Law students practice through in-house clinics

Within a month of being sworn in to Tulane Law School’s Domestic Violence Clinic, third-year law student Jessica Greenberg was already representing a client.

“My co-counsel and I were one of the first groups in the clinic to have a hearing,” she said. “I cannot think of any better preparation than getting into court and before a judge before graduation.”

Greenberg was one of 50 third-year law students to be sworn in to Tulane Law School’s five in-house clinics. In addition to domestic violence, clinics cover such areas as civil rights, criminal justice, environmental law and juvenile law.

Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson, whose résumé includes years of working on behalf of low-income individuals, presided over the ceremony.

Under Louisiana Supreme Court Rule XX, students are permitted to practice law under the supervision of a licensed faculty member upon taking an oath and meeting other requirements.

Greenberg, who plans to specialize in public interest law, said she applied to Tulane Law School knowing that she wanted to join a clinic in her third year.

“It is so rewarding and beneficial to learn from the clinic professors and to have them guide us through this process from weekly seminars to sitting next to us during our court hearings,” she said. “The clinic helps students practice skills they will need upon graduation and for the rest of their careers in a supportive atmosphere created by a team of professors and fellow students.”

The Tulane Law School clinics were founded in 1979 to provide intensive training for law students and access to the court system for individuals and groups who otherwise would not be able to afford or obtain a lawyer. Clinic alumni have gone on to hold a range of leadership positions in government, the public interest and the bar.

Current Louisiana Bar president, Dona Renegar (L ’92), is an alumna of the Juvenile Law Clinic.

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