Clinics and Externships

Civil Rights Clinic

The Civil Rights Clinic works with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, Pa. Human Relations Commission, Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, and Pittsburgh chapter of the NAACP on matters involving employment, housing and public accommodation discrimination, and civil rights advocacy. The clinic also works with Urban League and the public to offer legal assistance with criminal record expungements and gubernatorial pardons.

Education Law Clinic

Students help parents and youth navigate the school disciplinary and special education systems. 

Family Law Clinic

The Family Law Clinic assists income-qualified clients with cases involving domestic abuse, divorce settlement, child support, and child custody, among other family law issues.

Federal Litigation Clinic

The Federal Litigation Clinic focuses on the litigation of cases pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Students provide legal representation under the supervision of licensed attorneys in federal civil rights matters for indigent individuals.

Juvenile Defender Clinic

Student attorneys represent children in Allegheny County’s juvenile delinquency court, handling every aspect of cases including pretrial motions and litigation, investigation, admission or trial, disposition, and post-disposition motions and hearings. The clinic is the county’s only no-cost provider of expungement and protection from abuse services for juveniles. Students may appear in court to accompany clients, according to cases and class schedules.

Unemployment Compensation Clinic

This clinic assists low-income clients with unemployment compensation matters. Students receive hands-on training interviewing clients, reviewing claims, applying the rules of evidence, preparing cases, and appearing before administrative judges. 

Urban Development Practicum

The Urban Development Practicum provides legal services to nonprofit community development organizations, municipal corporations, and government agencies working in distressed communities. 

Veterans Clinic

The Veterans Clinic assists veterans charged with non-violent offenses adjudicated through the Allegheny County Veterans Court program. The students prepare and present cases for disposition in the Court of Common Pleas and stay in touch with veterans to ensure they are following court-ordered substance abuse or mental health treatment plans offered as alternatives to incarceration. The program is one of the first criminal law veterans clinics in the country.



The Clinical Legal Education program provides dozens of externship opportunities offering educational and practical legal experience and professional mentorship. Yearlong externships feature on-site placement combined with classroom instruction and classroom and non-classroom credit. Half-year externships feature on-site placement combined with seminars and non-classroom credit.

Yearlong Externship Programs

  • Criminal Prosecution Program
    This program provides students with an on-site externship at the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office and classroom instruction in criminal law. The weekly classroom seminar will cover all facets of criminal law from a suspect's arrest through the trial and post-trial stages. Students will rotate through the DA's office in accordance with the topics being covered in the classroom seminar.
  • Pennsylvania Innocence Project
    Students work with the project’s legal staff to exonerate those who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit and prevent the innocent from being convicted. While investigating innocence claims and pursuing judicial appeals, students gain interviewing and legal writing skills, as well as an understanding of scientific evidence and admissibility rules. 
  • Public Defender Program
    This program is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the process of indigent criminal defense while offering practical, hands-on experiences. To that end, students will have the opportunity to prepare, file and argue various motions, handle preliminary hearings before district justices and participate in diverse interactions in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

One-Semester and Summer-Session Externship Placements

The School of Law offers one-semester and summer-session externship placements in county, state and federal judicial offices; city, state and federal government agencies; and legal aid and non-profit organizations. more than 300 locations are available. Learn about new externship opportunities in the Netherlands, Washington, D.C. Atlanta, and Harrisburg.