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Community Legal Clinic

It can be fun learning to be a lawyer. You’ll be exposed to situations that will break your heart or just crack you up. But there is nothing better than achieving justice for those who have been denied it in some way.”

—Professor Earl Singleton, Director of the Community Legal Clinic

Through the Community Legal Clinic, second- and third-year law students have the opportunity to sharpen and develop skills while representing clients under the supervision of a licensed supervising attorney. The clinic’s clients are local residents, and many—if not all—clients have limited incomes that prevent private legal counsel.

This clinic focuses on family law cases, including divorce, establishment of paternity, guardianship, adoption, parenting, and custody.

In a small class setting, you’ll learn how to practice the fundamental skills developed in the first year or two of law school and gain confidence in one-on-one client meetings and in the court room. In this professional setting, students are introduced to:

  • Client interviewing and counseling
  • Fact investigation
  • Drafting
  • Negotiating
  • Trial techniques
  • Preparing for and conducting trials and administrative hearings

Students often develop a strong emotional connection with clients or experience challenges with strong personalities. In addition, students experience the weight of court decisions and their impact on clients in real-life circumstances.

"It’s one thing to read casebooks, but it’s another thing to deal with a problem personally. A lot will ride on your advice."

—Professor Earl Singleton

To participate in this clinic, you must have completed 43 hours toward graduation and have completed or be enrolled in the course The Legal Profession. Prior to registration, contact Professor Earl Singleton for permission to enroll in the class. Class size is limited. You may enroll for 3 credit hours per semester, with a maximum of 6 credit hours for this clinic.

You will be assigned a case for the semester. While you’ll be guided through the course, you will be responsible for the casework necessary for court proceedings on the case to which you are assigned. The atmosphere in the Lewis Building (where the clinic is located) is informal, but the expectations are high. Preparation for one-on-one interaction with clients often involves role-playing with possible client personalities and practice in conducting depositions.

Participants in the Community Legal Clinic must:

  • Commit to a minimum of 15 hours per week
  • Provide casework necessary for court proceedings related to your case
  • Attend weekly meetings with clients and clinic director
  • Meet with class two hours each week to discuss problems, procedures, and required reading
  • Have excellent public speaking abilities
  • Have a robust work ethic
Contact the Community Legal Clinic

Clinic Director: Earl Singleton
E-mail: singlet [at] indiana [dot] edu
Phone: (812) 855-9229
Fax: (812) 855-5128
Room: Lewis Building 306

B688: Community Legal Clinic course description