January 14, 2014
The University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law ranks second in the nation, just behind Yale Law School, for student clinical opportunities, according to data compiled by the National Jurist magazine.
“This recognition affirms our long-standing commitment to preparing students for practice by providing myriad opportunities for hands-on learning,” said Professor Linda F. Smith, Director of the college’s Clinical Program. “It is important for students to have community-engaged learning opportunities to prepare them for their careers, but it also fills important needs in our community.”
The rankings were reported in the winter 2014 issue of the National Jurist’s sister magazine, PreLaw. Law schools were ranked in order of most clinical opportunities and were calculated by dividing the number of clinical course positions filled by the number of students in the school. The data combined both faculty-supervised clinics and field placements of 200 law schools.
In recent years, the College of Law has expanded its well-regarded externship program by adding international experiences, work with new ventures and appellate practice opportunities. Moreover, the college has added faculty-supervised clinics in environmental law, innocence and public policy work. In the last academic year, students devoted more than 40,000 hours to this work.
“Our location in the capitol city with many public-minded attorneys and judges provides many excellent field placements so that any student who wants a community engaged learning placement can have one any semester,” Smith said. “Clinical experiences are becoming an increasingly important way for students to practice relevant skills, understand legal institutions and law in the context of practice, and gain insight into their strengths and career preferences.”