The clinical legal education program at the UT College of Law is the oldest continuously operated program in the country. Interestingly, at the time UT began its clinical program, the only other program in the country was at Duke Law School. Duke later closed its program, however, while UT continued to expand. The current clinical program at Duke Law School was revived in 1996 when the AIDS Legal Project was established. Since then, the Duke Law program has grown significantly, and now includes the Children’s Law Clinic, as well at the Community Enterprise Clinic, Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, Appellate Litigation Clinic, Animal Law Clinic, and Guantanamo Defense Clinic.
At the University of Tennessee College of Law, as well as at Duke Law School and other law schools around the country, clinical legal education offers the opportunity for law students to step out of the traditional classroom to learn legal skills in practice. Representing real clients under faculty supervision, clinic students begin to develop the professional skills and judgment that are required of licensed attorneys.