Experiential Learning

We are committed to providing hands-on opportunities for students to acquire real-world skills in a variety of high demand practice areas.  

Whether serving Jacksonville’s indigent community in a live-client legal clinic or gaining experience through internship, externship or clerking positions, practical legal experience can provide a healthy competitive edge when job searches begin. Coastal Law recommends students acquire at least 400 hours of legal work experience while in school.

All clinics and externships qualify toward the mandatory six credits of experiential learning (three of which must be in a clinic or externship). A student may take up to fifteen credits of Experiential Learning courses at Coastal.

We require that students complete six credits of experiential learning to graduate.  In order to be accepted in a Clinic or Externship, students must be in good standing and have successfully completed all first year required courses. Most placements have additional course and/or credit hour prerequisites. Some of the placements require certification by the Florida Supreme Court as a Certified Legal Intern (CLI). In order to obtain a CLI, students must have completed at least 48 credit hours. Further, for certification purposes, students must have applied to the Florida Bar and received a background clearance letter.  See the CLI – Certified Legal Intern Information for further instructions.  Some externships and many judicial externships have a minimum GPA requirement. 

In addition, the following simulation courses can count for three of the mandatory six credits:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (2 credits)
  • Appellate Advocacy I (2 credits)
  • Appellate Advocacy II (1 credit)
  • Environmental Law Practice and Procedure (2 credits)
  • Interviewing and Counseling (1-2 credits)
  • Trial Practice Workshop for Mock Trial (2 credits)
  • Trial Practice and Trial Practice Lecture (3 credits combined)

Practitioner Clinics (offers vary by semester)

Seal and Expungement Clinic
Veterans Benefits Clinic
Citizenship and Naturalization Clinic

For more information see the Practitioner Clinics information.

Externships

For more information see the Externships information.   If you have questions please see Cleopatra Smith, Clinical Office Manager in Student Affairs (located inside the Dean’s Suite) at (904) 516-8811 or at csmith@fcsl.edu

Pro Bono

The mission of the Pro Bono Program is to help law students develop an awareness of their ethical and professional responsibilities to provide service to their community.  Participation in the program provides students with the opportunity to perform valuable community service while learning about the legal needs of the underserved and developing the legal skills and gaining the experience necessary to help meet those needs.

Pro bono work is volunteer legal and non-legal work done without credit or compensation that law students perform to benefit individuals, groups or organizations whose resources are limited. This is your chance to make a difference!  Pro bono work not only benefits the community, but allows you to get the kind of hands-on experience and feedback that is difficult to find elsewhere.

Students are required to perform at least 10 legal pro bono hours before registering for their last semester of classes.  Students contributing 50 hours (25 of which is law related), will receive a certificate signed by the Dean honoring their commitment to pro bono work, and recognition during the honors reception.  Students contributing 125 hours (75 of which is law related), will recieve, in addition to those items mentioned prior, recognition at graduation in the commencement program, an honor cord, and a transcript notation.

To qualify as legal work, the student must perform work that meets all of the following standards:

  • Under the supervision of a licensed attorney
  • Legal or law-related in nature
  • Without compensation
  • No academic credit awarded
  • Directly or indirectly addresses the legal needs of low-income clients, traditionally underrepresented population, groups or organizations

To qualify as non-legal work (community service work), the student must perform work that meets all of the following standards:

  • Work done for a public interest organization
  • Without compensation
  • No academic credit awarded
  • Directly or indirectly addresses the needs of low-income individuals, groups, or organizations

To record pro bono hours, please access the Pro Bono course on TWEN and log hours according to instructions in Course Materials.

For specific information on the Experiential Learning requirement at Florida Coastal please review the Student Handbook.