What is a law clinic?
What is a law clinic?
Law clinics are law school programs that provide practical training for students and free legal advice to clients. In some clinics, students work for an entire semester or even two on extensive legal opinions for NGOs that specialize in impact litigation, for example. Other clinics, such as the Refugee Law Clinic Hamburg, offer legal advice to individuals.
The aim is always to serve the public interest by offering high-quality free legal advice. Law clinics offer law students the opportunity to gain specialized knowledge and skills through hands-on work.
Many German universities offer law clinics specialized in various fields. The first refugee law clinic was established in Giessen in 2007. Since then their number has grown significantly.
Why a law clinic?
For those seeking legal advice, the advantage is clear: they receive free, high-quality legal advice. But law schools also benefit from the law clinic training format.
Law clinics not only give law students the opportunity to gain valuable practical knowledge, they also enable law schools to make a valuable practical contribution to society.
The traditional mandatory legal internship offers little scope for independent, long-term legal work. Law clinics offer an attractive alternative—through their volunteer work, students can gain valuable practical experience. The knowledge gained is not limited to the practical application of law. Students also gain first-hand experience in professional comportment and issues of dependability and responsibility. They learn organizational skills and a constructive approach to dealing with challenges and conflicts in diverse settings.
A law clinic also promotes a sense of solidarity among the students. They work together for a common social cause, and students from higher and lower semesters have the opportunity to interact. The Refugee Law Clinic works extensively with group exercises and develops skills for professional cooperation.
Law clinics enable self-motivated, participative learning, which contributes greatly to academic success. And they can be pretty fun, too . . .