In the Clinical Placement Program (CPP), the law office or judge's chambers to which a student is assigned is the classroom. Here students experience the practice of law. Legal skills are used to help "real" clients and to assist in deciding "real" cases. Students grapple with issues of personal and professional responsibility. They also learn firsthand about the legal system and the social, economic, and political forces that affect it. Issues involving bias, the meaning and quality of justice, and larger societal concerns challenge student thinking. Throughout the semester, students are encouraged to take charge of their own learning experiences and to utilize critical thinking skills.
The CPP is divided into five sections: civil, criminal, judicial, litigation, and in-house counsel (spring semester only). The civil section is composed of placements with government and public interest agencies. The criminal section is composed of defense and prosecutorial placements. The judicial section includes placements with state and federal judges at both the trial and appellate levels. The litigation clinic includes civil, criminal, and judicial placements. The in-house counsel section places students with counsel for national and international corporations. Each section is limited to eight students per semester. Students may take the CPP for four, five, or six credit hours. All credit is pass/fail.
A professor is assigned to each section of the CPP. They not only teach students but also serve as catalysts for self-discovery. The lawyers and judges who work with students are called field instructors. They are selected based upon their legal expertise and competence, professional reputation, and desire to work with students. The field instructors serve as supervisors, teachers, and mentors. All of these individuals are dedicated to helping students reach their full potential.
The law school recognizes that reflection is essential to learning from one's experiences, so students are required to produce weekly journals and to meet biweekly with their professor. The purpose of these activities is to provide time for self-examination and to permit students to process what they are learning. This focus carries over into the weekly seminar where student experiences furnish the starting point for further intellectual inquiry. By offering an integrated approach to learning, the CPP inspires students to be self-directed and to challenge their own thinking.