The commitment to experiential learning opportunities for students is woven into the culture at McGeorge. In addition to training tomorrow’s legal advocates, our pioneering legal clinics deliver quality pro bono representation to underserved community members. Our students routinely earn impressive victories on behalf of their clients, both in individual cases and in public policy areas that benefit the larger community.
Our clinic students are enriched both academically and personally by helping members of our community navigate a variety of legal challenges. Students learn to apply legal theory to practice, develop professional lawyering skills, and perhaps most importantly, become reflective practitioners and lifelong learners.
Our on-campus clinics (Immigration Law, Elder and Health Law, Homeless Advocacy, and Bankruptcy), referred to collectively as “Community Legal Services (CLS)” have been serving our community since 1974. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors honored CLS with the “Heroes of Human Services” award in 2018.
As certified law students, CLS students are placed in the role of an attorney in a law office setting serving low-income clients in the areas of Immigration, Bankruptcy, Elder & Health Law, and Homeless Advocacy. Under faculty supervision, students take major responsibility for real cases ranging from advice and counsel, to drafting documents and litigating cases in state and federal courts. These real-life experiences and issues that lawyers face in their legal careers are then discussed in an academic setting.
In addition to Community Legal Services, McGeorge has established three additional off-campus clinics, each with an important community partners where students do much of their work off-campus. We have one of only two Federal Defender Clinics in the country where our students handle bench and jury trials in federal court. Students in the Prisoner Civil Rights Mediation Clinic mediate civil rights claims filed by prison inmates in Federal Court. It was awarded the Ninth Circuit ADR Award in recognition of its impact in resolving 1983 Civil Rights Act claims.
Legislative and Public Policy Clinic students gain practical experience in researching, drafting and pursuing adoption of California state legislative and regulatory proposals on behalf of community clients in need of a state law change.