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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.

Application Deadlines

Application Deadlines

Fall 2018: August 28, 2018 (midnight)
Winter 2019: October 30, 2018 (midnight)
Spring 2019: January 11, 2019 (midnight)

Follow the Steps to Apply

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.

    Schedule your Appointment

  • 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.

    Review Criteria for Creating a Placement
  • 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.

    Download Required Forms and Submit Online Application
  • 5. Apply for Funding by October 30, 2018 (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.

    Read Student Responsibilities

Clinical Credits & Grading

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 through the last day of winter term.

Independent clinicals are graded Credit/Fail based on the student’s submission of reflection essays, academic paper, and supervisor’s placement evaluation.