Established in 1967, the Valparaiso University Law Clinic is a licensed law firm, offering students the opportunity to represent clients during their third year of law school. The Law Clinic is dedicated to providing free or low cost legal services to disadvantaged members of the community. Each year the clinic handles more than 400 cases. Students gain practical experience while providing a vital service to the community.
With a special license from the Indiana Supreme Court, third year law students engage in a full range of lawyering duties: client intake, interviewing, and counseling; research; discovery; preparing and arguing motions; negotiating settlements; representing clients in court; and, more. Clinic students graduate with a year of hands-on experience with live clients for whom they have provided meaningful professional services.
If you are seeking legal assistance, please contact the Law Clinic at 219-465-7903.
Appellate Representation – Complex Cases
This Clinic provides representation to individuals in complex criminal appeals. Students will review the record; communicate with the client; research the law to provide support for various legal theories; and assist in drafting and filing a brief or briefs. The classroom component of the clinic meets once per week and includes lectures on appellate procedure and roundtable discussions on students’ progress throughout the semester. While the clinic specializes in appellate law, it also provides insight into trial practice. Students will review and analyze the procedures, motions, and evidentiary rulings that took place in the trial court and assist in addressing complex procedural issues.
Supervising Faculty Attorney: Dean Andrea Lyon
Valparaiso Law students represent clients charged with a range of misdemeanors and felonies. Students conduct discovery, prepare and argue motions, negotiate plea agreements, and represent clients at all court proceedings, including bench and jury trials.
Supervising Faculty Attorney: Dave Welter
Domestic Violence Clinic
Students assist victims of domestic violence who are seeking temporary or permanent restraining orders. Students also provide advice, represent clients in court, and provide legal assistance to residents of domestic violence shelters.
Supervising Faculty Attorney: Geneva Brown
General Civil Practice Clinic
Students in this clinic represent clients on a variety of cases which may include; assisting civil litigants who have filed pro se civil rights complaints in settlement proceedings; low-level federal offenses; collateral attacks on federal criminal convictions; federal sentence modifications; state post-conviction relief proceedings.
Supervising Faculty Attorney: Scott M. Wagenblast
Students in the Valparaiso University Law School Immigration Clinic represent immigrants with claims grounded in human rights and domestic and international law. They enhance their skills in trial practice, conduct legal research and writing, and interview and counsel clients, among other duties. Students also serve as lead counsel for asylum seekers, torture survivors, crime victims, persons who have been trafficked into the US or abused or exploited here, and persons who are facing deportation as a result of immigration infractions.
Supervising Faculty Attorney: Geoffrey Heeren
Juvenile & Family Clinic
Students are appointed to serve as guardian ad litem for children who have been abused, or neglected, or are involved in custody and visitation issues related to guardianship, paternity and adoption cases. Students also serve as public defenders for children in delinquency cases.
Sports Law Clinic
Students represent clients from all amateur arenas of competition – Olympic, college, high school, and others – in cases involving such issues as doping and drug testing, discipline, team eligibility, gender equity, visas to compete, and loss of scholarship. Read more on the Sports Law Clinic website.
Supervising Faculty Attorney: Michael Straubel
Participating students hone their lawyering skills by representing low income taxpayers in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Cases that are not resolved at the IRS level are often litigated by students in the United States Tax Court.
Supervising Faculty Attorney: Paul Kohlhoff
“I was told of the Sports Law Clinic prior to my visit to Valparaiso, but when I visited the school, I was impressed with the caliber of clients the students were given the opportunity to work with. Valpo Law provides students with the opportunity to bring in speakers and make networking a reality. The sports industry is not an easy field to break into, but with the tools provided to students here, they have a leg up compared to other students around the country.” – Alex Mitrani (’16)