As an attorney at a small firm in Chicago, I was pulled into a two-week civil trial in my first month on the job. The organization and reasoning skills I learned in the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic enabled me to hit the ground running as if I had been practicing for years. It is so important to be exposed to attorneys who emphasize good administrative practices, comprehensive analysis, and strong client relations before being thrown into the legal profession. My time in the clinic contributed significantly to my success right out of school.—Kat Walker, '10, The Patterson Law Firm LLC
Bradley H. Darling, '01, Law Clerk to Magistrate Judge Mark A. Randon, U.S. District Court–Eastern District of Michigan "Helping disadvantaged people navigate legal and life challenges is an attorney's greatest calling. As a student in Michigan's Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic, I represented a single mother in a dispute with her landlord and negotiated better living conditions for her and her children. I also represented a client in a suit against a local police department and personally took the depositions of the police officers accused of using excessive force to arrest my client. Helping real clients with their real problems brought what I was learning in textbooks and lectures to life. Today, 10 years after I graduated from Michigan, I still view my clinical law professors as mentors and as friends. In short, the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic was one of my most valuable experiences in law school."
Dan Ellman, '11, Bronx Defenders"I had an excellent experience during my two terms in the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic. I had the opportunity to work in several different areas of law, ranging from landlord-tenancy to criminal defense. I also developed a wide range of legal skills, including interviewing clients, appearing in court, and drafting appeals motions. Most importantly, though, I believe the clinic took law out of the textbook; representing actual clients, making strategic legal decisions, and recognizing the consequences of those decisions impressed upon me the true power and responsibility I would be accepting in my career as an attorney."
Bridget Tucker Gonder, '91, Spectrum Health "My experience with the cllinic was one of the best experiences during my time at the Law School. I actually had the experience of trying a tort case in district court with one of my student colleagues. We had a fabulous faculty advisor, Prof. Nick Rine, who treated us 'newbies' with dignity and respect, and allowed us to take responsibility for our cases but was always available for coaching. He was with us during the proceedings and trial, and the best part was winning the case for our client. I participated in more than one clinic on campus and would say you should not leave law school without the real-world experience of handling actual legal matters. It gives you a level of confidence that you cannot get by classroom learning alone. I would highly recommend it."
Peter D. Hardy, '94, Principal, Post & Schell "The clinic required me to grapple with the types of practical and ethical issues that confront any practicing litigator, but with the help and insight of the excellent professors. I discovered both unexpected challenges in the world and unexpected strengths in myself. I took no better class than the clinic."
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