Pitt Law’s practicums combine focused classroom instruction in a particular area of interest and fieldwork under supervising attorneys at various public agencies and private and non-profit organizations. There is no better way to prepare for your law career than to learn from and work directly with experts in the field. Full-year or semester options are available in criminal law, health law, housing law, and education law.

State Criminal Defense Practicum

This Practicum will teach law students about the real-world practice of criminal defense, with field placement coordinated with the Allegheny County Public Defender's office. The class will consist of lecture and class discussions, courtroom observation, and direct in-court participation. This class is open to all students. Students who are eligible to become Certified Legal Interns will be required to do so, working under the direct supervision of attorneys in the Pretrial and Trial Division of the Public Defender's Office. Students who are not Certified Legal Interns will receive just as valuable an experience, participating in observation and client interaction.

Review the requirements on Pitt Law's Courses & Curriculum website.

Education Law Practicum

The Education Law Practicum introduces students to the issues that arise when the education and juvenile justice systems intersect in the school-to-prison pipeline. The seminar will equip students with a deep understanding of the school-to-prison pipeline and how education, criminal law, and policy shape it. The experiential component allows students to work on local issues through partnership with the Education Law Center. Students leave this course with critical insight into reform strategies and challenges to address both systems' problems and gain valuable skills in youth justice advocacy.

Review the requirements on Pitt Law's Courses & Curriculum website.

Community Lawyering

Gain experience with live clients, performing such essential lawyering tasks as interviewing, counseling, negotiating, drafting documents and pleadings, and providing representation before the Court of Common Pleas. Students receive modeling, training, and supervision from experienced Southeastern PA Legal Services staff attorneys.

Review the requirements on Pitt Law's Courses & Curriculum website.

PA Practice Anti-Eviction Practicum

Students help indigent clients and learn essential lawyering skills under the close supervision of experienced attorneys at Neighborhood Legal Services. The Practicum runs the entire school year, so students must devote both semesters to the program. The fall term has a classroom component and fieldwork, and the spring term offering is all fieldwork. The seminar is held in the Pittsburgh offices of Neighborhood Legal Services. In the field component, students represent clients in the courtroom and administrative hearing procedures on landlord-tenant, employment law, issues, and consumer law.

Review the requirements on our Courses & Curriculum website.

Pennsylvania Innocence Project Practicum

The Pennsylvania Innocence Project allows students to examine and discuss the substantive law and remedies associated with wrongful convictions. Topics include mistaken eyewitness identification, “junk” forensic science, forensic DNA testing, and post-conviction remedies. In this practicum, students are exposed to post-conviction collateral litigation, criminal law ethics– defense and prosecution – and factual analysis training. Learn more about the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

Review the requirements on Pitt Law's Courses & Curriculum website.