THOMAS & MACK LEGAL CLINIC
The Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic is the law school’s in-house law firm, where law students gain practical legal experience representing clients. By design, the Clinic functions as a laboratory for justice. We strive to serve the community through training, advocacy, scholarship, and community partnerships and improve the law and law practice.
In the clinic, law students take the lead in handling all aspects of client representation. These responsibilities include developing and maintaining the attorney-client relationship, strategic planning, fact investigation, legal research, drafting and filing documents, and appearing in court.
The Clinic offers seven clinics in regular rotation: Appellate, Education Advocacy, Family Justice, Immigration, Small Business and Non-Profit, Juvenile Justice, and Mediation, which operates in conjunction with the Saltman Center for Dispute Resolution.
Externships are experiential learning courses that bridge the gap between law school and law practice. The externship program allows students to work in the legal community and blend theory with practice. This year-round program provides opportunities with the federal and state judiciary, government and public service agencies, the Nevada Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Externships are available locally, statewide, nationally, and internationally. Read more...
SERVICE LEARNING AND COMMUNITY LAW
The law school provides students with opportunities for “learning by doing” and putting law into practice while serving community members who have inadequate access to legal services and information. Read more...
COMMUNITY SERVICE PROGRAM
The community service program offers students the chance to educate groups of people who do not have access to legal information about areas of the law. Students work with attorneys from the law school, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, and Nevada Legal Services. Teams of first-year students are trained to prepare and conduct weekly workshops providing legal information to unrepresented people in areas such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, basic procedures in family or small claims court and paternity, custody, and guardianship. Read more...
KIDS' COURT SCHOOL
In the Kids’ Court School, children and youth who are scheduled to appear in court learn about the investigative and judicial processes, as well as the roles and functions of courtroom participants. They acquire strategies to reduce anxiety while testifying and get a chance to participate in a mock trial. Taught by law students and graduate students in education, the Kids’ Court employs an empirically based curriculum and serves as a training program regarding best practices in the field. It also serves as a site for ongoing research related to children’s testimony.
PARTNERS IN PRO BONO
Over one hundred thousand Nevadans need an attorney but cannot afford to hire one. The number one area of need is in family law. Many lawyers would be willing to take a case on a pro bono basis, but are overburdened with work. At the same time, there are law students who would like the opportunity to help individuals in need and would also like to learn from a well-respected practicing lawyer.
The Partners in Pro Bono program brings all these needs together. It creates an opportunity for an attorney to more easily contribute pro bono services by receiving a pre-screened case from Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. The types of cases placed in this program range from divorce and child custody to civil cases of wrongful wage garnishment, automobile fraud deceptive trade practices, and consumer fraud cases such as real estate scams/equity skimming, and predatory lending.
The law student is matched with a well-respected attorney, to work on an actual case of the type for which the attorney regularly practices. The lawyer is expected to mentor the law student and allow the law student to participate in all aspects of the case, from the initial interview of the client, writing the demand letter, to possible litigation. Once the law student has signed up for the program and indicated her preference for the type of case, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada seeks to match the law student, the lawyer and the case.
Students and attorneys are expected to participate in two programs in the semester. The first is an orientation held at the commencement of the program to introduce the law student and lawyer and to provide an overview of the program and goals and expectations. The second is a follow up "Case Review" and reception held later in the spring to review the status of the cases and mentor goals. Law students will gain crucial practical experience in analyzing issues, interviewing clients, drafting documents and perhaps going to court.