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Clinic Meeting for Next Year

The WVU Clinical program is where it’s at. It’s the meat and potatoes of that little thing called “practical experience” and you can gain it during law school and get gobs of credit hours for it. I don’t know if the Clinical Program has sufficiently trumpeted its own successes, but considering it recently received national recognition for being awesome, it’s something that you might want to get on your resume.

WVU Clinical Law Program

But which clinic is right for me? 
Disclaimer: (the info contained here is second hand hearsay from my friends and personal experience…listen to what they tell you in the meeting and look at course listings; this is anecdotal at best)

General Clinic – (7 credit hours a semester)

General Clinic – Civil Cases – General clinic encompasses not only general clients, but also several specialty divisions listed out below. Work will involve filing briefs, summay judgement motions, may require presenting at hearings, guardian ad litem filings, and many other of a broad brush of work. People who make it through this clinic are valuable starting DAY ONE after graduation because they will be able to perform the bread and butter of many of the cases that firms in the area get on a daily basis (i.e. very hireable). It is a huge time commitment however, but rewards you with a complete 7 hours per semester of work. Below are a few other categories under the general clinic umbrella:

General Clinic: Child and Family Advocacy – The Child and Family Advocacy Clinic at the WVU College of Law can assist children and families with limited income who need free legal assistance in civil matters. This one is extremely hands on and lets students make a real impact in almost every case they work with. Great if you want experience and to make a difference in people’s lives.

General Clinic: Innocence Project – This one is new to WV, but is very exciting as it is growing rapidly and is a project that has a national presence. The work they do is dedicated to post-conviction litigation and policy reform and student work with faculty to investigate potential cases and provide legal services to those with meritorious claims of innocence. Policy-wise they work towards providing legislative safeguards designed to ensure that the wrong individuals are not convicted based on mistaken eyewitness identification of flawed forensic techniques.

General Clinic: Immigration – This clinic puts WVU on the map in an unexpected way…although WVU is not an immigration hub, we have been growing in renown for our international work. This is in no small part to the immigration clinic which makes headlines with the cases it’s students take on due to the high stakes of it’s clients who are facing deportation, asylum, and other immigration proceedings.

General Clinic: Low Income Taxpayer – This one is a bit smaller do to its specialized nature but can provide special experience to those in the field. Students work here to resolve their tax controversy with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A bit obvious from the title, but still a great way to gain hands on experience and get a bunch of hours.

General Clinic: Veterans’ Assistance Project – The Veterans Assistance Project is one of a kind in the country in that we are officially affiliated with the Veteran’s Assistance Hospital in order to provide services to Veterans. This co-op further allows students to provides civil legal services to veterans in family law (including violence protection, custody, support, divorce and adoption), social security and other public benefits, property issues, and consumer debt relief.

Specialty Clinics

Entrepreneurship Law Clinic – (9 credit hours over 2 semesters || 4 hours first semester/5 the second) This is the clinic I’ve been involved in. It’s basically a non-litigation business based clinic that focuses on issues with small business issues. This includes trademark and copyright work, nonprofit formation, company formation (ex. entity selection, drafting articles of incorporation), and business contract drafting.

U.S. Supreme Court – (4 credits per semester) – Very cool clinic that draft briefs/amicus for clients and help prep attorneys arguing cases to the supreme court. From what I’ve seen this clinic really beefs up your appellate writing skills and familiarizes yourself with the appeals process. This year they also took a trip to DC to observe one of the cases

Land Use and Sustainable Development – (4 credits per semester) – This clinic is exploding with growth as WVU continues to emerge as a leader in energy law and environmental issues in the country. Students will attend and participate in client interviews, negotiations, and public meetings dealing with land and conservation issues directly involved in energy practice.

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