Clinics

The College of Law currently offers three in-house Clinics taught by full-time resident faculty members: the Civil Clinic, the Criminal Clinic, and the Immigration Clinic. Clinic students gain insight into the legal and ethical responsibilities of both prosecutors and defense attorneys in criminal cases that will benefit students, regardless of the context in which they eventually practice law. Students are eligible to enroll in the Clinics once they have reached senior standing.

Civil Clinic

The Civil Clinic was established in 1975. Clinic students represent low-income clients in a wide variety of civil and administrative cases selected by the faculty for potential litigation and trial experience and maximum pedagogical benefit. Students’ caseloads are designed to approximate the types of matters they might handle as new lawyers in a variety of practice settings. Depending on the clients’ needs and the nature of the cases, students will interview clients, file pleadings, conduct informal and formal discovery, try cases, and argue appeals.

Contact Us

Kevin Ruser
Civil Clinic
172 Welpton Courtroom Building
University of Nebraska
P.O. Box 830902
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
Phone: 402.472.3271

Criminal Clinic

The Criminal Clinic was established in 1979 and is one of the few prosecution Clinics in the country. Because the Clinic carries the burden of proof in all its cases, Clinic students gain insight into the legal and ethical responsibilities of both prosecutors and defense attorneys in criminal cases that will benefit students, regardless of the context in which they eventually practice law. Under the guidance of resident faculty, Clinic students prosecute misdemeanor and felony cases out of the Lancaster County Attorney’s office. The focus of the Criminal Clinic is trial practice, with jury trials occurring frequently. Clinic students appear in court nearly every week during their time in the Clinic, and are lead counsel in all cases.

Contact Us

Steve Schmidt
Criminal Clinic
172 Welpton Courtroom Building
University of Nebraska
P.O. Box 830902
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
Phone: 402.472.3271

Entrepreneurship Clinic

The Entrepreneurship Clinic opened in January 2013. Clinic students advise and represent startup business clients in a variety of early-stage legal matters, including entity formation, contract drafting and review, intellectual property protection, real estate, financing, regulatory, compliance and other transactional matters. Students will develop practical skills necessary for the effective practice of transactional law, gain an understanding of entrepreneurs as clients and the interplay of legal, ethical and practical considerations that are required to effectively advise them, and develop relationships with individuals and organizations in Nebraska¹s entrepreneurship community applicable to such student¹s professional and educational goals.

The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law is a student-based clinical program designed to provide representation and counsel to startup business clients on a variety of early-stage legal issues. Under supervision of clinical faculty, students participating in the Clinic will interact directly with clients to provide a wide range of business law issues. By assisting entrepreneurs when they need help the most, the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic provides Nebraska Law students hands-on opportunities to make a difference in the Nebraska business community.

Contact Us

Brett C. Stohs
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Cline Williams Director of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic

LeAnn Frobom
Legal Assistant

Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic
7 McCollum Hall
P.O. Box 830902
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
eclinic@unl.edu
Phone: (402) 472-1680
Fax: (402) 472-0608

Clinic visitors may park on the south side of McCollum Hall and sign in upon arrival at the Clinic. We do not accept walk-in clients.

About Us

The Clinic is directed by Professor Brett Stohs. The mission of the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law is to:

  • Educate, train, and inspire law students to understand the needs of, and be advocates for, entrepreneurs, innovators and start-up businesses.
  • Provide law students an opportunity to develop meaningful and transferable legal, practical and ethical skills through application of classroom lessons to client representation in a transactional law firm setting.
  • Offer early-stage transactional legal advice and representation to Nebraska’s aspiring entry-level entrepreneurs, innovators, and start-up businesses.
  • Inspire an entrepreneurial spirit among law students by facilitating educational and professional opportunities that connect law students with entrepreneurs and business leaders, relevant partner organizations, and legal practitioners who represent entrepreneurs and start-up businesses.
  • Contribute to the University of Nebraska’s mission as the state’s primary intellectual center by performing direct outreach to rural and urban communities on legal issues facing entrepreneurs and start-up businesses and providing legal support to other University of Nebraska initiatives relating to entrepreneurship.
  • Become a meaningful contributor in the Nebraska ecosystem of entrepreneurs and supporting organizations that are working to make the State of Nebraska one of the best places in the United States to start a business.
Clients

Clinic clients include entry-level entrepreneurs, innovators, and start-up businesses located throughout the State of Nebraska. Clients will be selected among those who meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant’s place of business is within the State of Nebraska.
  • The work requested by applicant is appropriate for third-year law students and presents a meaningful educational opportunity.
  • Applicant has not received a significant round of outside funding or financing from investors.
  • Applicant would otherwise be unlikely to obtain qualified legal advice.
  • If your business meets these criteria and you wish to be considered for initial representation by the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic, please submit the Client Intake Form. All client selection decisions are subject to the Clinic staffing availability and are made solely with the Clinic Director’s approval.

The scope of the Clinic’s work will be limited to first-stage business matters relating to the entrepreneurial endeavor, and may include the following:

  • Entity selection and formation
  • Contract drafting and negotiations
  • Intellectual property protection (excluding patent matters)
  • Negotiating real estate leases
  • Counseling with respect to initial financing matters
  • Certain regulatory and compliance matters (such as employment, and state and local issues)
  • Notwithstanding the foregoing, there are certain matters that the Clinic will not handle, which include actual, or threatened, or potential litigation, immigration law, patent searches or applications, and pure tax advice.

The scope of legal work to be completed will be agreed upon in writing, and upon completion of such work, the attorney-client relationship will be terminated. Where appropriate, clients will be referred to members of the private bar for additional legal support going forward.

Students

As one of Nebraska Law’s clinical programs, the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic serves as a capstone experience for law students interested in the practice of transactional law. Students will have all the responsibilities incumbent upon attorneys in a small law firm practice, which translates to direct client advice and communications, matter management, multitasking, and active participation in the life of the firm.

Students in classroomBecause Clinic matters involve actual clients, Clinic students’ experiences will not be uniform. However, students will have an opportunity to develop a number of legal skills during their time in the Clinic. For example, students will likely draft agreements, form at least one company, and advise clients on complex legal and business issues. Students will also be exposed to law office management techniques that include time-keeping and time-management skills.

In addition to the client work, students will be required to participate in an intensive “boot camp” orientation conducted during the beginning of the semester, as well as a weekly seminar and staff meeting.

The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic is a 6 credit hour course. Students must be of senior standing (i.e., 3rd year), and have previously completed Business Associations and Individual Income Tax. If you wish to be considered for enrollment in the Entrepreneurship Clinic, you will need to apply in connection with the Law College lotteries, which are conducted shortly before course registration each semester. Please contact the Clinic for more details about the application.

Immigration Clinic

The Immigration Clinic was established in 1998 and allows students an in-depth, hands-on experience representing immigration clients before federal immigration agencies and courts. As in the other Clinics, students in the Immigration Clinic are lead counsel in all cases, and appear with and on behalf of clients during agency interviews or court proceedings. The types of cases handled are those typically presented by low-income immigrants, such as family-based immigrant matters, Violence Against Women Act cases, deportation defense, affirmative and defense asylum applications, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa cases.