Clinical Programs

Students have the opportunity to represent clients and participate in real cases through six faculty-supervised clinics:

Capital Punishment Clinic

The Capital Punishment Clinic provides a community service by giving the student the opportunity to assist in the representation of defendants charged with capital murder. This is the first Public Defenders Office of its type in Texas and is the prototype for representation of those accused of capital crimes. Four students work with the West Texas Public Defenders Office for Capital Cases located in Lubbock.

Caprock Regional Public Defender Office

The Caprock Regional Public Defender Office Criminal Defense Clinic provides a community service by representing defendants in criminal cases who would otherwise be unable to afford their own legal representation. Cases involve felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile offenses in a 15-county region. Twelve students are selected for this clinic.

Civil Practice Clinic

The Civil Practice Clinic provides a community service by helping low-income clients with legal problems in areas including: family law, public benefits, civil rights, consumer and estate planning. A maximum of eight students are selected for the clinic which provides students with an opportunity to represent clients selected in close consultation with, and through referral from, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas.

Criminal Defense Clinic

The Criminal Defense Clinic provides a community service by representing defendants in criminal cases who would otherwise be unable to afford their own legal representation. Cases involve misdemeanors, felonies, and juvenile offenses in Lubbock County and the surrounding metropolitan area. A maximum of eight students are selected for this clinic.

Family Law and Housing Clinic

The Family Law and Housing Clinic provides a community service by helping low-income clients with legal problems in civil matters including, but not limited to, family law and housing matters. A maximum of eight students are selected for the clinic which provides students with an opportunity to represent clients selected in close consultation with, and through referral from, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas.

Tax Clinic

The Tax Clinic serves low-income residents in the West Texas Panhandle area of Texas and Eastern New Mexico by offering representation to taxpayers who are in dispute with the Internal Revenue Service and unable to obtain professional tax counsel. The clinic enrolls eight to 10 advanced students interested in tax related law and in developing related lawyer skills.

In each of these clinics, students will handle a variety of cases during the semester and learn valuable skills while conducting factual investigations, negotiation, trial preparation, and case trials.

In each of these clinics, students will handle a variety of cases during the semester and learn valuable skills while conducting factual investigations, negotiation, trial preparation, and case trials.

In addition to the client-based clinics, the Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic allows students to gain practical skills in mediating actual disputes through the Dispute Resolution Center.

Eligibility

The Clinical Program is optional for third-year law students who meet the requirements and priorities of the Clinic Selection Process to receive real-world experience by providing free legal representation and counseling to qualified low-income individuals. The Innocence Project Clinic and the ADR Clinic also permit second-year students to participate. Full-time faculty members who have extensive trial experience at both the state and federal levels teach the clinical courses.

In addition to faculty-supervised clinics, students are provided the opportunity to participate for academic credit in the work of The Innocence Project of Texas, a non-profit organization dedicated to those wrongfully convicted of crimes in Texas.

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