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.
To apply, students must first secure an organization where they can complete their independent clinical placement, a licensed attorney who will supervise their work at the organization, and faculty sponsor who will monitor their reflection essays and academic paper.
Winter 2018: October 31, 2017 (midnight)
Spring 2018: January 12, 2018 (midnight)
Follow the Steps to Apply
1. Research Organizations
To set up your independent clinical placement, you must first secure an organization where you will be working during fall, winter, or spring semester. We encourage you to research and organizations that match your individualized learning goals. If you are unsure about which organization you’d like to work with, you can search Helios for information about organizations or do a broader search by subject matter.
2. Schedule Your Advising Appointment
To initiate the application, your must meet with Liz Solar (domestic placements), Jill Crockett (international placements), or Sheryl Dickey (if you’re an LL.M. student) in our office to discuss your ideas about placement settings, supervising attorneys, faculty sponsors, and the details of the work you will be proposing. You should schedule this appointment as early as possible in the semester.
3. Create Your Independent Clinical Placement
After meeting with an OCP adviser, you will work on putting together the proposal for your 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 an academic paper topic.
4. 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 project proposal, you should outline your specific responsibilities during the placement in as much detail as possible, along with the various activities you will be involved in.
5. Apply for Funding by October 31, 2017 (Winter Term Only)
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.
6. Your Student Responsibilities
You must comply with ethical and professional responsibilities, as well as submit weekly reflections and an academic paper.
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.
Clinical Credits & Grading
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.