Clinic Enrollment Policies
1. Conflict of Interest: Because of conflict-of-interest statutes (see 18 U.S.C. §§205, 207), students with part-time or full-time jobs with the Federal government may not be eligible to participate in the Appellate Litigation Program, the Center for Applied Legal Studies, the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic, the Criminal Justice Clinic, the Federal Legislation and Administrative Clinic, the Harrison Institute, the Institute for Public Representation, or Law Students in Court. Students with part-time or full-time jobs with the District of Columbia government or the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia may not be eligible to participate in the Juvenile Justice Clinic, the Harrison Institute, or the Institute for Public Representation. Students who are uncertain about the application of this rule to them should consult the Assistant Dean of Clinics before applying to a clinic.
2. Minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average and Academic Performance: Students seeking to enroll in a clinic in their second year must have a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average at the end of their first year. Students who fail or withdraw from any of their required first year courses will not be permitted to enroll in a clinic in any year until they have re-taken and successfully completed the course(s) they failed or from which they withdrew. Part-time students and interdivisional (part-time to full-time) transfer students are permitted to enroll in certain clinics prior to completing Criminal Justice and the first year elective (see #8 below).
3. D.C. Student Practice Rule: Students seeking admission to clinics requiring practice in the D.C. courts or agencies must be certified for practice under the D.C. student practice rule. To be bar certifiable, a student must have successfully completed 41 credits, including Evidence, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Justice (both curricula A & B satisfy the Civil Procedure and Criminal Justice requirements) and be approved by the Bar Character Committee (see #4 below) before the beginning of the semester in which the student is enrolled in a clinic. Typically, students who may be eligible under this rule are third year full-time students, third and fourth year part-time students and second year full-time students enrolled in a one semester clinic in the spring. Transfer students, see #8 below.
4. D.C. Bar Character Committee & Dean's Certifications: The D.C. Bar requires that a student who is admitted to practice pursuant to the D.C. student practice rule have a character clearance. We have been informed that students with felony and some misdemeanor convictions or arrests (including juvenile cases or cases in which expungement has taken place), students with a history of dishonesty including plagiarism, students with a recent history of drug or alcohol abuse, and students with a history of serious financial irresponsibility may not be cleared by the Committee in time to actually appear in court while a member of the clinic. Students who are unable to obtain a character clearance by the time clinic classes begin may be unable to maintain their enrollment in the clinic.
Note that the D.C. Bar Character Committee is unwilling to admit students who have matters pending before the law school's Professional Responsibility Committee. While such students may apply for a clinic that requires certification pursuant to the D.C. student practice rule, they cannot be admitted to that clinic while such matters are pending. If the matter is not resolved prior to the time a student is selected for that clinic, his or her name will be placed on the clinic's wait list, and the student will be admitted only after the disciplinary matter is resolved, as space permits.
The following is a list of questions that appear on the D.C. student bar application. If you are applying to a clinic that requires D.C. bar certification and you believe that you might have to answer "yes" to any of these questions, please contact the Assistant Dean of Clinics before applying:
(a) Have you ever been dropped, suspended, warned, placed on scholastic or disciplinary probation, expelled, requested to resign, or allowed to resign in lieu of discipline, from any school (above the elementary school level), college, or university, or otherwise subjected to discipline by any such school or institution, or requested or advised by any such school or institution to discontinue your studies therein?
(b) Either as an adult or a juvenile, have you ever been cited, arrested, charged or convicted for any violation of any law (except minor traffic violations)? Alcohol or drug related offenses and moving traffic violations are not considered to be minor.
(c) During the past five years, have you been addicted to, treated for, or counseled concerning the use of any drug, including alcohol?
(d) During the past five years, have you voluntarily entered or been involuntarily admitted to an institution for treatment of a mental, emotional or nervous disorder or condition?
(e) Have you ever been delinquent in any financial obligations, including student loans and credit cards?
(f) Have you ever been a party in any civil proceeding (including landlord/tenant and bankruptcy matters) or family law matter (including continuing orders for child support)?
Students applying to clinics that practice in other jurisdictions, such as federal court, may also need to comply with student practice rules. Most federal courts require certification by the Dean of a student's good character before the student is permitted to appear before the court. An adverse disciplinary ruling in law school or college, or a pending matter before Georgetown's Professional Responsibility Committee, could prevent a student from receiving the required Dean's certification. If you believe that your college or law school record might result in the denial of certification, please contact the Assistant Dean of Clinics before applying to a clinic.
5. Withdrawal Policy: The Law Center's policy regarding withdrawal from a clinic is very strict.
FALL OR FULL-YEAR CLINIC WITHDRAWAL POLICY:
A student may NOT use the add/drop period to drop a Fall or Full-Year clinic.
A student may withdraw his or her acceptance of a fall semester or full year clinic ONLY with permission from the clinic director and Jane Aiken, Associate Dean for Clinical Education. Permission is granted only where remaining enrolled in the clinic would cause significant hardship to the student.
SPRING CLINIC WITHDRAWAL POLICY:
A student may NOT use the add/drop period to drop a Spring clinic. A student may withdraw his or her acceptance of a spring term clinic no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, November 1, 2013, by notifying the clinic director and the Assistant Dean of Clinics in writing. After November 1, 2013, a student may withdraw from a spring clinic ONLY with permission from the clinic director and Jane Aiken, Associate Dean for Clinical Education. Permission is granted only where remaining enrolled in the clinic would cause significant hardship to the student.
In the absence of permission to withdraw, a student failing to participate in the clinic to which he or she was admitted will receive a grade of F for the appropriate number of credits. Strict enforcement of this policy is necessary to protect students who might otherwise be foreclosed from obtaining a clinic seat, clients who might not be adequately served, clinic morale, and the Law Center's relationships with other institutions.
Additionally, in the absence of a showing of special hardship, students taking full year clinics may not obtain any credit unless they remain in the clinic for the full academic year and complete all required work. If the clinic director and Dean Aiken permit a student to withdraw from a clinic prior to completing the clinic requirements, the amount of credit received for work the student has actually completed will be determined by the professor responsible for assigning the student's grade. Credits for year-long clinics are allocated in accordance with a fixed formula set by the faculty on the basis of classroom seminars, skills training and field work. No additional credits will be awarded regardless of the amount of time or effort involved in fulfilling clinic obligations.
6. Limits on Clinical Credits: It is theoretically possible to take more than one live-client clinic, although limited clinical resources make this extremely unlikely. To ensure equitable access to clinics, preference will be given to students who have not previously taken a clinical course other than Street Law. As a result, students who enroll in a clinic other than Street Law will probably not be able to gain access to another clinic in a subsequent year. Participating in two clinics in the same academic year (not including summer) is prohibited.
Those planning to practice in New York should note that New York State Bar admission rules limit the number of clinical credits an applicant may take. New York permits students to take a maximum of 20 semester hours of clinical credits out of a required 80 semester hour program. Applicants should consult the jurisdiction in which they plan to take the bar to see if similar rules apply. For assistance in obtaining information regarding the rules in other jurisdictions, students may contact Professor Michael Frisch, Ethics Counsel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
7. Transfer and Visiting Students: Students who have transferred or are visiting from another school and who have not taken Georgetown's required first year courses might not have the prerequisites necessary to practice in the courts or administrative tribunals of D.C. (see #3 above). Criminal Procedure, Civil Procedure, and Evidence are required by the student practice rule governing the appearance of students before D.C. courts and agencies. A Criminal Law course taken at the student's former school generally will not fulfill the Criminal Procedure prerequisite. If you have questions regarding whether courses taken at your prior school meet the prerequisites of the D.C. student practice rule, please contact the Assistant Dean of Clinics before you apply to any clinic that requires certification.
Visiting students may be admitted into a clinic only after all offers have been made to all Georgetown students. Part-time students who have transferred to the full-time division for their second year: please see #8 below.
8. Part-Time Students: Part-time students are welcome to apply for a clinic as long as they are not rendered ineligible for a particular clinic because they are employed by the Federal or District of Columbia governments (see #1 above) and they do not have job responsibilities during the day that preclude the time commitment demanded by clinics and ethical client service. Part-time students should carefully review the eligibility guidelines in order to ensure that they will have completed enough credits to enroll.
Assuming that they meet all other eligibility guidelines and course prerequisites, fourth year part-time students are eligible for any clinic. Street Law will also accept part-time students who have completed 20 credits in the first year part-time program. In addition, as noted in the Guide to Clinical Courses chart, some clinics will accept part-time students who will have completed a minimum of 28 credits before the beginning of the semester in which they are enrolled in a clinic (i.e., at least 20 credits in the first year part-time curriculum and an additional 8 credits completed prior to the beginning of clinic classes). The 28 credit minimum also applies to first year part-time students who have transferred to the full-time division for their second year. Summer clinics will give preference to part-time students assuming they meet other admission criteria.
Second year part-time students and interdivisional transfer students may not defer taking their required second year courses (Criminal Justice and Property) in order to participate in a clinic.
9. Overlap with Skills Training Courses: A student may only enroll in Advanced Evidence: Trial Skills; Civil Litigation Practice; Patent Trial Practice; Trial Practice and Applied Evidence; Trial Practice: Working with Expert Witnesses; or any section of Trial Practice during a semester prior to enrolling for credit in the Center for Applied Legal Studies, Community Justice Project, Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy, Criminal Justice, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Justice, or Law Students in Court Clinics. Students may not take Advanced Evidence: Trial Skills; Civil Litigation Practice; Patent Trial Practice; Trial Practice and Applied Evidence; Trial Practice: Working with Expert Witnesses; or any section of Trial Practice during the same semester or a subsequent semester in which they enroll in the Center for Applied Legal Studies, Community Justice Project, Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy, Criminal Justice, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Justice, or Law Students in Court Clinics. Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.
10. Clinic Extension Policy: Clinic students are generally expected to work for their clinic until the end of the examination period unless the clinic director has established a shorter period. In some cases, the needs of clinic clients will require that a student perform some tasks after the semester ends. In other cases, students may request an extension to complete a project. In either case, an extension form must be filled out before the examination period begins and will be effective only upon review and signature of Associate Dean Jane Aiken. If a tribunal or legislative body has continued a clinic case for hearing beyond the period of the student's clinic enrollment, Dean Aiken will generally grant an extension until the completion of the hearing. Except in unusual cases, an extension requested for any other reason will not be approved if it exceeds one month from the end of the examination period. If an extension is approved, grades will be submitted to the Registrar's office within three weeks after the extension expires.
11. Externships and Practicum Courses: Due to competing time demands, students are not permitted to enroll in Georgetown's two- or three-credit externship program or a practicum course during the same semester in which they are enrolled in any clinic besides Street Law. Taking any clinic and participating in the externship program or enrolling in a practicum course during different semesters is permitted. Students who take Street Law and do an externship or a practicum course in the same semester are expected to prioritize their obligations to the clinic first and to manage their time in accordance with these priorities.
12. JD/MBA Candidates: There are special rules applicable to JD/MBA candidates designed to avoid conflict between the MBA Global Business Experience and clinic participation. Please contact Gilda Mossadegh, Director of JD Programs (email@example.com or 662-9039) for details.