EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

Western New England University School of Law is committed to providing students with the opportunity to be immersed in a dynamic, hands-on learning environment which allows them to understand the practice of law more fully.

Experiential learning has a high priority at Western New England University School of Law. Our clinical programs allow you to apply legal theory learned in the classroom to real-life lawyering, representing actual clients in real cases. These programs prepare you for the practice of law, as you gain practical knowledge and begin to develop professional skills and values under the supervision of experienced practitioners and a faculty member. In addition to providing valuable firsthand experience, clinics help develop essential lawyering skills such as legal writing, interviewing, and negotiation. Professors Tina Cafaro and Lauren Carasik discuss the value and excitement of our clinical courses in our Perspectives article. Click here to view the article "Clinical Experience: Translating Theory into Practice". Also, click here to view the Perspectives article "Ready to Practice" which talks about the hands-on experiential learning opportunities available at Western New England University School of Law.

Participation in a clinical program also offers an exciting and creative way to establish connections with practicing attorneys and to build a resume of legal experience.

Click here to view our Experiential Learning Brochure.  

  

 Experiential Learning Opportunities  

COMPARISON CHART

CLINICS & PRACTICUMS  

Criminal Law Prosecution Clinic
Students prosecute cases for the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office.

Discrimination Clinic
Students gain experience prosecuting discrimination claims at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Elder Law Clinic
Students represent elders in a range of legal matters that seniors face today.

Family Law Mediation Clinic
The Family Mediation Clinic is a collaboration between Western New England School of Law, The Hampden Probate and Family Court, and the Mediation and Training Collaborative (TMTC) of Greenfield in which students co-mediate and participate in the mediation process at court-ordered mediation sessions.

International Human Rights Clinic
Students will work collaboratively with domestic and international nongovernmental organizations, grass-roots organizations, solidarity networks, attorneys, stakeholders, and other institutions engaging in human rights work, to advance political, economic, social and cultural human rights across borders.

Legal Services Clinic
Students make a measurable and meaningful difference in the lives of poor, elderly, and disadvantaged clients by working at Community Legal Aid (CLA), a private, nonprofit organization that serves as the principal provider of civil legal services to low income individuals in western Massachusetts.

Small Business Clinic
Students provide legal and business services to local small businesses that are usually owned by one or two individuals and have anywhere from zero to five employees.  Law students work on transactional legal matters that are typical in the start-up phase of a business.

 

Criminal Law Defense Practicum
Students work as students defense attorneys at the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) within the Hampden County District Courts.

Real Estate Practicum
The clinic places students with practicing lawyers and title insurance companies to learn the ins and outs of real estate practice. Students work on matters involving deed descriptions and title searches, closings, zoning issues, condominiumdocuments, appraisals, leases, and mortgages.

Clinic Application Process 

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EXTERNSHIPS  

Law Practice Externships
Students work in a nonprofit or governmental agency or organization, or law firm and participate in a Seminar designed to provide an opportunity for structured reflection on the role of the lawyer.

Judicial Externships  
Students work in various judicial settings and participate in a Seminar designed to complement the individual work experience by providing structured reflection on many aspects of the roles of courts, judges and lawyers in society.

Student Secured Externships  
Students may secure their own judicial, public interest or private sector externship placement with prior approval. 

Please view the EXTERNSHIP HANDBOOK for an overview of the policies and procedures relevant to the Western New England University School of Law Externship Program.

IMPORTANT EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM INFORMATION                                                                                                  

Click here to listen to a short overview of the Externship Program.
Click here to view a slide presentation.
EXTERNSHIP ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENTS
EXTERNSHIP APPLICATION AND REGISTRATION PROCEDURES
FAQs for EXTERNSHIPS
Externship Application Period for Spring 2016 placements will take place in October, 2015.

Summer Externships

Questions? Contact Marie Fletcher at Tel.: 413-782-1469 or email: mfletcher@law.wne.edu.

Jesmin Basanti

"The Legal Services Clinic was an experience I will never forget. I worked in the Family Law unit and the amount of time and the breadth of knowledge that my Supervisor and Professor provided were invaluable. I was given opportunities to create and sustain client relationships on my own. I felt prepared and confident in all my court appearances because I took with me the assurance that I had a solid background and foundation of knowledge. I would recommend everyone take part in the Clinical experience as it prepares law students for the world outside of the classroom."

Jesmin Basanti
Class of 2007



   
1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01119
Main University: 413-782-3111
Admissions: 413-782-1406 or 800-782-6665