UToledo 25th school to require clinic or externship

University of Toledo is the 25th law school to require graduates to have “live client” coursework in a clinic or externship, the school recently announced.

“Toledo Law has long been a pioneer in clinical education,” said Ken Kilbert, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Law. “Requiring students to complete a clinic or externship underscores our commitment to hands-on education and assures that our graduates have experience handling real legal problems for real clients.”

The requirement will take effect with students who enter this fall. Each student must complete four hours of “live client” coursework. It is part of the school’s larger effort to emphasize experiential learning and preparation for practice.

Opportunities to develop practical lawyering skills have been a part of the Toledo’s curriculum for nearly 50 years, and 72 percent of the Class of 2013 participated in a clinic or an externship.

Current clinic offerings include the Civil Advocacy Clinic, Domestic Violence and Juvenile Law Clinic, Dispute Resolution Clinic, and the Criminal Law Practice Program. In addition, the Public Service Externship Clinic places students with government or nonprofit organizations, where they perform legal work under the supervision of an attorney.

The new requirement was proposed as part of the school’s strategic plan, which also calls for legal simulations in small sections of first-year courses and for a required upper-level drafting course.

Other law schools that require a credit-bearing clinic or externship for graduation are listed below with dates of adoption. This information was based on a survey conducted by Professor Karen Tokarz of Washington University Law in October.

1. University of Puerto Rico (min. six credits clinic)—1965
2. University of New Mexico (min. six credits clinic)—1970
3. City University of New York (CUNY) (min. twelve credits clinic or externship)— 1983
4. University of District of Columbia (UDC-DCSL) (min. fourteen credits clinics)— 1986
5. University of Maryland (min. five credits clinic or real-client/case practicum)— 1988
6. University of Washington (min. two credits clinic or externship)—1993
7. University of Hawaii (min. two credits clinic)—1993
8. University of Montana (min. four credits clinic or externship)—1995
9. Thomas Cooley University (min. three credits clinic or externship)—1996
10. Appalachian (min. three credits externship)—1997
11. University of Dayton (min. four credits clinic or externship)—2007
12. Gonzaga University (min. three credits clinic or externship)—2008
13. University of California—Irvine (min. six credits clinic)—2008
14. Washington & Lee University (min. five credits clinic or externship)—2009
15. University of Detroit Mercy (min. three credits clinic)—2012
16. University of Connecticut (min. three credits clinic or externship)—2013
17. Cleveland State University (min. three credits clinic or externship)—2013
18. John Marshall—Chicago (min. three credits clinic or externship)—2013
19. University of the Pacific—McGeorge (min. three credits clinic or externship)— 2013
20. Wayne State University (min. three credits clinic or externship)—2013
21. University of Massachusetts (min. three credits clinic or externship)—2013
22. Drexel University School of Law (min. six credits clinic or co-op/externship)— 2013
23. Villanova University School of Law (min. three credits clinic or externship)—2013

In addition, Northeastern University requires students to work in co-op programs, which give students one year of work experience.

An additional 13 schools guarantee "live client" work but do not require it. Click here to see the list.