At Stanford Law, our clinical instructors are practice-seasoned scholars from across the faculty. Some work exclusively in the Mills Legal Clinic; others teach in the clinic alongside their more traditional classroom and scholarly activities—enabling close integration and collaboration between the clinical and academic faculty and curriculum. Everyone benefits, but the chief beneficiaries are students, who develop close working relationships with professors deeply committed to their students’ learning experience.
The men and women who lead Stanford Law’s 10 clinics are renowned both as scholars and lawyers, and are thus uniquely situated to help students bridge the space between theory and practice. The clinical program at Stanford is not separate from the rest of the academic program, and clinical faculty are fully integrated with the faculty generally. Several of our clinics are directed by professors who hold academic chairs—a further testament to Stanford’s unique commitment to making the legal clinic a central part of the law school experience.
Clinical faculty members bring expertise in a wide range of fields with direct real-world impact—environmental and immigration law, international human rights and criminal law, technology, community and education law, and more.
Under the guidance of faculty mentors, clinic students practice law for real clients and gain the opportunity not just to do actual legal work but, as important, to reexamine and dissect that work carefully. No classroom can replicate the contextualized complexity of a real-life attorney-client relationship. Nor will young lawyers typically get this opportunity after graduation, in practice, because the pressures of keeping up with caseload and client pressures preclude the luxury of deep introspection, reflection, and review. Working in the legal clinic is a unique moment in a soon-to-be lawyer’s professional life—a time to cultivate habits of reflective lawyering and ethical thinking that will shape one’s work and values throughout a career.
Lawyers wear many different hats—accountant, advocate, legislator. Some students say that isn’t lawyering. But then they learn that clients want you to solve problems, not just file complaints. We’re problem solvers. We think holistically.William S. Koski
Eric and Nancy Wright Professor of Clinical Education and Director, Youth and Education Law Project