A legal clinic is a facility run by a legal study of free services to the public while training their students in clinical practice as a lawyer. Law students work at a legal clinic for school credit and gain experience in dealing with real legal problems. Legal clinics are popular in many countries, and can make a big difference for the local communities by providing pro bono services to those who can not afford to hire a lawyer.
Some educational experts believe that, as medical students, law students can learn better when given the opportunity to use their skills to practice. Because students meet with clients, file claims, doing case studies and manage real cases a legal clinic helps ingrain the knowledge gained in the classroom into practice of future lawyers. Students usually work under heavy escort, and are rarely allowed to plead oral cases in court. Yet they have the opportunity to work closely with clients throughout the span of the case, acting much like a professional lawyer would.
Legal clinics can offer a variety of different surfaces, and can specialize in different areas of law. Some specialties may include tax law, immigration law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, civil law and basic community services. A major law school in an urban area can work some legal clinics throughout the city, giving students the opportunity to test their interest and ability in various areas of law.
Besides providing training experience for the students, opening a legal clinic can help a school to take part in the improvement of the community. Lawyers are famous expensive in most cases, with the result that the court can often only be managed by people with sufficient resources. Legal clinics can help manage serious problems in a community, such as domestic violence, slum lord tenancy, gang problems, and elder law issues. Some companies and nonprofit organizations offer grants to fund legal clinics in hopes of inspiring more schools to make these programs.
Every citizen can visit a legal clinic for help, but in areas with multiple clinics, assistance may be by geographical area or legal issues dealt with at a particular location broken. While much of the work is done by students, it is done so under regular supervision, so customers can be confident that they will get fair legal advice. The popularity of legal doctor is such that there may be a waiting list for help; in an emergency, clients should try to explain the urgency and ask if there is an accelerated procedure.
- Some organizations offer free legal advice over the phone.
- Legal clinics can help in tackling problems such as domestic violence cases.