Clinics and Externships
Our award-winning clinics provide students with rich opportunities to receive practical training and gain valuable experience, all while leading the fight on critical social justice issues. Working under attorneys, students provide access to justice through serving clients from underrepresented and underserved communities.
Rights Clinic (WERC)
The Women’s Employment Rights Clinic (WERC) of Golden Gate University School of Law was established in 1993 to serve as a training ground for the next generation of ethical, competent, and socially responsible professionals and to provide critical legal services and support to the community. The Clinic’s mission is centered on ensuring that every worker has the right to economic fairness, equal opportunity, and dignity in the workplace. Our mission is to collaborate with grassroots, community-based organizations, and worker centers to enhance their capacity for systemic change. Our individual and impact cases are informed and are coordinated in partnership with broader community campaigns for economic justice.
and Justice Clinic (ELJC)
Founded in 1994 in consultation with community leaders, the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic serves as a training ground for the next generation of social justice advocates and provides critical legal services to underserved communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.
Classwork focuses on law and policy issues surrounding why environmental benefits and harms are distributed unfairly and how lawyers can effectively work to achieve justice. Outside of the classroom, students work on real-world cases, collaborating with faculty with decades of experience, to represent clients to improve the environmental conditions of where they live, work, and play. For its groundbreaking work and landmark court victories, the Clinic has been honored by the American Bar Association, US EPA, and the Clinical Legal Education Association.
Please visit our archive of documents on GGU Law’s Digital Commons. The collection includes our work on the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.
Note: Applications will be accepted until the clinic is full. The clinic gives first priority to JD Flex students in Spring 2024.
Golden Gate University School of Law, with its proud tradition of expanding access to legal education, is the first law school in Northern California to have a veterans’ clinic on campus. Veterans Legal Advocacy Center (VLAC) provides pro bono legal services to veterans seeking health care, compensation for service-related injuries, and discharge upgrades.
VLAC makes special effort to assist the most vulnerable veteran populations, those least connected to existing service networks — recently returned, women, non-citizen, LGBT, and elderly veterans. Clients are low-income, indigent military veterans residing in the Bay Area. VLAC, along with its student clinicians, have helped clients upgrade their discharges to honorable conditions and obtain thousands of dollars in benefits.
Pro Bono Tax Clinic
The Pro Bono Tax Clinic provides students the opportunity to gain real-life experience representing clients with the help and direct supervision of experienced California Board of Equalization (BOE) attorneys. As early as their 2L year, students can assist low-income individuals in income tax and sales & use tax disputes before the BOE, including providing legal assistance with claims involving Renter’s Assistance Credits, California Residency issues, and Head of Household status, among other issues.
Students meet regularly with a BOE attorney about the relevant law and assist in the development of clients’ factual and legal arguments. They draft procedural letters, legal memoranda, and briefs that are submitted to the California Franchise Tax Board and BOE, and may also have the opportunity to argue the client’s case at a BOE hearing.
In externship clinics, students work under faculty supervision and the supervision of judges and attorneys in government agencies, law offices, counsel offices, and judges’ chambers. Students also attend a seminar to share experiences and insights and to focus on the substantive nature of their work. The Site Supervisor, Faculty Supervisor, and Student Extern Agreement form may be downloaded.
For assistance with securing a placement for academic credit, please book an appointment with the Career Center. Email your application packet along with your updated resume to email@example.com. Hard copy applications will not be accepted. If the application is approved, the Program Director will email the registrar and request the student be enrolled in the externship course.
I aspire to be an environmental lawyer. GGU has an amazing environmental law program and one of few schools with an environmental law clinic. I believe GGU provided me with the best opportunity to achieve my aspirations.