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Moritz College of Law

Moritz Law  /  Clinics and Experiential Learning

Clinics and Experiential Learning

Experiential learning allows students to practice critical lawyering skills and to apply the substantive law learned in the classroom in complicated, real-world settings. Moritz offers an array of live-client clinics, simulation-based skills courses, and courses that combine classroom teaching with field-placement projects. In fact, Ohio State helped pioneer clinical legal education in the 1930s.

The legal clinics at Ohio State provide second- and third-year J.D. students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by working with real clients on real issues. In a legal clinic, students research, investigate, write, counsel, negotiate, and litigate their way to a resolution on behalf of their clients. Moritz offers seven legal clinics: Mediation Clinic, Prosecution Clinic, Criminal Defense Clinic, Legislation Clinic, entrepreneurial business Law Clinic, Civil Clinic, and Justice for Children Clinic.

Ohio State also has an extensive externship program, which is fueled by our location in a state capital and large legal market. each year, more than 75 students serve as judicial externs, working side-by-side with judges and law clerks in judicial chambers. Another 80-plus students serve as externs in government agencies and nonprofit organizations throughout Central Ohio. These opportunities allow students to apply their newly acquired legal skills, see the law in action, and build valuable work experience while still in school.

Capstone courses allow third-year law students to "put it all together." The capstones require students to use the legal knowledge and analysis they developed in the first two years of law school with advanced problem-solving, client relations, and professional judgment. As capstones, these classes are designed to ensure close interaction with practicing lawyers who are leaders in their fields. These limited-enrollment courses require students to take an active role through simulations, exercises, and individual feedback. For example, in The Disaster Problem, students look at the human and structural devastation of hurricane Katrina through the eyes of the chief legal officer for one of the nation's largest insurers. Taught by Patricia hatler, executive vice president and chief legal and governance officer at nationwide Insurance, headquartered in Columbus, the class challenges students to make and defend decisions made in a crisis. by the end of class, students will have made a formal presentation to the company's board of directors, which is videotaped and critiqued by hatler and the class; taken the hot seat before Congress and given testimony; worked with the media; and met with a state insurance department. each year, several different capstone courses are offered.

Course Sampling for Clinics and Experiential Learning

  • China Problem
  • Civil Law Clinic
  • Corporate Counsel Problem
  • Criminal Defense Clinic
  • Criminal Prosecution Clinic
  • Disaster Problem
  • Dispute Systems Design Workshop
  • Drafting business Contracts
  • Employment Problem
  • entrepreneurial business Law Clinic
  • Government and Nonprofit Externship
  • Hospital Problem
  • Judicial externship
  • Justice for Children Clinic
  • Legal negotiation
  • Legislation Clinic
  • Mediation/Multiparty Mediation Clinic
  • Pretrial Litigation
  • Real Estate Development
  • Special education Advocacy
  • Trial Practice