Experiential Learning

Go beyond the classroom.

Legal education at the SMU Dedman Law goes beyond the classroom and gives students opportunities to gain real-world experience through our legal clinics, academic externships, and internship programs. Through rigorous and engaging practical courses, students learn inside and outside the classroom in ways that help them succeed in law school, in the job market, and in their careers.

Students performing public service


The Program encompasses ten specialized clinics where, under the supervision of clinic directors, our students serve as advocates on behalf of the community in many areas of the law. Dedman Law’s clinical education program is central to our mission of providing outstanding legal education and public service, along with developing professional responsibility.

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SMU’s Externship Program provides students with the opportunity to gain practical experience by working in legal settings under the supervision of a mentor-attorney and a member of the law faculty.

With three distinct programs, nearly 200 students each year are able to participate in our Corporate Counsel, Federal Judicial, and Government & Public Interest Externships, allowing students to gain legal work experiences in non-profits, courtrooms, local and federal government agencies, and corporate counsel offices.

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Students working outside

Public Service

We have a robust public service graduation requirement that encourages hands-on learning and professional development by giving students the opportunity to build their skills while helping to meet the desperate need for free legal services in our community. With relationships with over 90 different public interest organizations in the metroplex for students have ample opportunity to coordinate their pro bono service around their personal interests.

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Student in a simulation course

Simulated Learning

Our simulation courses, such as trial advocacy, contract drafting, real estate practice, small business representation, patent prosecution, and patent litigation, provide opportunities to hone students’ litigation and transactional skills.

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