Field Notes from Starting a Law School Clinic

20 Clinical Law Review 137 (2013)

44 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2013 Last revised: 3 Dec 2013

See all articles by Stephen R. Miller

Stephen R. Miller

University of Idaho College of Law - Boise

Date Written: November 8, 2013


The goal of this article is to provide guidance for clinicians starting new law school clinics through “field notes” of the author’s experience starting a new Economic Development Clinic. Using personal experience as a reference point by which to discuss the new clinician’s experience generally, the article first discusses the role of clinicians in the contemporary legal academy. Second, the article discusses how to find and choose clinic clients, which is arguably the most difficult part of starting a clinic. This section also offers a digression on framing community and economic development clinics, which the author argues also provides a valuable test case for contemplating client selection in all subject clinics. Third, the article addresses non-client serving components of new clinics, such as class structure, readings, writings, and the like. Fourth, the article addresses the client-serving component of new clinics, including a number of logistical issues in running a clinic that are often a surprise to new clinicians. This section also discusses grading clinics. Fifth, the article addresses publicizing a new clinic. Sixth, the article addresses student recruitment for new clinics. Seventh, the article concludes by discussing ways new clinicians can get to know the legal clinic professorial community.

Keywords: clinical, clinic, community economic development, economic development, community and economic development, legal education, legal pedagogy

Suggested Citation

Miller, Stephen R., Field Notes from Starting a Law School Clinic (November 8, 2013). 20 Clinical Law Review 137 (2013), Available at SSRN:

Stephen R. Miller (Contact Author)

University of Idaho College of Law - Boise ( email )

514 W. Jefferson St
Boise, ID 83702
United States
208-364-4559 (Phone)
208-344-2176 (Fax)

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