Prior to graduation, each student will complete at least one semester of clinical education, virtually always in one of the Law School's core in-house clinics. Each student works with an actual client or clients, under close supervision, in an environment designed to encourage reflection by students on their experiences and on the values and responsibilities of the legal profession.
In addition to the Core Clinics, which fulfill the clinical requirement, UCI Law offers several Elective Clinics that students can take in their second and third year. More about UCI Law's Clinics >
Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the program, in which they provide legal services to underserved communities while supervised by an attorney or faculty member. The program provides opportunities for students to practice and expand the skills learned in the classroom while experiencing the challenges and rewards of practicing law and assisting real clients. Students may volunteer at various organizations during the academic year and school breaks.
We recommend that students complete at least 20 hours of pro bono work in their first year and 50 hours in each of the two subsequent years. More than 90% of students participate in a pro bono project at some point in their law school career. UCI Law students found time to volunteer more than 6,700 hours from May 2011 through April 2012, participating in one or more of the 92 pro bono projects available. Nearly all (98%) of our first graduating class, the Class of 2012, did pro bono work, totaling more than 5,600 hours during their three years. More about UCI Law's Pro Bono Program >
UC Irvine School of Law offers full-tuition Public Service Fellowships to students interested in a career in service of the public interest. The three-year fellowships are funded by private donations. Each year, a number of these awards are offered to admitted students who demonstrate a strong interest in public service work.
Other funding includes:
"UCI Law is deeply committed to fostering public service work by our students through fellowships for students interested in public service careers, funding for students doing public interest work during summers and after law school, and loan forgiveness,” said Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.
One of the Externship Program's primary goals is to increase students’ understanding of the fundamental values of the legal profession, including a commitment to promoting access to justice. Our students have externed with a number of state and federal judges, from Orange County Superior Court judges to judges on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Students have worked in the offices of prosecutors, public defenders, and other government agencies at the city, county, state and federal levels, and at public interest organizations such as the ACLU of Southern California, Children’s Law Center of Los Angeles, Legal Aid Society of Orange County and National Resources Defense Council, to name just a few.
UCI Law students may also participate in the full-semester UCDC program, a collaboration among UC law schools that allows second- and third-year law students to extern in Washington D.C. offices on Capitol Hill, the Department of Justice, the White House and many other agencies and non-profits. More about UCI Law's Externships program >
Public Interest Partnerships
Among the employers that have supported our school or interviewed on campus are
cutting-edge public interest law groups located throughout Southern California, including Asian Pacific American Legal Center, California Rural Legal Assistance, California Women's Law Center, Legal Aid Society of Orange County, LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund, Public Law Center, and Western Center on Law and Poverty. See the full list of UCI Law's Public Interest Partners >