The Independent Clinical Program gives students — who are interested in a specialized area of the law or field of practice that is not currently offered in HLS’s existing clinical curriculum — an opportunity to be entrepreneurial and design a custom placement that will meet their individualized learning goals. Students may do an independent clinical project in the Fall, Winter, or Spring term. They may work at organizations throughout the United States and around the world during the winter term only.
Fall & Spring Term
For fall and spring terms, students receive either 2 clinical credits for working 8 hours per week or 3 clinical credits for working 12 hours per week.
Over winter term, students receive 2 clinical credits. Students must be in residence working full-time at their placements, from the first day of winter term, January 2, 2018 through the last day of winter term January 19, 2018.
Independent clinicals are graded Credit/Fail based on the student’s submission of reflection essays, academic paper, and supervisor’s placement evaluation.
Winter 2018: October 31, 2017 (midnight)
Spring 2018: January 12, 2018 (midnight)
Winter Term Funding
For Domestic Independent Clinical Placements
Limited funding is available for J.D. and LL.M. students enrolled in a domestic independent clinical placement. This funding is to offset the cost of transportation and housing while off-campus. Students should pay careful attention to the relevant requirements and be sure to leave enough time to obtain the necessary documents.
Students will be eligible for funding of 1 Winter Term domestic independent clinical project. If students are contemplating applying for 2 Winter Term domestic independent clinical placements they should plan accordingly.
Funding for domestic independent clinical placements is limited. Students receiving HLS financial aid — defined as being eligible for and receiving at least $20,500 in the form of an educational loan certified by the Student Financial Services office, or the equivalent for international students — may receive funding of up to $2,000. Students who are not receiving any HLS financial aid may receive funding up to $1,000. All students will be required to sign a financial waiver authorizing OCP to consult with Student Financial Services.
International Independent Clinical PLACEMENTS
Funding for international independent clinical placements is administered by International Legal Studies. Please consult their website for their winter term grant policies and procedures.
Follow Steps to Apply
1. Make an Advising Appointment
To initiate the application process, students must meet with Liz Solar (domestic placements), Jill Crockett (international placements), or Sheryl Dickey (if an LL.M. student) in our office to discuss their ideas about placement settings, supervising attorneys, and faculty sponsors, as well as the details of the work they will be proposing. Students should schedule these appointments as early as possible in the semester.
2. Create an Independent Clinical Placement
After meeting with an OCP adviser, students will work on putting together their project proposal for an independent clinical placement. Creating a placement involves (1) finding an organization to work with (2) securing a supervising attorney (3) securing a faculty sponsor and (4) deciding on a paper topic.
3. Submit Application
The application includes (1) project proposal, (2) faculty sponsor form, (3) supervising attorney form, (4) proposed research paper topic, (5) student responsibilities form, and (6) release for domestic travel form. In the application, students should outline their specific responsibilities during the placement in as much detail as possible, along with the various activities they will be involved in.
4. Apply for Winter Term Funding
Funding for Domestic Clinical Placements
OCP provides limited domestic funding to selected students who have proposed the most well-constructed, realistic independent clinical projects during the Winter Term. Access the Funding Application
Funding for International Clinical Placements
Students looking for funding to travel abroad for a clinical project must apply through the Office of International Legal Studies by visiting their Winter Term International Travel Grants website.
5. Read Student Responsibilities
Students must comply with ethical and professional responsibilities, as well as submit weekly reflections and an academic paper.
6. Complete Student Evaluation