review case transcripts, gather documents and other evidence, search for witnesses and conduct interviews.
Supervised by a staff attorney from Mid-Missouri Legal Services Corp., students in the Landlord/Tenant Practicum represent indigent tenants in a variety of disputes, including eviction, habitability and security deposit non-return. They may also represent indigent tenants who reside in public or subsidized housing in administrative actions brought by or against a housing authority.
Students in the Legislative Practicum take advantage of the School of Law’s proximity to the state capitol in Jefferson City, the advent of MU’s Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and the school’s traditional role as a resource for the Missouri General Assembly. Students gain hands-on experience in the legislative process by drafting legislation, lobbying and working on policy. The classroom component that accompanies the practicum experience involves visits by legislators, lobbyists and representatives of organizations who influence legislation.
The Mediation Clinic gives students the opportunity to act as mediators in a variety of dispute settings, such as the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the Missouri Commission for Human Rights, the 13th Judicial Circuit Small Claims Court for Boone County and with private attorneys. Mixing federal cases with small claims cases provides clinic students with an opportunity that few other mediation clinics offer. The clinic, which is housed in the School of Law’s nationally recognized Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, is headed by James H. Levin, an experienced practitioner and trainer in dispute resolution and a founding member of the National Association for Community Mediation.
The Semester-in-Practice Externship offers students an opportunity to be fully immersed in the practice of law before graduating from law school. Third-year students in their final semester of law school receive full-time practical experience for an entire semester at a private firm, corporation, nonprofit organization, legal services organization or government agency. Students work directly with supervising attorneys, spending a semester applying the core concepts learned in law school courses to the challenges presented in the actual practice of law.
South Africa Externship
The South Africa Externship offers students who enroll in the South Africa Study Abroad Program an opportunity to work with a local nonprofit or governmental agency, or other entity. Participating students have the opportunity to apply the skills learned in the classroom in an international setting. Through the South Africa Externship, students apply the core concepts learned in law school courses to the challenges presented in the actual practice of law in a foreign jurisdiction.
Students at the University of Missouri School of Law Veterans Clinic help veterans and their families secure disability benefits.
Student work is done at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals level and before the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims. Students are supervised by an experienced attorney at each step and will have the opportunity to work in a law firm atmosphere within the law school serving real client needs. Law students interested in personal injury, civil litigation or administrative law will benefit from the skills taught in this clinic.