Our Clinics

In the Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic, law students gain practical legal experience representing clients. By design, the Clinic functions as a laboratory for justice. Through training, advocacy, scholarship, and community partnerships, we strive to serve the community and improve the law and law practice.

In the clinic, law students take the lead in handling all aspects of client representation.  These responsibilities include developing and maintaining the attorney-client relationship, strategic planning, fact investigation, legal research, drafting and filing documents, and appearing in court.

The Clinic offers seven clinics in regular rotation:

  • Appellate Clinic  

    Students in the Appellate Clinic work on federal appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals or state appeals before the Nevada Supreme Court. These cases include direct criminal appeals and civil appeals. Students digest the case record, interview and counsel their clients about the possible issues to include in the appeal, identify and develop factual and legal issues for appeal, file briefs and argue cases in the appellate courts.

    Professor Anne Traum

  • Small Business & Nonprofit Legal Clinic  

    The Small Business & Nonprofit Legal Clinic provides representation to nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs in transactional matters. Under the close supervision of licensed attorneys, law students assist clients in forming businesses or nonprofit organizations; reviewing and negotiating contracts; assisting nonprofit organizations with tax-exempt applications and maintenance of tax-exempt status; working with federal, state, and local government agencies; and providing advice concerning intellectual property issues.

    If you would like to apply for legal services, please complete the Request for Legal Services Form here.

    Professor Eric Franklin

  • Education Advocacy Clinic  
    Students in the Education Advocacy Clinic work with graduate students from School of Education’s Educational Psychology Department to advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities in the public school system. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the law school’s innovative Kids’ Court School, which educates child witnesses in Clark County court cases about the judicial process in order to reduce their system-induced stress. The clinic helps law students learn to work collaboratively with professionals in other disciplines, to advocate effectively in school disciplinary and other administrative proceedings, and to utilize research from other disciplines to develop best practices for interviewing child clients and witnesses.
    Credits: 6. Graded.

    Professor Rebecca Nathanson

  • Family Justice Clinic  
    Students in the Family Justice Clinic provide a broad range of family law representation to low-income clients for whom access to justice is limited. Students represent children, parents or guardians in family cases including custody and visitation, guardianship, domestic violence and other family matters. Cases may involve contested trials, negotiations, administrative advocacy, and cutting edge legal and policy issues. The clinic has a particular focus on prisoners and their families, clients engaged with immigration issues, and those affected by the child welfare system and other forms of state intervention. The clinic explores the role of families in society, the strengths and weaknesses of state intervention into families, and the meaning of access to justice for children and parents.
    Credits: 6. Graded.

    Professor Elizabeth MacDowell

  • Immigration  
    Students in the Immigration Clinic engage with immigrant communities through direct client representation and policy advocacy for vulnerable populations that are otherwise unable to obtain legal representation. Students may represent clients in administrative proceedings, Immigration Court, and federal and state courts. Some students may work in appellate and amici capacities, while others may engage in regulatory and legislative reform efforts. The clinic is purposefully diverse, exposing students to the broad reach of immigration law into a vast array of legal systems and social institutions. Immigration law presents unparalleled complexities and rich client interactions. In problem solving with their clients, students are challenged to integrate demanding legal analysis with sophisticated community advocacy.
    Credits: 6. Graded.

    Professor Fatma Marouf

    Professor Michael Kagan

  • Juvenile Justice  
    Students in the Juvenile Justice Clinic represent children who have been charged in juvenile delinquency proceedings. Law students negotiate with district attorneys, conduct contested hearings or trials, and advocate for proper dispositions and sentences. As part of their clinic work, students also have the opportunity to shadow Juvenile Public Defenders and observe all aspects of their work in Juvenile Court. This clinic focuses on the meaning and importance of developing an attorney-client relationship, explores the role of juvenile defense attorneys as adversarial counsel in the context of a problem-solving court, and examines the history, policy and interrelationship of the systems that affect children accused of criminal behavior.
    Credits: 6. Graded.

    Professor Mary Berkheiser

  • Mediation  
    Students enrolled in the Mediation Clinic initially participate in an intensive, experiential 30-hour training in mediation theory and practice at the start of the semester. Through an ongoing weekly 3-hour seminar, students study theories of conflict, negotiation and mediation, and are exposed to many different models of mediation, learning to choose the interventions and techniques appropriate for different settings. These are put into practice mediating live cases at a weekly 4-hour placement at a community mediation center or court. Depending on their placement, cases may include neighbor disputes and divorce asset distribution. Credits: 6. Graded.

    Professor Lydia Nussbaum



    Ranked among the top clinical law programs in the nation, the Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic at the Boyd School of Law provides practical legal experience to students. In the Strasser Mediation Clinic, students mediate a range of disputes, helping parties communicate and explore mutually beneficial resolutions. Law students complete an intensive training in mediation skills with the Clark County Neighborhood Justice Center and are versed in theories of conflict, negotiation strategy and mediation techniques. They are exposed to different models of mediation and adjust their mediation approach depending on the setting.

    Facilitative mediation is an approach to mediation where the neutral mediator aids or assists the parties’ own efforts to formulate a settlement. The mediator is in charge of the process but the parties are in charge of the discussion’s content and its outcome. Facilitative mediators want to ensure that parties reach agreements based on information and mutual understanding. They want the parties to have the major influence on decisions made.


    1. What happens if parties do not reach an agreement in mediation?
      If the parties do not reach an agreement in mediation, then the conflict will continue through the litigation process, resulting in a judge making a final decision for the parties.
    2. How much does it cost?
      The Mediation Clinic offers free mediation services to the community. The family mediation program at the Family Division of the Eighth Judicial District is also free.
    3. How long does mediation take?
      Mediation sessions last as long as the parties would like. It is recommended that participants set aside 3 to 4 hours per session.
    4. How can I request mediation?
      Parties and their counsel can request mediation during their court proceeding or in a filed pleading with the court. You can also contact the Mediation Clinic directly at 702-895-2080.
    5. Who is allowed to attend mediation?
      Clients decide who, in addition to themselves, should be present in mediation, such as attorneys, interpreters, or support people. As a general rule, those persons necessary for developing solutions to the conflict should be present. Who are the mediators? The mediators are Boyd faculty and advanced law students who are also trained mediators.

    FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Professor Lydia Nussbaum @ (702) 895-2454, lydia.nussbaum@unlv.edu

Note: Please see the Clinic Information Letter at http://portal.law.unlv.edu/applyforclinic.html for a list of the specific clinics offered during the next semester.