UC Law School Clinics
The University of Cincinnati Law School prepares students for their legal careers through a variety of clinics that provide invaluable work experience. Through our seven law clinics, you will have the opportunity to work with domestic violence survivors, start-ups, clients accused of misdemeanors, intellectual property law, wrongfully convicted Ohioans, or the Sixth Circuit Court. Our clinics provide opportunities to help you learn and grow in your career as a lawyer.
Learn and demonstrate client representation skills as you counsel and represent clients from the community in the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court and the Court of Common Pleas as part of Cincinnati Law's Domestic Violence and Civil Protection Order Clinic. This clinic includes a semester-long program in your third year, during which you receive extensive training along with hands-on work experience. You will hone skills in interviewing, investigation, negotiation, drafting pleadings, and correspondence, and strengthen your command of direct and cross-examination as you work collaboratively both with clinic colleagues and with off-campus and on-campus partners. Weekly classes and individual supervision offer support with case rounds, case preparation, and self-care.
During your third year at Cincinnati Law, you can sign up to join the popular Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC), where you can gain real-world experience representing local small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs on transactional legal issues critical to their success. Cincinnati, a top destination for tech and branding-focused entrepreneurs, provides fertile ground for learning how to assist clients in forming their businesses, complying with regulations and licensing, protecting trademarks and copyrights, contract negotiations, and more. Working with small-business owners is a unique way for UC Law students to gain first-hand insight into the world of commercial law.
As part of Cincinnati Law's Indigent Defense Clinic, select third-year law students represent clients charged with misdemeanors and low-level felonies in Hamilton County, Ohio. Each year, eight University of Cincinnati College of Law students participate in this clinic that instructs students on client-centered, holistic advocacy. The year-long program starts with a 6-day trial advocacy “boot camp,” then hones basic trial skills during weekly seminars. Under close supervision, students represent clients from the initial appearance until the conclusion of the case. From client interviews and case brainstorming to investigations and trials, you'll learn public defender best practices. Additionally, students learn how to connect to public defender and legal aid organizations across the country.
The Legal Access Clinic
The Legal Access Clinic (LAC) is designed to address the access to justice gap for low- and middle-income people in the tristate area while providing real life client experiences for upper-level JD and LLM students. The Clinic's scope of services is broad, and as a Cincinnati Law student working with the clinic, you may have the opportunity to work on cases ranging from evictions and habitability issues, to LGBTQIA+ name and gender changes, to estate planning and wills, and more.
Ohio Innocence Project (OIP) Fellows work alongside OIP staff attorneys as they seek to identify and assist prison inmates who claim to be innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. You will review inmate requests and assist with investigations to determine whether the request meets the screening criteria. You can also work on cases where new evidence supports the inmate’s claim of innocence. The Ohio Innocence Project is one of the premier innocence projects in the country.
At Cincinnati Law's Patent and Trademark Clinic (PTC), you'll get hands-on experience helping business owners protect their patents and trademarks in your second or third year. Launched in Fall 2017, the clinic offers you opportunities to practice intellectual property (IP) law under the supervision of local IP attorneys. As part of the clinic, you will lead meetings with clients and assist them with intellectual property matters. The work experience you will gain will be invaluable as you enter the growing field of intellectual property law.
Learn the basics of appellate advocacy first-hand at Cincinnati Law's Sixth Circuit Clinic. This one- or two-semester experience allows you to work directly on cases actively pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which is located in downtown Cincinnati. For a semester, you'll work alongside practicing attorneys with active cases in the Sixth Circuit, giving you unprecedented access to the inner-workings of the court system. You can attend arguments at the Court, review lower court records, find issues, write drafts of briefs and even participate in mock oral arguments in a Sixth Circuit courtroom.
Find out how UC Law Clinics change lives!
The University of Cincinnati College of Law features five unique clinics for students to work, study, and gain experience that will enable them to excel in their careers as lawyers. Interested in learning more? Request information today!