Experiential legal education is an active method of teaching that integrates theory and practice by combining academic inquiry with actual experience. SLU LAW offers multiple in-house clinics, numerous field placement opportunities (i.e., externships), and a variety of simulation courses.
Through these experiences, students learn to adjust to their roles as professionals, become better legal problem-solvers, develop interpersonal and professional skills, and develop strategies for learning from experience.
Together, the SLU LAW Legal Clinics form a fully functioning law firm within the law school. Clinic students represent both individual and group clients in litigation, administrative, advocacy, and transactional matters. Clinics are designed to help students draw upon and further develop their substantive knowledge, doctrinal reasoning, lawyering skills, ethical engagement, and professional identity.
The SLU LAW Field Placement Program provides students with opportunities to gain practical, hands-on legal experience with courts, governmental and nonprofit agencies, health law-related organizations, criminal defense or prosecution offices, and in-house corporate counsel offices. Field placements (i.e., externships) are designed to focus on skill development, increased understanding of substantive law, development of professional responsibility and identity, and institutional understanding.
SLU LAW simulation programs and courses are designed to provide experiences not involving actual clients that are reasonably similar to the experiences of lawyers advising or representing clients or engaging in other lawyering tasks. These programs and courses integrate doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics and engage students in practicing specific professional skills.