Experiential Learning

Experiential learning at The University of Tulsa College of Law gives students hands-on experience in a variety of legal settings while deepening their substantive legal knowledge, strengthening their lawyering skills and building their professional identities.


Legal Clinics

The Clinical Education Program prepares students for the practice of law through a combination of real-world experience, intensive supervision and dynamic seminars. The TU Legal Clinic functions as a law firm, and students experience the formation and development of the attorney-client relationship and accompanying professional obligations through direct representation of clients as they begin to develop their advocacy skills. Our clinical program includes opportunities for students to appear in court, represent immigrants seeking legal status, learn how to run a law firm, represent organizations and advocate for systemic change.

Community Advocacy Clinic (CAC)

The Community Advocacy Clinic (CAC) trains future lawyers and promotes access to justice in two ways: by representing community groups in systemic advocacy projects and by representing individual clients in cases before state courts and administrative agencies. Students learn to advocate for clients both inside and outside the courtroom using a range of strategies including litigation, legislative reform, policy advocacy, strategic communication and more. Students gain vital lawyering skills while learning to reflect critically on their role in the justice system.

Immigrant Rights Project (IRP)

Immigrant Rights Project students engage in both learning and service by representing vulnerable noncitizens in immigration matters. Clients include persons seeking asylum in the United States as a result of persecution or fear of persecution in their home countries, as well as noncitizen victims of domestic violence and other crimes, unaccompanied noncitizen minors or other noncitizens subject to removal and immigration detention. Students gain vital practice skills in interviewing, legal research and drafting, and advocacy while performing critical and even life-saving work for their clients.

Tulsa Immigrant Resource Network (TIRN)

TIRN is a post-graduate fellowship program in which recent law school graduates provide direct service to Tulsa’s noncitizen population. TIRN fellowships are two years in duration. The fellowships complement the work of the Immigrant Rights Project in that newly licensed attorneys gain experience in providing legal services to marginalized communities while receiving hands-on supervision. TIRN fellows also participate in providing education on immigration law and process as well as immigrants’ rights to the community at large and to legal and nonlegal providers of services to the noncitizen population.

TU Law Co-op (TLC) & Solo Practice Clinic (SPC)

The TLC is TU Law’s incubator program. The TLC is specifically designed for lawyers committed to a solo or small firm law practice who also seek to narrow the access to justice gap in Oklahoma by providing affordable representation to traditionally marginalized populations. TLC provides incubator lawyers with office space, networking opportunities, practice assistance from local lawyers and intense training on law practice management.

The SPC is the student component to the TLC. The SPC consists of a seminar and a live client component. The seminar portion is essentially the TLC training curriculum, designed such that students who complete the SPC and subsequently join the TLC are excused from the TLC training and can jump right into practice. In the client component, SPC law students assist either TIRN attorneys or the TLC lawyers with client matters, all while continuing to assess how solo practitioners can work to decrease

Oklahoma’s access to justice gap.

Externships

The externship program at TU Law offers 2L and 3L students the opportunity to join attorneys and judges in real-world practice for academic credit. Students and supervisors work together to establish opportunities for meaningful student performance and valuable supervisor feedback. Students in externships receive substantial lawyering and professional experiences through monitored field placements. Under supervision, students do real legal work, interact with clients and solve problems. They may explore the roles of alternative J.D. careers to develop a sense of who they are and what kind of lawyer they want to become. Students work with the assistant dean of experiential learning to create an experience tailored to their interests.

  Externship placements in 19 states and 2 international (Ireland and The Netherlands), summer 2010 through fall 2016

Externship placements in 19 states and 2 international (Ireland and The Netherlands), summer 2010 through fall 2016

The externship experience is supplemented by the externship seminar designed to help students achieve personal learning and professionalism goals. Students reflect actively on what is learned throughout their experience. Guided reflection journals throughout the semester help students explore the roles and responsibilities of practicing attorneys, judges and alternative J.D. professionals, as well as ethical and strategic issues that can arise in the profession.

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