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LAW Religious Liberty Clinic

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LAW 632

Religious Liberty Clinic

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[ Academia ] Education Law: General

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] as a Clinic : This clinic is an obvious choice for students interested in constitutional law, and for students with a public policy or public interest career objective. Students in the clinic work with clients in a wide range of disputes: from prisoners to students to employees. You can expect to assist an individual client in obtaining some type of accommodation, or participate in a longer-term project involving group access to some public good or facility. With this, or any other clinic, whether or not it focuses on the substantive law of your specific career orientation, you can be confident that you will get skills-based training that is relevant and transferable. Review the clinic activities for the skill sets you are most interested in acquiring, such as interviewing clients, presenting arguments, writing for different audiences, or negotiating and collaborating with others. Equally important, the mentoring offered to students by clinical program directors provides a valuable opportunity to develop that key lawyering competence: professional judgment. The following clinics are also particularly useful for those planning to work in the policy arena or practice with regulatory agencies, as they develop a policy focus and administrative advocacy skills useful for this career direction in any substantive area: Environmental Law Clinic Education Law Clinic Cyberlaw Clinic

General course Description:

The Religious Liberty Clinic will offer participating students a dynamic, real-world experience representing a diverse group of clients in disputes arising from a wide range of religious beliefs, practices, and customs in a variety of circumstances. Students will learn in class and apply in practice the laws affecting religious liberty, whether statutory or constitutional, and will be expected to counsel individual or institutional clients and litigate on their behalf with technical excellence, professionalism, and maturity.

During the term, students can expect to handle a discrete accommodation project—e.g., represent a prisoner, student, or employee facing obstacles in the exercise of his or her faith—and likely also participate in a longer-term project involving religion in the public square—e.g., represent a small church, synagogue, or mosque with zoning issues, or a faith-based group seeking access to public facilities. Opportunities to draft amicus briefs may also arise. The clinic will involve administrative, trial, and appellate practice—though time constraints may not permit each student to work in all areas—united under the theme of "religious liberty for all." Students may also help in marketing and outreach efforts to the religious and wider communities.

Course Style: A Clinic provides hands-on practical legal experience under the supervision of a faculty member and complemented by a seminar.

Course Frequency: Offered twice a year

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