St. Thomas Legal Clinics is supported by a generous donation from Robins Kaplan LLP. Special Education ClinicThe Special Education Clinic provides pro bono support to elementary and secondary school students who are eligible for special education services through an Individual Education Program (IEP), with a particular focus on students of colour diagnosed with Emotional Behaviour Disorder (EBD). Students represent clients in the review of MYP plans to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Education of Persons with Disabilities Act and to ensure that progress towards achieving established objectives is documented. Students share these findings with parents and can attend annual IEP meetings with parents to provide support and help negotiate more accurate diagnoses and more effective IEP plans. Clients are referred to the clinic through community partners and not through self-referrals. For many students, attending a clinic is one of the most memorable and rewarding. To begin the transition from student to practitioner, some students choose to enroll in in-house clinics. Others choose to participate in internships. Each clinic provides opportunities to develop skills essential to the practice of law.
STU Legal Clinics provide students with individualized and personalized expertise and hands-on legal experience under the supervision of our clinical faculty, who are also practicing lawyers or judges and specialists in their field. Our legal clinics provide students with access to client representation and litigation in a supervised environment and provide much-needed legal services to low-income and not-for-profit clients. Our 11 legal clinics include: Appeal, Bankruptcy Litigation, Criminal and Juvenile Defense, Immigration Law, Community Justice Project, Consumer Bankruptcy, Federal Commutation, Special Education, Trademark Law, Nonprofits, and Religious Freedom Appeal. Clients are referred to legal clinics through various social service agencies and programs. Our clinics offer students the opportunity to develop competent legal practice skills, apply substantive courses to real-life cases, and examine the institutional, ethical, and personal issues inherent in the lives of practicing lawyers today. They are designed to help students develop their own perspective on client representation and litigation, and learn a structured approach to the legal process that supports them in their law studies and legal careers. Nonprofit ClinicThe Nonprofit Clinic focuses on the legal needs of existing and emerging nonprofits. This clinic is designed to help nonprofits get on their feet and provide for themselves while promoting social and economic justice at home and abroad. Students who attend this clinic are likely to volunteer for non-profit organizations. Learn more about governance, compliance, operations and management; and help promote servant leadership and social justice.
Students in the Immigration Law Practice Group represent immigrants who wish to improve their legal status in the United States. Students in this practice group may represent individuals seeking asylum in the United States because of persecution or fear of persecution in their home country; Represent individuals at inmate master calendar hearings and participate in immigrant advocacy projects on behalf of community organizations. At the same time, clinics provide legal services to people who otherwise would not be able to afford them, including immigrants, seniors, homeless adults and youth, victims of social injustice, and people with chemical addiction. Religious Liberty Appellate Clinic, this clinical course gives a small number of students each semester the opportunity to write appellate briefs, primarily amicus curiae briefs, in cases involving religious freedom before the U.S. Supreme Court, lower federal courts, and state courts of appeals. The main clients are national civil rights organizations and national religious organizations. Each student should expect to write a Notice of Appeal and, depending on the workload, a different written work result. Through readings and exercises, students learn the fundamentals of religious freedom, protection of conscience, and vocation writing, including intensive writing and attention to the characteristic strategic issues involved in creating effective amicus curiae briefs. The Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinic is a municipal legal clinic that provides legal services to low-income residents of Elgin and Oxford Counties. Students at the Criminal and Juvenile Defense Clinic represent both children and adults accused of crimes in Hennepin County and the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Students have the opportunity to represent clients from the beginning to the end of a case and to appear regularly in court for charges, conferences, application hearings, trials, jury trials and verdict hearings. Students develop skills in fact-finding, client advice, interviewing, negotiation, motion writing, pleadings, hearing witnesses, jury selection, and all other aspects of preliminary and judicial proceedings. We have chosen Saint-Martin de Porres as a symbol of the work and spirit that we want to promote in the service of the working poor. Community Justice ProjectThe Community Justice Project focuses on building bridges with community stakeholders and solving problems in communities in need. The community justice project will comprehensively examine improving the lives of the African-American community in the Twin Cities. The PJC has conducted extensive research on practical solutions to long-standing challenges such as racial differences in the criminal justice system, police brutality, and racial differences in education and juvenile justice for at-risk youth. The Appellate Clinic works with the University of Arkansas on pro bono civil appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Under the supervision of Professor Greg Sisk, students review court records, identify and research appeal issues, prepare an opening brief and a reply, and a student may be appointed to present the oral hearing to the court. At the center, law students often work side-by-side with students from the University of St. Thomas School of Social Work and the Graduate School of Psychology.
Led by the Centre`s faculty, law students represent and assist the underserved population of the Twin Cities on issues ranging from health issues to political asylum to social justice issues. The image used on this page is a photograph of a stained glass window at St. Mary`s Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Oregon. The cathedral kindly provided us with the image to use on our website. Our Interprofessional Centre for Legal Counselling and Advice is one of the first of its kind in the country, where lecturers and students from the disciplines of law, psychology and social work work together to help clients in need. Saint Martin de Porres (1579-1639) was born in Lima, Peru, the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman (John de Porres) and a freed slave (Anna Velasquez). He gained a reputation as a servant of the poor, the destitute, the sick, and the enslaved. Pope John XXIII said the following about him in 1962: He did not blame others for their faults. Knowing that he deserved a harsher punishment for his sins than others, he would neglect their worst offenses. He was tireless in his efforts to reform the criminal, and he sat with the sick to comfort them. For the poor, he provided food, clothing and medicine. He did everything he could to take care of poor farm workers, blacks and mulattoes who were considered slaves.
Bankruptcy Litigation Clinic The Bankruptcy Litigation Clinic represents an indigent party before the Federal Bankruptcy Court. Students will work on cases from start to finish. The student can write a complaint, respond, make a discovery, participate in movement exercises and finally defend the client at trial. In typical cases, this involves either representing a debtor who has been sued for refusal to discharge debts, or representing a creditor to have one or more of the creditor`s claims declared inexcusable. Federal Switching Clinic The Federal Switching Clinic is the first of its kind in the country and investigates switching issues, particularly cases where students can assist individuals seeking to obtain a switch. Students investigate requests for support, analyze the merits of cases, and make recommendations on whether or not to pursue a particular case.