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Housing Law Clinic Community Feedback

At a hearing at which one of our advanced students won a Motion to Withdraw, 65A District Court Chief Judge Wells stated:

I think this is a good program you're running there. I think that probably the best thing we can do in terms of training young lawyers, even old lawyers, I mean in training people to be lawyers, would be to go back to Abe Lincoln's day where you apprenticed with somebody and saw what really worked while it really happened because most of what you learn in law school is pretty theoretical...

He added that he had a property law client his first day out of law school, but his property class did not prepare him for the client so the client went elsewhere.

That was my first client and I thought, boy, I'm sure glad I went to law school; they really trained me for the real world.

The following testimonials were collected from various types of student and client feedback, including course evaluations:

I've been meaning to e-mail you. I just wanted to tell you how much the Clinic has helped me at my job this summer. My office is so similar in structure to the Clinic, I can't even believe it. Down to the filing even, and they've been so impressed that I've been able to help them with mortgaging and garnishment questions just from what I learned this past year. I am seriously so grateful!

I've started taking Multistate Performance Test practice exams and I must say that having clinical experience has definitely given me a leg up. The MPT includes drafting office memos, client letters, and various contractual agreements among other things so it's similar to a lot of stuff I worked on frequently this past year. See you soon, thanks again!

A client sent a greeting card thanking a student for her work on a case:

Regardless of the outcome, I am grateful. Best wishes to you in your studies.

Just wanted to advise you what a wonderful job, Daniel, your law student did in helping me find the statute that I needed for my landlord/tenant case. I had spent hours looking for this information and today, thanks to him, he finally found what I needed. I can now go with confidence to court to resolve this issue. Please pass this on to whoever oversees him. He is truly wonderful!

THANK YOU AGAIN, DANIEL!! GOOD LUCK IN ALL YOUR FUTURE ENDEAVORS WITH YOUR CAREER!

Lara, I wanted to once again thank you for all of the hard work you put into my case. I know sometimes there were things that made the case more difficult (my dad). However, you did a phenomenal job and I couldn't be happier with the way you handled every situation. You have a great talent in law and are an exceptional person to work with.

Thank you

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Clinic. It has been a great experience and the work toward an actual purpose has been tremendous in helping me cope with my father's trouble. If not for the Clinic, staying focused on law school would have been impossible this semester. Thank you guys again.

It was very effective how we learned the basic law first, and then were able to practically apply it to real-life situations. Since we were actually representing and/or assisting people, I always strove to do my best. Excellent class – overall great experience.

There was a lot of info at first but once the clinic portion kicked in, everything became much more understandable. New challenges arose each day as to different topics with different clients. It kept the course both interesting and challenging. This was a great course. It helped me learn so much in the area of landlord-tenant law and in office practice, court practice, and in general.

This clinic has provided me with an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience. I was able to participate in client counseling all the way through trial. I learned that ethically we should be problem solvers and not problem creators. The clinic provided us with many teachable moments.

The balance between teaching concepts and identity learning to apply the law was perfect. Though it may be frustrating when a professor says “here is the book, you tell me,” I learned so much from it. Overall, my experiences were amazing! I only wish that the clinical programs were expanded to include other areas of the law.

Not only do you have to have a grasp of the subject matter, in a clinic class you have to have the understanding of how to apply it to practical, real life situations. Both Professors gave us the foundations to deal with all situations presented to throughout the term. This was the only class in law school which I actually learned from. I got to deal with clients, the law, and applied to people lives which I will be doing for the next 35 years. I believe that a law student will be completely lost right out of law school if they don’t take a clinic class and don’t have a chance to apply the law to real situations and therefore a clinic class is important.

The experience that I have gained by working as a clinical resident at Michigan State University College of Law Rental Housing Clinic is invaluable. By taking classroom knowledge and applying it to realistic situations, I have grown as a young attorney. Learning how to manage case files, master client counseling skills, and help real people with real legal problems has not only been personally rewarding, but has been, and will continue to increase my appreciation for the practice of law.

The MSU College of Law Rental Housing Clinic provided me with the unique opportunity to take what I had learned in the classroom and apply it to the "real world." The clinical setting helped me sharpen my writing skills, improve my interpersonal skills, and hone my analytical skills. Moreover, interacting with clients on a daily basis helped me learn the art of client interviewing and client counseling. The practical legal experience I gained as a clinician subsequently helped me excel as a summer law clerk. Overall, the Clinic was an invaluable experience and an important part of my legal education.


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