Lobeck Taylor Family Advocacy Clinic
The Lobeck Taylor Family Advocacy Clinic at The University of Tulsa College of Law is an intensive, one-semester course that offers students the unique opportunity to gain hands-on lawyering experience and explore the ethical, strategic, and theoretical dimensions of legal practice. In the Clinic, student attorneys engage the skills and values of effective lawyering by solving real-life legal problems in a structured learning environment. Through direct representation of clients, intensive supervision from faculty, peer-to-peer interaction, and weekly seminars, student attorneys are prepared for the effective and responsible practice of law.
Increasing Access to Justice
In the Family Advocacy Clinic, student attorneys serve the Tulsa community by providing representation that increases access to justice for low-income individuals and families. Clinic cases may involve legal issues related to domestic violence, housing, public benefits, consumer debt, or collateral challenges that stem from clients’ involvement in the criminal justice system. Student attorneys may also advocate for broader law reform and systems change in collaboration with community-based organizations in Tulsa.
What Students Can Expect from the Clinic
Each student attorney represents at least one client and handles a case from initial intake through final adjudication. Students work in teams of two and assume primary responsibility for their work. The Clinic director provides comprehensive and personalized supervision while challenging students to practice extensive self-reflection and critique.
Students’ clinic experience may include client interviewing and counseling; fact investigation; witness preparation; negotiation; oral advocacy; drafting motions; examining witnesses; and presenting evidence. In addition, students develop and enhance legal analysis and reasoning, advocacy, complex problem-solving, strategic thinking, and collaboration skills. Students develop their understanding of professional responsibility as they grapple with ethical issues that arise in the context of legal practice.
The Clinic course includes case-related work, regular meetings with the Clinic director, and a weekly seminar. The seminar is highly interactive; students are required to complete assignments each week and must be prepared to participate during seminar. Students should expect to spend an average of 10-20 hours per week on case-related work (in addition to seminar preparation and in-class time). In some weeks the time demands may be lower, while some weeks require much more time. In addition, the demands of particular cases may require work on evenings and weekends or travel to meet with clients or witnesses. The Clinic course is four to six credit hours (the credit hours of the Clinic will be finalized and approved by the faculty in October of 2013).
All student attorneys attend a weekly seminar taught by the Clinic director where they learn substantive law, reflect on the challenges of legal practice, assist one another with case development, and practice essential lawyering skills. The vast majority of seminar time involves simulation exercises, collaborative work, and other interactive learning methods. The seminar covers areas including but not limited to:
- Substantive Law
- Evidentiary Rules and Court Procedure
- Local Judicial and Legal Systems
- Professional Ethics
- Client and Witness Interviewing
- Fact Investigation and Development
- Client Counseling and Communication
- Professional Communication and Collaboration Skills
- Litigation Skills and Trial Advocacy: Case Theory, Trial Planning, Opening and Closing Statements, Direct and Cross Examination, Oral Argument, and Motions Practice
To enroll in the Family Advocacy Clinic, students must have an approved Oklahoma Legal Intern License or a pending application for a Legal Intern License. Students must be in their second or third year during the time they are enrolled in the Clinic and must have completed (or be concurrently enrolled in) Evidence and Professional Responsibility.
Please contact Professor Carpenter with any questions about the Clinic, the Clinic application process, or the Legal Intern License.
Family Advocacy Clinic Director:
Professor Anna Carpenter