Ethics, Internal Law School Clinics, and Training the Next Generation of Poverty Lawyers
Nina W. Tarr
University of Illinois College of Law
William Mitchell Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2009
Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 08-26
Internal law school clinics, in which law students and faculty employed by the law school represent real clients with real problems, share ethics issues with law firms, government entities, public defenders and legal aid offices. Nevertheless, law school clinics differ significantly from these other legal settings in goals and priorities, the presence of law students and the transient nature of their participation in the office, and the mere fact the clinic is a component of a larger institution. Consequently, the ethics issues associated with managing a law school clinic are somewhat different than other legal settings, and the best practices for addressing those professionalism issues are informed by the differences. This article provides an inventory of some of the ethical issues that might be considered in the management of an internal law school clinic (hereinafter "clinic"), and an exposition of the competing concerns and strategies for addressing those concerns. The article is published in a symposium on poverty law so there are frequent references to the impact of ethics decisions on service to low income clients.