March 17, 2017

Law school ranked among ‘Best Schools for Practical Training’

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. – For a fourth consecutive year, the SIU School of Law earned recognition as one of National Jurist magazine’s “Best Schools for Practical Training.” 

The magazine ranked the law school one of the top 64 in the nation for practical training for 2017. The law school has been ranked annually since 2014. 

The ranking assesses areas that include clinical experience, externships, simulation courses, interschool competition, and “other areas,” such as whether schools require students to perform pro bono work. The rankings, which are in the spring 2017 issue, also rely on data from the American Bar Association and individual law schools. 

“To receive this recognition for four straight years demonstrates how practical legal education is part of SIU Law’s DNA,” Dean Cynthia L. Fountaine said. “We recognize the importance of providing opportunities for our students to get practical skills training, and we provide numerous opportunities for them to do so. 

“SIU Law is well-known for producing lawyers who can hit the ground running,” she said. “We have earned this reputation by providing educational opportunities that equip students with the practical skills they need and also giving them a thorough grounding in doctrinal law.” 

The law school provides a variety of practical experience opportunities for students including legal clinics, public interest and judicial externships, semester-in-practice, Illinois Innocence Project, and the Immigration Detention Project. SIU was also the first law school in Illinois to implement a pro bono requirement for students.

Some of the new opportunities include a public interest law specialization, family law practicum, electronic discovery practicum, asylum and refugee law course, and pro bono opportunities involving asylum applications and human trafficking research.  The law school is one of the few schools in the country to guarantee its students an opportunity to participate in a legal clinic or field placement experience.