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 Requirements

The experiential learning requirement at Western New England School of Law is designed to help give law students a chance to get real-world legal experience before graduation. Students entering in the Fall of 2014 and therefater are required to complete 6 experiential learning credits.

Experiential Learning Opportunities  


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, condominium documents, appraisals, leases, and mortgages.

Clinic Application Process 

Clinic Comparison Chart

Recruitment Schedule for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 Placements


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. 

Summer Externships

IMPORTANT EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM INFORMATION                                                                                                

View the EXTERNSHIP HANDBOOK for an overview of the policies and procedures relevant to the Western New England University School of Law Externship Program.
Click here to view a slide presentation.
Externship Application Deadline Date for Fall 2016 placements is March 27, 2016.


Western New England University School of Law offers numerous opportunities for students to hone their professional lawyering skills through legal competitions. Through various inter-law school and intramural moot court teams students have ample opportunity to add valuable experiences to their law school education.


Western New England School of Law offers a number of courses that help students learn by engaging in simulations of the kind of real-world lawyering that normally takes place outside of the classroom. These courses teach oral argument skills, negotiation skills, mediation skills, transactional and litigation drafting skills, problem solving, and much more.


Western New England University School of Law has a long tradition of service in Springfield and surrounding communities. In the spring of 2011, the faculty of Western New England Law acknowledged the importance of this service by adopting a pro bono graduation requirement. In order to graduate, students must complete 20 hours of pro bono service. The Pro Bono program allows students to provide legal services to underrepresented community members while honing their own legal skills.

Click here for a list of courses that satisfy Experiential Learning Credits required for graduation.

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