Sequenced Skills Building

Overview In the capstone clinics, students put the skills that they have learned in skills clinics into practice, either representing actual clients or working on a simulated legal problem in a specific practice area. We offer a wide variety of capstone clinics, which allow students to create customized educational plans that match their career interests.  For example, in the Criminal Defense Clinic, students build on substantive courses in criminal procedure and evidence, as well as UCLA’s litigation-focused skills courses, to represent real clients charged with crimes. A student who is headed for a career as a business lawyer can specialize further, taking a bankruptcy transactions capstone.  A student with an interest in regulatory practice could take a capstone on Environmental Aspects of Business Transactions.  In capstone clinics, students are able to delve deeper into substantive areas of law, develop their interest and commitment to specific areas of practice, and gain exposure to real-world practice from faculty who are leaders in their fields.

Related Information Asylum Clinic

Students in this clinic represent clients in connection with asylum petitions under the Violence Against Women Act and the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. Working with survivors of torture and trauma, students in this course receive training in such critical skills as interviewing, researching and writing declarations and briefs, fact development and trial advocacy.

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Bankruptcy Transactional Course: Negotiating and Confirming Chapter 11 Plans

Students in this course are divided into groups and assigned one of four roles ― debtor's counsel, secured bank's counsel, unsecured creditors' committee's counsel and note holders' counsel – and over the course of the semester negotiate and/or litigate a plan of reorganization. The course provides extensive training in negotiation theory and practice as well as legal drafting, allowing students to apply the kinds of strategic decision-making and problem-solving skills used by practicing lawyers.

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Civil Rights Litigation Clinic

This clinic allows students to work on civil rights cases in cooperation with public interest organizations such as the ACLU and private attorneys. Students spend class time learning litigation skills and then apply those skills in connection with their work on civil rights cases.

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Criminal Defense

This course offers students a unique opportunity to explore the criminal justice system. Working under the close supervision of clinic faculty, students represent indigent criminal defendants in cooperation with local defender organizations in all phases of the criminal process, from initial client interviews and pretrial motions to plea negotiations, trials and sentencing.

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Criminal Trial Advocacy

This course explores the theoretical and practical aspects of the criminal trial process and provides training in the skills needed to represent the prosecution and the defense in criminal trials: fact analysis, conducting direct and cross examinations, making opening statements and closing arguments, using exhibits, and making and responding to evidentiary objections. The course culminates in a videotaped mock trial before a judge and jury.

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Environmental Aspects of Business Transactions

This course uses the simulated sale of an actual facility (including the real estate and the business) to explore how environmental issues impact business transactions. Students learn the basic substantive knowledge and practical skills needed by lawyers practicing in the fields of business, real estate and environmental law. Students conduct legal and factual analysis in performing due diligence; draft and negotiate an environmental agreement; and draft and negotiate consent orders with regulators regarding environmental issues.

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First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic

This clinic is taught by Professor Eugene Volokh, one of the nation’s leading First Amendment scholars. Students file amicus curiae briefs on behalf of nonprofits and academics in First Amendment cases involving free speech and religious freedom.

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Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic

This clinic trains students in environmental lawyering. Under the supervision of faculty who are experienced environmental lawyers, students work on behalf of environmental and community groups on litigation and regulatory matters.

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Human Rights and International Criminal Law Online Forum

Students in this clinic partner with the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and a web design team to develop legal materials for and manage an innovative, award-winning human rights and international criminal law online forum (www.iccforum.com). Students frame up to three critical issues facing the Prosecutor and the Court; identify world-class experts who together offer a range of views on those issues; identify and collect relevant legal background materials that will be posted on the website; and offer their own legal analysis and opinions in postings on the forum.

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International Human Rights Clinic

This yearlong course provides students with both training in international human rights law theory and the opportunity to apply that theory in the service of real clients. Students work in teams to collaborate with international human rights organizations to help them achieve their legal and advocacy goals.

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Mediation

This clinic combines a theoretical exploration of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism with practical training on how to mediate in a variety of settings. Students learn mediation skills through participation in simulated role-play, observation of actual court mediation and, under the supervision of an experienced mediator, serve as a co-mediator of actual Superior Court cases.

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Medical-Legal Partnership Clinic

Students in this clinic work directly with the Right to Health Project (RHP), a medical-legal partnership operated by Bet Tzedek Legal Services in partnership with St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood and St. Vincent Medical Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Students receive intensive training and, under the supervision of project attorneys and UCLA Law faculty, interview community members referred to the RHP and, where appropriate, provide counseling and legal representation.

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Mergers and Acquisition Transaction Planning

In this course, students conduct an in-depth study of the sale of a private company. Students learn — from both the buyer’s and the seller’s perspective — how to prepare a company for the sale process, conduct diligence on the company and analyze the appropriate structure for the transaction. Students also draft, mark up and negotiate provisions of various acquisition-related agreements.

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Ninth Circuit Appellate Clinic

This clinic is a joint venture between UCLA Law and the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers. Certified law students, under close faculty supervision by O'Melveny & Myers appellate specialists, represent pro bono clients before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Public Policy Advocacy

In this clinic, students work with clients, organizers and other advocates to devise and implement strategies for changing public policy in a selected area of importance to underrepresented groups. Through this hands-on work, students learn the basic approaches to changing law and policy, including litigation, lobbying and legislative work, organizing and building coalitions, and working with and through the media to inform and shape opinion.

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Real Estate Law Clinic

This clinic offers students practical, hands-on training and experience working on live real estate transactions. Students in the clinic represent one or two nonprofit organizations at various stages in the process of developing affordable housing for low-income residents of Los Angeles.

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Sanela Diana Jenkins Clinic on Gender Violence in Eastern Congo

Students enrolled in this clinic help support and evaluate different types of interventions used to assist villages that have suffered mass rape attacks in Eastern Congo. The course begins with an introduction to the phenomenon of mass rape in Africa and its effects on victims, their families and village social, economic and political life. Students also receive training for interviewing and surveying victims, their families and villagers in a conflict zone. Students then travel to Eastern Congo to observe and document various interventions, interview and survey villagers prior to or after an intervention, and then evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions and suggest refinements of the interventions.

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Sports and the Law

This course provides an overview of major legal issues impacting professional and amateur team sports, including antitrust, labor and contract issues. A limited number of students have the opportunity to participate in a sports-related clinical exercise. In past years, students have worked with the general counsel for the Los Angeles Dodgers and corporate counsel from Toyota on a mock sponsorship agreement; other students have conducted a mock NBA salary negotiation with the assistance of the Los Angeles Lakers’ general manager and an experienced sports agent.

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Street Law – American Legal Education

This clinic allows students to teach law in a variety of high school classrooms throughout the Los Angeles area. Law students learn to communicate legal concepts to non-lawyers and develop such critical legal skills as establishing trust and building rapport.

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Supreme Court Clinic

This course provides students with the opportunity to work on real cases before the United States Supreme Court. Under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty, students draft cert petitions and Supreme Court briefs.

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Tribal Appellate Court Clinic

Students in this clinic provide assistance to justices of the highest courts of the Hualapai and Hopi tribes in Arizona, while learning skills useful in clerking for any appellate judge in federal, state or tribal systems. In addition to classroom training and casework, students make site visits (at UCLA Law’s expense) to the respective tribal court to attend oral arguments and participate in deliberations.

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Tribal Legal Development Clinic

This clinic provides students with a unique opportunity to work with Native Nations located within the United States on their legal development projects. At the request of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian governments and organizations, students work under the supervision of clinical faculty on projects including constitution drafting and reform; drafting and amendment of statutes; creation of Western-style, traditional and hybrid dispute resolution processes; and law clerk services to such forums.

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Workers’ Rights Clinic

Under the supervision of in-house counsel and a senior organizing director, clinic students participate in the legal program of UNITE HERE Local 11, a progressive, movement-oriented labor union that represents hotel and food service workers throughout Southern California. The course gives students the opportunity to gain a wide range of legal experience, including representing members in grievance and arbitration proceedings; investigating, filing and presenting unfair labor practice charges to the NLRB; researching and formulating legal strategy in support of organizing campaigns; protecting members' free speech rights at union actions and picket lines; and helping to create new policy initiatives to assist workers to organize.

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Youth and Justice Clinic

This clinic examines the role of the lawyer in the juvenile justice process. Under the supervision of clinical faculty, students in this course represent detained youth on non-criminal, civil legal issues. The course provides opportunities, through both simulation and work on real cases, for students to develop skills in client interviewing and counseling, case preparation, expert interviewing, motion/brief writing, policy briefing and institutional advocacy.

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