For Students

The Family Law and Housing Clinic is offered as a full-year* graded clinical course during the Fall and Spring semesters. Participants earn six credit hours per semester (2 for Classroom component and 4 for casework) and earn a total of twelve credit hours for the year. Participants are limited to third year law students. A maximum of 8 students are selected for the academic year.

With a small caseload, students will have the opportunity to thoroughly investigate and prepare client matters entrusted to them, and they will be able to make independent judgments in a supervised clinical setting. Examinations of the strategic decisions made and advocacy skills utilized promote the professional development of the student as an effective and ethical legal practitioner.

Participating students handle all phases of client representation, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Interviewing and counseling clients
  • Investigating Facts
  • Developing case strategy
  • Drafting pleadings and legal documents
  • Negotiating with adverse parties and counsel
  • Representing clients in court

Students in the clinical program participate in monthly evening pro bono clinics in which they interview individuals seeking legal services through Legal Aid of Northwest Texas. All students also participate in the Night Court Divorce Project where they interview clients seeking a divorce referred through Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas; prepare and file Petitions for Divorce; and, after the cases are ready for a final hearing, a final hearing is held in the evening in the Texas Tech School of Law Courtroom, which is more convenient for clients who are often unable to take time off from work.

Prerequisites

  • 3L Status
  • Students must satisfy eligibility requirements for issurance of a Temporary Trial Card for Qualified Law Students by the State Bar of Texas
  • Students must be available for clinic orientation on the day before classes begin

Recommended Courses: Interviewing and Counseling, Professional Responsibility, and Family Law and/or Marital Property

Additional Requirements

  • Students may not be on academic probation
  • Students may not withdraw from the course once enrolled except under exceptional circumstances with approval of the supervising faculty member
  • Students may not be concurrently enrolled in another clinic or externship
  • Outside employment may be restricted if it would create a conflict of interest or interfere with the time commitments to the clinic
  • Students may not sit for the February bar exam if enrolled in the Spring semester

Class Requirements

  • Students must satisfy a 200 hour minimum time commitment per semester (approximately 15 hours per week) to the clinic including:
  • 6 hours of client intake at evening pro bono clinics
  • 8 hours of court observation
  • 8 hours per week of scheduled office hours
  • Participation in the Night Court Divorce Project
  • Requires some flexibility in course scheduling to provide for the effective representation of clients

*Although this clinic is offered as a two-semester (full year) course, in exceptional circumstances, a student may enroll for the fall semester only if they are a December graduate or taking the February bar exam upon approval of the supervising faculty member.

Student Selection Process

A Mandatory Information Session for students interested in participating in the Clinical Programs is held in February of each year. Information is provided by the Clinic Directors regarding each individual clinic, as well as the process for student selection. Students interested in applying to one or more clinics are instructed to complete the required documents and complete an online application on or before the deadline announced during the information session. Documents to be attached include the clinic application (indicating which clinics you are applying to), resume with references, unofficial law school transcript, a writing sample (if applying to the Tax Clinic), and a two-page narrative (for each individual clinic you are applying to) indicating why you are interested in a particular clinic. All clinics are by selection and invitation only. Applications are reviewed by the Clinic Directors. Some Clinic Directors may conduct interviews (some may not depending on the demand), and offers are made to students by the Clinic Directors with a deadline for you to accept the offer. During open registration, the Registrarís office enrolls students for the clinic. You will not be able to enroll yourself. For more information on the Student Selection Process and to learn more about each clinic, please visit: https://www.law.ttu.edu/acp/programs/clinical/.