College of Law Clinical Program Organization

It is well-established that experiential learning is the hallmark of clinical education. FIU Laws Clinical Program provides students with the opportunity to enhance their understanding of core legal and ethical principles by applying them in the context for which they were formulated. The program thus has been designed so that students confront problem/situations in which they must assume the lawyers role. The clinical program adheres to a client-centered approach, requiring the student attorney to visualize her/himself in the clients circumstances. This approach allows students an opportunity to explore the various roles attorneys assume in society, including trial attorney, transactions attorney, interviewer, negotiator, counselor, mediator, facilitator, community builder, legislative advocate, and officer of the court. Under the close supervision of an experienced attorney(s), student work through professional practice situations. Clinical faculty focus on teaching both litigation and transactional skills necessary to represent individual clients in both adversarial and non-adversarial settings, the programs offer training in trial advocacy as well as in client interviewing and counseling, negotiating, drafting, working with legal documents, and communicating in writing with the client. Additionally, clinical faculty provide meaningful feedback through weekly case rounds and mid-term assessments, consisting of very specific recommendations, encouraging students to evaluate her or his performance by highlighting specific lawyering decisions and behaviors. All students are urged to engage in a continuous process of self-assessment, providing student with a model of learning that will serve them as they transition into the profession.