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Independent Clinical Projects

Participants in the Independent Clinical Project have the opportunity to create their own clinical project, working closely with a faculty member with similar interests. Students can earn up to 3 credit hours during the academic year. Typical projects have included:

  • Working for the local district pro bono office
  • Interning for a state court judge
  • Working at a governmental agency
  • Interning in the office of the prosecutor or public defender of a neighboring county

The student must provide a written description of the project and the supervising faculty member must sign the proposal. The project must include some established and regular communication among the supervising faculty member, student, and supervising attorney. Students write and submit weekly reflective essays about the internship. Students involved in the Independent Clinical Project have the opportunity to develop hands-on legal skills by working with a licensed attorney.

Requirements

Students work about 50 to 60 hours for each hour of credit. To get started, find an internship opportunity that interests you. Then find a faculty member who is willing to work with you on the project. Make sure to get the faculty member’s signature on the permission form, which you can get from the Recorder’s Office, and register for Independent Clinical Project B710. If the project requires client contact, you must have successfully completed a course in The Legal Profession as a prerequisite and be supervised by a licensed attorney. The course is graded pass/fail unless prior arrangements are made with the faculty member.

The following requirements apply to all independent clinical projects:

  1. The project must be supervised by a member of the faculty
  2. Up to three credit hours during the academic year or four credit hours during the summer may be arranged with the supervising faculty member, at a rate of 50-60 internship hours per credit hour; P/F grading applies, unless special prior arrangements are made with the faculty member
  3. If the project involves client contact (other than an institutional client), the student must have completed successfully a course in the Legal Profession as a prerequisite and be supervised by a licensed attorney
  4. The project will not satisfy the School's research and writing graduation requirement, but it will satisfy the School's skills graduation requirement
  5. The supervising faculty member is encouraged to visit the project site during the course of the project
  6. The student must provide a written description of the project. The supervising faculty member must sign the proposal. The signature constitutes the faculty member's certification that the project has a definite and explicit academic component; and
  7. The student and supervising faculty member must follow a supervision protocol, developed by the Dean in consultation with the Educational Policy Committee, that assures compliance with ABA Accreditation Standard 305 and satisfies the School's requirement for substantial instruction in professional skills
  8. If the project is supervised by a faculty member in whose special field of expertise the project lies, the student and faculty member may substitute for the protocol described in paragraph (7) other evidence of compliance with the following requirements (the requirements of paragraphs (1) - (6) remaining in force)
    1. The academic component must include the following elements:
      1. A procedural mechanism for facilitating critical thinking by the student about the lawyering process. The student should be required to keep a journal, attend regular discussion sessions with the faculty member, or engage in some equivalent regularized procedure
      2. The opportunity to reflect on one or more issues of ethics and professional responsibility
      3. A clearly defined academic agenda focusing on one or more aspects of the legal system, including interpersonal relationships, institutions, dispute resolution, and legal doctrines
      4. An opportunity for the student to acquire new lawyering skills or to improve upon skills already acquired
    2. The project must include some established and regular communication among the supervising faculty member, student, and supervising attorney; and
    3. The supervising faculty member must consult with the supervising attorney in the evaluation of the student's academic achievement.
More Information

Catherine Matthews
Director of Student Services
E-mail: calmatth [at] indiana [dot] edu
Phone: (812) 855-4809
Fax: (812) 856-9163

B710: Independent Clinical Project course description