Clinical Programs Overview
Linking classroom study with hands-on experience, and inspired by the Jesuit philosophy that promotes service to others, Loyola's seven clinics encourage students to contribute to society while gaining vital practical experience.
The Loyola Community Law Center, created in the early 1980s, was Loyola's first law clinic. It gives students real-world experience in representing Chicago-area residents who cannot afford legal services. Representing clients in civil legal cases under the supervision of clinical faculty, students acquire valuable first-hand knowledge about the essential skills involved in the practice of law: client interviewing and counseling, case planning and negotiation, fact investigation, and oral and written advocacy.
The Child and Family Law Clinic, founded in 1995, gives students the opportunity to develop skills needed to represent children by serving as children's lawyers in cases involving pediatric law. Most are abuse or neglect cases, but some are delinquency, special education, mental health, or other types of cases involving children. Advocating in court, with the Department of Children and Family Services and other public and private agencies, law students often work in tandem with the clinic's social worker or social work students.
The ChildLaw Legislation and Policy Clinic grew out of the ChildLaw Legislation Seminar, and was begun in 2010. The Clinic offers students the opportunity to work on policy and legislative research and advocacy projects that have an impact on systems affecting children and families, including child protection, juvenile justice, health, and immigration.
The Federal Tax Clinic allows students, under close faculty supervision, to represent low-income taxpayers before Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Tax Court. The clinic, established in 1988, was the first of its kind in the Chicago area and remains one of a limited number in the nation. The clinic offers students practical experience in tax law through work with clients involved in actual disputes.
The Business Law Clinic, established in 1999, not only focuses on small-business counseling, but also educates students about the transactional practice of law. Under the supervision of clinical attorneys, students put into practice the business-oriented knowledge and skills they have learned in the classroom by providing non-litigation-oriented legal services to small business entrepreneurs and others involved in community development.
The Health Justice Project, launched in 2010, gives students the opportunity to provide effective representation to low-income clients. Students work in collaboration with health care providers to overcome the social and systemic barriers that prevent long-term health and stability through legal and non-legal remedies.
Life After Innocence (LAI) was launched in 2009 to assist innocent people who have been in prison and later exonerated in order to start their lives over. LAI was the first after-care program in the nation to address both legal and social needs of the innocent after the profound experience of wrongful conviction and release. Students and faculty work closely with exonerees to obtain expungement of their records and Certificates of Innocence, find housing, search for employment, obtain counseling, and many more services. Students learn directly from innocent people who were adversely affected by the legal system, the very system they are training to enter.