preLaw - Spring 2017 - 40
The Best Schools
One of the most robust clinical programs
in the country is at Yale Law School.
During the second semester of their
first year, students at the school can begin
participating in clinics and appear in court
or before other tribunals with a practice
license. At most schools, students can't
participate in clinics until their second or
third years. But Yale's clinical programs
were founded on the belief that "students
should move back and forth between clinical course work and traditional doctrinal
courses throughout their legal education,
bringing theory to their practice and practical experience to theoretical inquiry,"
Michael Wishnie, deputy dean for experiential education, wrote in a chapter of
the 2015 book "The New 1L: First-Year
Lawyering With Clients."
More than three-quarters of Yale Law
School students participate in one or more
of the school's clinics, and unlike some
schools, where the student-faculty ratio is
low - no more than six to eight students
per term - Yale's clinical faculty admit
more students, which means they can serve
more clients, Wishnie said.
Just this spring, the school launched
four new clinical courses, he said.
Among the most popular Yale clinics is
the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation
Project, which is now in its 11th year.
Students work with San Francisco deputy
city attorneys to conceive, develop and litigate some of the most innovative publicinterest lawsuits in the country. Since its
founding, nearly 200 students have worked
in the clinic, clocking roughly 30,000
hours of work for the city.
"They've worked on a consumer-protection suit that made the cover of Business
Week," said professor Heather Gerken.
"They helped win a billion-dollar judgment against the lead paint industry, which
has been notoriously hard to hold account-
Food law is a growing
specialty area at Yale Law
School, and during the
past few years, a thriving
community of students
interested in food law
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able. They worked on the Proposition 8
marriage equality case, dubbed 'the trial
of the century.' They are now working
on what we think is the only active foodlaw trial in the country. They have done
cutting-edge work on privacy issues, gay
rights, environmental reform, housing,
immigration and labor/employment. It's
been a great run."
Food law is a growing specialty area
at Yale Law School, and during the past
few years, a thriving community of students interested in food law has blossomed.
The school has thus added special courses through the Environmental Protection
Clinic and the Ludwig Center for
Community & Economic Development
Clinic, which has worked with CitySeed
for more than 10 years. The clinic works
with the nonprofit on legal issues sur-