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Civil Law Clinic

Welcome to the Civil Law Clinic

The Civil Law Clinic engages students in the representation of real clients in a variety of legal matters, providing a valuable service to dozens of clients and community groups throughout the Miami Valley each year. The emphasis is on developing lawyering skills and professional habits and insights involved in client-centered representation, communication, problem-solving and advocacy.

As an academic clinic designed to teach students, there are limits on the cases we can take on, but we do have ongoing collaborations with The Veteran’s Administration, Greene County Juvenile Court, the Public Defenders’ offices of various local jurisdictions, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, the Legal Aid Society of Western Ohio, and other area social service and non-profit organizations that provide referrals of individual clients and broader legal issues affecting a community or group of people.  

In recent semesters, we have worked on cases involving guardianship, child custody and visitation, adoption, juvenile delinquency and education-related issues, housing and evictions, civil rights, probate, expungement and sealing of records, and debt collection and consumer law. Clients reach us through these clinics and referrals from various service providers in the Miami Valley, or they can contact the clinic directly during the academic year.   

A major focus has been on the representation of veterans connected with various services and programs at the Veteran’s Hospital here in Dayton, where we organize and run monthly intake clinics for veterans associated with services located at the V.A.

Through exposure to a variety of clients and legal experiences, the goal is to assist you in developing the strength and versatility of your lawyering skills and to assist you in shaping your professional identity and career plan. You will develop fundamental lawyering skills such as

  • interviewing and counseling
  • developing case theories and plans
  • preparing legal memoranda, correspondence and documents
  • cross-cultural communication
  • oral advocacy, direct and cross examination of witnesses, and other court advocacy techniques
  • transitioning into diverse professional roles, e.g., lawyer as litigator, writer, researcher, counselor, problem-solver, negotiator, facilitator, etc.

Finally, the financial status and background of most our clients creates a context in which to analyze the impact of poverty and other related factors such as race, gender and class on the ability of low-income people in our communities to access justice and obtain quality and equitable relief in the legal systems in which we appear.   

Student Perspective: Civil Law Clinic

See how students are able to get real-world experience in the University of Dayton School of Law's Civil Law Clinic.

Student Perspective: Civil Law Clinic

See how students are able to get real-world experience in the University of Dayton School of Law's Civil Law Clinic.


Law Clinics

Keller Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2750