Public Law and Policy Program
Clinics and Externships
Oregon Law's popular clinics and externships give students practical, hands-on experience with clients and applying concepts learned in the classroom. Below, you can find out more about the Public Law and Policy clinics and externships offered each year.
The Nonprofit Clinic charges interdisciplinary teams of graduate students in Law, Public Policy, and Conflict Resolution with assessing the organizational health of selected nonprofit organizations (NPOs) in the areas of management, governance, conflict resolution, and legal compliance. In addition to providing detailed recommendations for improving governance, the Clinic’s legal team reviews NPO’s legal instruments and advises on actions needed to assure compliance.
Through the Civil Practice Clinic and Advanced Civil Practice Clinic, students represent low-income clients through Lane County Legal Aid and often appear in court or contested case hearings, advocating for clients in social security, welfare, food stamp, public housing, or unemployment benefits matters.
The Domestic Violence and Advanced Domestic Violence Clinics give students hands-on experience representing victims of domestic violence and stalking in contested protective order hearings. From office intake to court appearances, the clinics prepare students to be effective client advocates.
Our Environmental Law Clinic and Advanced Environmental Law Clinic are renowned for creative and successful litigation on behalf of conservation groups, individuals, and local governments who seek to preserve and restore natural resources in the West. Students learn how to work up cases, prepare expert witnesses, write persuasive motions and memoranda, and appear at oral argument.
In the Criminal Defense Clinic, student defenders conduct client and witness interviews, investigations, and plea negotiations and help defend clients in a range of misdemeanor prosecutions. Practical and hands-on, this clinic prepares students for the realities of criminal defense work.
Through the Prosecution Clinic and Advanced Prosecution Clinic, students are assigned to one of several local prosecutors' offices, where they prepare and try minor criminal cases under attorney supervision. Students may assist senior prosecutors on felony cases.
The local government externship program places students in legal offices for cities, counties, or regional areas. Externs work on a variety of issues related to local government law, including state and federal constitutional law, land development, environmental protection, land use and public facility planning, municipal courts, public contracting, public employment, public safety, public records and meetings, and government budgeting.
Child Advocacy Externships give students experience during the summer for Oregon juvenile court judges and practitioners. Those who work with judges do research, prepare for and observe all types of hearings in juvenile delinquency and dependency cases, and work on a major law reform project under the judge's direction. Students placed with practitioners are involved in all areas of the attorneys' practices.
In Oregon Law’s varied Environmental Law Externships, students join the efforts of government offices, non-profit organizations, and tribal entities to research environmental regulatory and compliance matters, energy policy, international environmental issues, tribal management of natural resources, climate change law and policy, marine and freshwater resources, land use, and property mechanisms to achieve landscape conservation.
In the Domestic Violence Externship program, students work at the Klamath Falls LASO (Legal Aid Services of Oregon) office where they represent domestic violence survivors in a range of matters, including FAPA orders, stalking orders, family law, housing, and employment issues. The externship exposes students to the challenges faced by low-income, rural victims of violence, and provides students valuable in-court experience.
Office of the United States Trustee Externship Program. The U.S. Department of Justice charges the U.S. Trustee with overseeing the administration of bankruptcy cases. Working with the Trustee, students analyze debtor compliance with Bankruptcy Code disclosure requirements, whether asset distribution complies with the Code’s priority scheme, and identify potential fraud and abuse of the bankruptcy system.
Federal Bankruptcy Court Externships. Students serve as judicial externs for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon and participate in all aspects of judicial decision-making, including researching and drafting bench memoranda and opinions, and observing oral arguments and chambers conferences. A U.S. Bankruptcy judge in either Eugene or Portland supervises this one semester externship. (All judicial externships require the specific approval of the supervising judge and law school administration.)
Judicial externs work for federal district, appellate, bankruptcy, and immigration courts, Oregon circuit and appellate courts, Oregon administrative boards, and others. The judges include students in all aspects of their work, including settlement meetings, trials, discussions in chambers and intensive legal research, writing and analysis. Click here to find out more about Judicial Externships.
Propose your own externship