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. 

Appellate Clinic

The Appellate Clinic provides students the opportunity to handle an appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This is a year-long clinic in which teams of students will work on appeals referred from the pro-bono panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from start to finish–brief to oral argument.

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 consumer issues, breach of contract, uninsured motorist defense, fraud, and consumer debt collection disputes.  

The Housing Rights Project is a new program of the Civil Clinic that will focus on providing education, outreach, and direct client representation to serve the legal needs of low-income and undocumented tenants facing housing instability and homelessness. 

Education and Disability Clinic

Represents the parents of students with disabilities in cases ranging from IEP eligibility and services, placement, discipline and expulsions, 504 Plans, and limited conservatorships.

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 transactional legal services for clients in high technology business startups and other emerging growth companies. Assists with key legal services needed by entrepreneurs, including structuring the business entity, financing regulations, drafting of investment and employment agreements, and protection of intellectual property.

Federal Income Tax Clinic

Represents lower-income taxpayers who have disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. Assists with matters such as collection action, audits, tax credits, and offers in compromise. Also makes appearances at U.S. Tax Court.

Immigration Clinic

Offers assistance with immigration-related matters including immigrating family members, work authorization, naturalization, derivative citizenship, deferred action (such as DACA - Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), U-visa for crime victims and VAWA for domestic violence and abuse victims.

Public Interest Law Clinic

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

State Income Tax Clinic - California

The "Tax Appeals Assistance Program (TAAP) - Franchise and Income Tax," is a joint effort between USD Legal Clinics and the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB). Under supervision of an attorney from the FTB's Taxpayer Rights Advocate Office, students represent taxpayers with state income tax disputes against the Franchise Tax Board at the California Office of Tax Appeals (OTA).

State Sales and Use Tax Clinic - California

This clinic is a joint effort between USD Legal Clinics and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). Under the supervision of an attorney from the CDTFA's Taxpayer Rights Advocate Office, students will represent clients who are appealing California Sales and Use Tax determinations.

Veterans Clinic

Provides free legal assistance to veterans, limited to disputes with for-profit institutions over the use of GI Bill funds and predatory lending; discharge upgrades; and VA Disability Claims appeals. Legal services range from advice to identification of potential claims to representation of veterans in litigation, arbitration and before governmental review boards.

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.

To inquire about  free legal services available at the Legal Clinics, please call (619) 260-7470.   





Name & Gender-Marker Change Clinic

USD's Name & Gender-Marker Change Clinic is operated by University of San Diego School of Law students and licensed attorneys.  The Name & Gender-Marker Change Clinic helps transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming individuals petition the court to change their name and/or gender-marker so that they can have official state and federal documents that reflect their correct name and/or marker.  Read more here about this student practice organization. 


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.