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Experiential and Clinical Learning

Sophie Stevens

At Chase, “learning the law” also means learning how to apply the law in real-world settings with real-world people. Chase makes it easy, through an array of clinics, externships and opportunities for students to develop the practical and professional skills to become successful lawyers (or however else they want to apply their degree).  

Clinics are opportunities to develop and apply just about every skill a lawyer might utilize – investigating, interviewing, researching, negotiating, advising, even appearing in court. Five clinical programs make that possible: Children’s Law Center Clinic for legal matters involving children and teenagers, Constitutional Litigation Clinic for civil rights claims arising during incarceration, Kentucky Innocence Project for credible claims of wrongful convictions, Sixth Circuit Clinic for appellate work in the Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals at Cincinnati and Small Business & Nonprofit Law Clinic for commercial and organizational matters.


Hope LeMaster

“The real-world experience of meeting with a client, hearing their story and advocating on their behalf cannot be produced through a traditional classroom. Working with clients and helping them navigate the legal system brings me joy.”

     – Hope LeMaster, Children’s Law Center Clinic student

Alex Castle

“There's no argument that prosecutors and defense attorneys have a tough job with high stakes. The Kentucky Innocence Project opened my eyes to ways in which prosecutors can improve their investigation methods to assist in preventing wrongful convictions.”

     – Alex Castle, Kentucky Innocence Project student 


Externships occur just about any place legal issues arise – municipal and corporate law departments, judicial chambers, law firms, college athletic departments, medical research programs and a host of others. The work is substantive and is what lawyers do: research, draft documents, consult, monitor and, with a limited license to practice, appear in court to examine witnesses and present oral arguments.


Lashae Richie

“Chase has challenged me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I was able to practice speaking in a courtroom, and this made me comfortable speaking in front of judges when it was time for me to argue revocation hearings and a bond hearing in court.”

     – LaShae Richie, student extern with the Jefferson County (Louisville) Commonwealth’s Attorney 


Centers and institutes provide opportunities for students both to expand substantive knowledge and to develop practical skills through symposia, workshops, competitions and networking events.


Brendan Sullivan

“By better understanding informatics and quantitative methods, I believe that, as a lawyer armed with such abilities, I will be able to shape society for the better. Producing technologically savvy and management-ready lawyers is a breath of fresh air.”

     – Brendan Sullivan, W. Bruce Lunsford Academy for Law, Business + Informatics scholar at Chase 


Chase students learn early about lawyers’ professional responsibility to provide uncompensated legal services for the public good − and at the same time they develop practical skills and make professional contacts that enhance their own career development. All students must complete 50 hours of law-related pro bono work prior to graduation.


“Doing pro bono and unpaid internships has allowed me to learn more about the work lawyers do, instead of just reading about it, and also to help people. I have taken every experience as a learning, teachable moment, and I have done more than the required 50 hours for graduation.”

     – Nikki Spears, student