Home Solutions Describe the level of initiative and responsibility you have assumed for your case, including the responsibility you have taken to ensure that it was well litigated/handled.
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Immigrant Rights Clinic
Please identify the case you worked on this semester, your case teammates, and the tasks you personally have performed.
Describe the level of initiative and responsibility you have assumed for your case, including the responsibility you have taken to ensure that it was well litigated/handled.
Below is a list of some of the many competencies that are considered in evaluating your work in the clinic. Most are from the Immigrant Rights Clinic Handbook. Please grade yourself on a scale of one (1) to six (6) based on the rating scale defined below, and be prepared to discuss your reasoning for your grading decisions.
1 = Does not seek or respond to supervision/guidance and does not perform adequately. Weak performance that may be related to such things as: insufficient output, inconsistent performance, inadequate research and analysis, insufficient preparation, carelessness and inaccuracies, weak organization and management.
2 = Needs maximum supervision/guidance to perform adequately. Minimally adequate performance that could be described as meeting minimal standards of quality and quantity, performing basic tasks and understanding the need to act with purpose and design, but requires close supervision and guidance.
3 = Performs competently with some supervision/guidance. Satisfactory performance at meeting basic minimum standards with some supervision and guidance. Exhibits basic skills at working effectively and efficiently, but requires some supervision/guidance to do so.
4 = Performs competently, and is learning to work in a consultative manner*. Satisfactory to good performance by consistently meeting and sometimes exceeding minimum standards. Works efficiently, exhibits good organizational and management skills, acts with reasonable purpose and design and seeks out and uses supervision effectively by, among other things, clarifying tasks expectations and proposing solutions.
5 = Performs very well and usually works in a consultative manner*. Consistently exceeds minimum quality and quality expectations which could be described as: exhibits good command of relevant law, performs effective analysis of issues presented, works independently on familiar tasks and requires close supervision only on new and complex matters, anticipates and meets deadlines, learns effectively from colleagues and seeks opportunities to learn and improve.
6 = Does excellent and outstanding work and routinely works in a consultative manner*. Exhibits unusual talent and performance as evidenced by: outstanding strategic judgment and planning, solid performance of lawyer tasks and skills and requiring minimal supervision on most matters.
* Consultative manner means seeking advice after taking necessary foundational steps at self-education.
1. Legal Analysis and Research
Is able to identify key legal and factual issues.
1 2 3 4 5 6 N/A
Logically and coherently integrates legal concepts and theory with facts.
Understands issues arising out of ambiguities in the law.
Understands and is thorough and creative regarding legal
and factual research and case development.
Establishes legally persuasive theories.
Identifies and learns to use all applicable rules of procedure and evidence to clients’ advantage.
Produces clear, succinct written summaries of research.
1 2 3 4 5 6 N/A
2. Judgment and Problem-Solving Skills
Thinks creatively about case or project.
Develops relevant and sufficient facts.
1 2 3 4 5 6 N/A
Develops good alternative approaches and arguments.
Is able to develop new arguments and theories in response to new facts or changing priorities.
Knows how and when to ask questions or seek additional consultation.
Exercises good common sense.
3. Writing and Drafting Skills
Writes clearly, precisely and persuasively.
Drafts well-organized, well-researched written assignments.
Cites accurately and properly.
Demonstrates effective drafting skills (including an ability to adapt form documents).
Proofreads documents before submitting them for review.
4. Professional Practices and Development
Identifies and resolves ethical issues/concerns.
Is dependable and conscientious about work.
Responds promptly to inquiries from clients, partners and professor.
Takes appropriate initiative.
Works independently and efficiently without sacrificing quality.
Accepts constructive criticism and modifies work habits appropriately.
Develops the ability to engage in constructive critique of yourself and effectively assess your own performance, identifying strengths and challenges in various areas of legal work.
Works to improve in performance on case throughout the semester and learns from experience.
Recognizes the aspects of lawyering that are important to you and parts that are distasteful.
1 2 3 4 5 6 N/A
1 2 3 4 5 6 N/A
5. Case and Time Management
Sets appropriate priorities in handling work.
Organizes files/ project materials in a manner that allows for easy referral and review.
Keeps prompt, timely and effective records (including files, database entries and time sheets).
Uses time effectively.
Uses supervisor’s time effectively.
Anticipates and meets deadlines.
Allocates all of the time, effort and other resources necessary to meet obligations to case and clients.
6. Relations with Clients, Opponents, Colleagues and Others
Develops effective working relationships with clients.
Is sensitive and responsive to client needs.
Assists clients in making all significant decisions by in their cases by providing all needed information to help them structure their decision-making process.
Educates clients so that they may be better able to protect their own interests in the future.
Displays appropriate tone and behavior with opposing parties and counsel, judges and court personnel.
Ensures that genuine collaboration takes place in work and not mere division of tasks.
Gets along well with colleagues and treats office personnel with courtesy and respect.
1 2 3 4 5 6 N/A
7. Adherence to Clinic Procedures
Demonstrates knowledge of, and adherence to, guidelines in the Clinic Handbook.
Timely submits timesheets.
Schedules and prepares for supervisory meetings in advance.
Have you enjoyed working on your case (i.e. the subject matter, the kind of work it involved)? Why or why not? If there are aspects of your case work that you did not enjoy, what were they and why did you not enjoy them? Upon reflection, is there anything you could have done to change this?
What, if anything, do you wish you had done differently? Reflect back to your entire experience and think of at least three things that, in retrospect, you could/would/should have handled differently and explain how and why you could/would/should have done so.
Have you ended/will you be ending your work on the case this semester in a place where you had hoped you would be ending? If not, why not? If not specifically and completely addressed in response to the previous question above, what might have you done differently to be in a place you had hoped or expected to be?
What have been your strengths and what have been your challenges in connection with your clinic work?
What have you learned from your casework? Have you been surprised by what you have learned? If not already addressed, what you have learned specifically about yourself as a legal professional? What have you learned about working with clients, adversaries, colleagues and/or supervisors?
If this was not already reflected above, did you learn anything new about how you respond to (a) critique; (b) risk; (c) pressure; (d) uncertainty; (e) decision making; (f) anxiety; (g) assertiveness in a professional context?
Did the “collaborative learning” model work for you and your casework partner(s)? Discuss the team dynamics and degree of cooperation in your team (including the sharing of workload). Did your dynamic influence your ability to work effectively? Was there a “leader”? If yes, why and how did the “leader” get in that position? If your team had any difficulties with collaboration, describe your efforts to facilitate group work and communication. Are you satisfied with your efforts? Would you change anything?
Describe your degree of preparation for and participation in class (including assignments).
How would you rate your degree of preparation and participation in class?
What have been your strengths and what have been you challenges in connection with your class work (including case rounds, class discussions, assignments, etc.)?
Please provide any comments regarding ways in which the seminar component of the clinic could be improved. What would you have liked to have learned that you didn’t learn? What worked? What didn’t? The more specific you can be in your suggestions, the better.
I would appreciate learning your more general response to the clinical learning experience. To that end, please consider the following questions. They are intended to stimulate your thinking and act as a guide - they need not be answered individually.
Consider whether your thoughts and feelings about what it means to be a lawyer and to “think like a lawyer,” have changed over the semester. If so, how?
What did you learn about the process of legal problem-solving? Compare the learning experience to other experiences in your law school and working career.
What moral, ethical, political, and emotional issues did you face? How did you resolve them? Did you respond differently in practice than you would have predicted?
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