It’s one thing to read casebooks. The more important thing is to make the law work for real people with real needs. You don’t have to wait until graduation to work with actual clients. Here, our extensive clinical program affords hands-on experiences.
Under faculty guidance, clinic students learn to write statutes and impact legislation on such issues as family violence, affordable housing, animal law, the environment and health justice. For example, students in the Animal Law Pro Bono Clinic drafted a model city ordinance on how to deal with free-roaming feral cats – good for the city, good for the kitties.
As a complement to the clinics, legal practicum courses place students in service learning situations as they assist and observe practicing attorneys. Areas include criminal law, counseling litigants who are representing themselves in court, and supporting released prisoners as they re-enter society.
Outside O’Brian Hall, externships and judicial clerkships provide a wide range of skills training in the context of serving real clients. The School of Law offers more than 50 such placements each semester.
A particular point of pride is the student-run Buffalo Public Interest Law Program, which raises money to support students who take summer legal positions with non-profit agencies and organizations. If you have a passion for a cause, BPILP makes it possible to follow your heart.