How the Clinic Lottery Works
To apply for a clinic, a student must meet the requirements of Rule 19-220 (“student practice rule”) of the Maryland Rules governing admission to the Bar – i.e., be in good academic standing, and have successfully completed 30 hours of class work (typically end of first year for day students and end of third semester for evening students). In addition, students must complete the clinic application form and provide a resume and unofficial transcript. Applications are available online at the Clinic website approximately one month before the application deadline.
For more information, please contact Laura Garcia, clinic administrator, at 410.837.5659.
Policies and Procedures
(or view the Clinic Selection Policies and Procedures pdf)
Due to the enrollment limits and the student demand, the faculty has adopted selection policies for admission is based on several goals. A basic goal is to give students who have not taken a clinic priority in admission so that as many students as possible can have supervised legal experience.
Lottery: The lottery process is the process for selecting students for clinics. It is designed to give students who meet the prerequisites a fair chance of getting into a clinic. Students closest to graduation who have not taken a clinic get first priority in the lottery. Students select the clinic of their first choice, but are encouraged to select their second, third, fourth, etc. choices as well if they are open to enrollment in other clinics in order to broaden their chances of getting in one.
Access for evening students: Evening students receive priority treatment for some slots in the Community Development Clinic, Legal Data and Design Clinic, Mediation Clinic for Families, Immigrant Justice Clinic (3 credits in spring), Innocence Project Clinic, and Veterans Advocacy Clinic since it is difficult for them to participate in the other clinics. These Clinics schedule classes to be convenient for both day and evening students.
Restrictions: A student who is on academic probation will be considered for a clinic only after all clinic slots are filled with eligible students. Students found to be on academic probation will be placed on the waitlist below eligible students. Rule 19-220 (“student practice rule”) of the Maryland Rules governing admission to the Bar states that students must be in good academic standing. Therefore, students admitted to the Clinic during the lottery will be required to drop the clinic if that student remains on academic probation when grades are posted from the semester preceding clinic enrollment.
Grading: If a student earns a grade below C- in a clinic, the clinic course may not be used to satisfy the experiential requirement, and the student is not eligible to retake the clinic or enroll in another clinic. The student would instead be required to satisfy the experiential requirement with an externship, upon notice to the Director of Externships. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Associate Dean for Experiential Education and the Director of Externships, retains discretion to pursue alternatives under extraordinary circumstances.
After the application deadline has passed, the Clinic Administrator, or her designee, conducts the lottery selection process.Students must first be certified to participate in the clinic. The administrator certifies that students are in good academic standing and have successfully completed 30 hours of coursework. The next step is to identify priority applications.
1. Priority: Priority is given to students who:
(a) turn in their application on time;
(b) have not taken a clinic before; and
(c) are closest to graduation.
From all the students certified, the administrator separates timely applications from late ones. From the applications submitted on time, she removes the applications of students who have previously taken a clinic. Applications of students who have not participated in a clinic are put in order of graduation (May ’22 graduates have first preference, Dec. ‘22 graduates next, May ‘23 graduates next, and so on).
2. Conducting the Lottery : Taking the priority applications closest to graduation, the next steps are to:
a. Sorting by Clinic of First Choice: The Clinic Administrator sorts applications according to the clinic the students have listed as their first choice. This yields a stack of applications, which list that clinic as a first choice.
b. Making Sure Students Have Met the Prerequisites: Each application in the clinic’s pile of first choices is checked to see if the student has satisfied the clinic prerequisites. If a student does not meet the prerequisites for their first choice, but does meet the requirements for his/her second choice, the application will be put in the second choice drawing pile and it will be considered for drawings for that clinic or the third choice clinic if the prerequisites are met.
c. Selecting Students: At this point, the administrator counts the number of applications for that clinic’s first choices. If there are more applications than enrollment spaces, all the applications are blindly picked until all the spaces are filled. The administrator continues to pick the applications and place the names on a wait list until all the applications have been picked. If a student is put on the wait list, his/her application then goes into the second choice drawing pile and set aside. The administrator then goes on to the next clinic’s first choice pile.
After the above process has been conducted for every clinic’s first choice applications, the administrator repeats steps (a), (b) and (c) for each clinic’s second choice ones. After every clinic’s second choice applications have been selected, the administrator then does the same for each clinic’s third choice applications.
d. Next Graduation Class: The administrator then starts the whole process over with the next graduation class. The process indicated in (a) through (c) is conducted. The administrator then goes on to the next graduating class, and so on until all graduating classes have gone through the lottery.
e. Late Applications (if received before the lottery occurs): If clinic slots still remain, the administrator considers late applications according to (a) through (c) above.
f. Students Who Have Taken A Clinic: After all students who have not taken a clinic have gone through the selection process, the administrator then considers students who have previously taken a clinic. The lottery is conducted according to (a) through (c) above.
g. Visiting Students: If clinic slots still remain, the administrator considers applications by students visiting from another law school.
h. Faculty approval. After the lottery is complete, registration in the clinic is contingent upon approval by the director of the clinic, and registration may be denied in the event of exceptional circumstances, such as a student who demonstrates a risk of inability to meet ethical or professional standards or other clinic obligations. Each student must meet with the specific clinic’s faculty for which the student was selected in order to discuss and confirm ability to meet clinic responsibilities, including time commitments, before they are permitted to enroll.
Selection Procedure for Clinic II (advanced) courses
A few students may be permitted to continue their clinic work after their first semester of clinic in the Clinic II course. Permission to enroll in Clinic II is granted by the faculty and is based on a variety of factors such as the student’s performance in clinic, faculty’s need for Clinic II students, and faculty’s capacity to supervise Clinic II students. If a student is interested in continuing in a Clinic II course, the student should discuss the matter with the clinic’s faculty.
Clinic Attendance Policy
Attendance at clinic seminars, case rounds, supervision/team meetings, client meetings, and appearances before adjudicative and legislative bodies is a primary obligation of clinical students whose right to continued enrollment in a clinic is conditioned upon a record of attendance satisfactory to the professor. A student whose unexcused absences exceed a combination of three required clinic obligations or whose total absences, excused and unexcused, exceed five clinic obligations may be compelled to withdraw from the course. A student who is compelled to withdraw shall receive a FA in the course, unless in the professional opinion of the faculty member, it is deemed that the student should receive a WA. A student, who is compelled to withdraw in the second semester of a year-long clinic, shall receive a grade for the first semester of the course, along with the number of credits awarded for that semester, and a WF for the second semester of the course.
Individual Clinic Policies
Each clinic has its own internal policies that are shared with students, usually in the clinic manual for the specific clinic. Students are responsible for complying with the individual policies of each clinic.