Legal Clinics

USD School of Law's free legal clinics offer assistance to underserved members of society while providing opportunities for students to learn first-hand from highly skilled attorneys and interact directly with actual clients. Gifts to the legal clinics help the public and help students gain valuable legal experience before graduating from the law school. Check out the great work the legal clinics are doing by visiting Case Notes, USD's legal clinics blog or the accomplishments of 2019-2020 student clinical education here.

Appellate Clinic

The Appellate Clinic provides students the opportunity to litigate an appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This is a year-long clinic in which teams of students will handle appeals from start to finish.

Child Advocacy Clinic

USD's Child Advocacy Clinic is operated by the Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI), a statewide center dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of California's children. The Child Advocacy Clinic represents minors in child abuse and neglect proceedings, represents minors charged with offenses in delinquency proceedings and works on a variety of policy and advocacy projects.

Civil Clinic

Assists in supplemental Social Security Income and Social Security disability, uninsured motorist defense and consumer issues.

Education and Disability Clinic

Represents clients at meetings with school district personnel and Regional Center Staff. Matters include school discipline (suspensions and expulsions), special education placement and services, Regional Center and Early Start services, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Energy Law and Policy Clinic

The Energy Policy Initiatives Center sponsors the Energy Law and Policy Clinic, a unique opportunity for USD Law students to work in partnership with a related state agency to conduct legal research on a topical issue. Students interact periodically with agency staff and develop a legal memo or similar report to present to the agency at the end of the semester. In addition to learning about a specific energy or climate related issue, students who take the Energy Law and Policy Clinic also learn a range of practical skills. At the end of the clinic, students travel to Sacramento to present their findings to a group of agency staff.

Entrepreneurship Clinic

Provides comprehensive legal assistance to individuals who wish to start or expand a small business or not-for-profit organization, as well as for trademark and copyright issues.

Federal Income Tax Clinic

Represents taxpayers who have disputes with the Internal Revenue Service in matters such as collection actions or audits, earned income tax credits and offers in compromise.

Immigration Clinic

Offers assistance for immigration-related problems such as asylum, immigrating family members, naturalization and deportation.

Public Interest Law Clinic

Students choose a research or advocacy project focused on regulatory or public interest law topics.

State Income Tax Clinic - California

Represents low-income taxpayers who have disputes with the Franchise Tax Board in matters of state tax appeals.

State Sales and Use Tax Clinic - California

This clinic is a joint effort between USD Legal Clinics and the California State Board of Equalization. Under the supervision of an attorney from the California State Board of Equalization's Taxpayers' Rights Advocate Office, students will represent clients with Sales and Use Tax appeals before the Board of Equalization.

Veterans Clinic

Provides free legal assistance to veterans in disputes with for-profit institutions over the use of GI Bill funds and predatory lending associated with education loans. Legal services range from advice to identification of potential claims to representation of student veterans in litigation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Women's Legal Clinic

This clinic will meet the legal needs of women, men, and families who are the victims of human trafficking and others by helping with domestic violence restraining orders, child custody and guardianship matters, and dissolution cases.

Workers' Rights Clinic

Assists lower-income workers with a variety of employment law issues including employee rights, discrimination, medical leave, workplace safety, unpaid wages, unemployment benefits, harassment and wrongful termination.


Make a gift on USD's secure giving webpage. For more information about giving to the law school's clinics, please call the Development and Donor Relations Office at (619) 260-4692.