C|M|LAW’s clinic programs engage students in actual legal practice, putting what they learn in the classroom to work in the service of real clients with real legal problems. Under the close supervision of experienced attorneys, students serve the community and learn lawyering skills by practicing law. Students have made countless lives better while learning practical lawyering skills and tactics, professionalism and ethics. Whether or not a student intends to practice public interest law, the clinics allow them to participate in a case from intake to resolution with full mentoring by clinic professors. Third- and fourth-year students may be able to represent clients in court under the supervision of a clinical law professor.
In addition to the clinics, C|M|LAW gives students the opportunity to complete Pop-Up Practicums, short-term practical legal work in an area important to them. Sometimes faculty initiate these practicums in areas of their research, but students can also propose practicums in other areas.
Appellate Practice Clinic
The Appellate Practice Clinic engages students in representing underprivileged communities - such as persons afflicted with homelessness, immigrants, LGBTQ members, and others - before state and federal appeals courts. Students learn how to perfect an appeal, author a brief, and present oral argument. The Appellate Clinic represents clients primarily before Ohio's Eighth District Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
Students epresent clients in a wide range of cases before courts and administrative agencies in many substantive areas, including:
- Civil Rights including First Amendment and Equal Protection Cases
- Employment and Employment Discrimination
- Wage and hour disputes
- Unemployment compensation
- Fair housing and landlord tenant
- Consumer concerns
- Breach of contract
- Civil Stalking Protection Orders
- Ex-Offender Reentry
Students assist our community’s most vulnerable populations in the following areas of law:
- Public benefits
- Name change
- Child support
- Consumer advocacy
- Community development
- LBGTQ advocacy
- Human trafficking
Students on the same types of problems as business attorneys, helping to provide advice and services in:
- Corporate governance
- Environmental law
- Real estate
- Corporate policies
- Compliance with federal and state laws
- Entity selection and formation
- Estate planning and probate
- Intellectual property
- Minimizing risk through advise on institutional policies and practices
- Contract drafting
- Intellectual property advice and filings
Recent student practicum experiences include:
- The federal and state permitting process for the Icebreaker Wind Project—North America’s first freshwater offshore wind project,
- Working with Dean Lee Fisher in his capacity as a member of the Cleveland Police Commission, authorized under the Federal Consent Decree between the City of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Assisting Prof. Jonathan Witmer-Rich in the Revision of the Ohio Criminal Rules, and the Cuyahoga County Bail Task Force.
Pro Bono Program
C|M|LAW students as a collective typically clock 11,000 volunteer hours throughout the city each year in a variety of community service projects, some of which include assisting with drivers license reinstatement, child support issues, Legal Aid Free Advice Clinics, the IRS-Certified Volunteer Tax Preparer Project, working with homeless shelters, and more.