Ready to roll up our sleeves and lift up communities
We are home to a variety of live-client clinics, each of which allows students to work with real clients on real cases, honing critical skills in hands-on situations under the supervision of expert attorneys.
A clinical experience offers second- and third-year students unique learning outcomes that supply them with ready-for-practice skills, such as how to interact with clients and how to advocate before officers of the court. These skills can be found in no other law school experience. Our five clinical professors have a combined experience exceeding 100 years.
- Apply your knowledge to real cases in UNH Franklin Pierce’s clinics.
- Supplement your work in the classroom with experiential learning – much of it in actual courtrooms – all supervised by our experienced and practice-polished faculty.
- Acquire a solid background in legal research and analysis, legal reasoning, litigation, and counseling.
- Receive training in specialized areas like trial advocacy, dispute resolution, and evidence presentation in today’s high-tech courtrooms.
Because the New Hampshire Supreme Court has fashioned our student practice rule to permit second- and third-year students to appear in court, clinic students are able to handle all aspects of client representation from initial interview, case preparation, discovery, as well as appearing in all New Hampshire courts, including district, superior, federal, and bankruptcy courts.
A hallmark of the clinical experience is the close mentoring of each student. Part of the mentoring includes contemporaneous feedback on any performance by the student either when interviewing a client, critiquing written work, preparing during a moot court exercise, or following an actual court appearance. Students are encouraged to consider and share insights gained from each experience. These insights are captured in weekly journals, in roundtable discussions during class, or in private sessions with clinical faculty, particularly if corrective criticism is warranted.
Our graduates who complete one or more clinic(s) during their legal studies often stay in touch well after graduation. The clinical faculty frequently provide references and recommendations to support job searches and career changes well after graduation. Completion of any clinical course is a valuable addition to students' resume of experience. The insight gained through the clinical experience provides compelling subject matter to discuss during job interviews. Potential employers are often impressed when students with clinical experience are able to capably produce motions, interrogatories, complaints and other legal pleadings with minimal supervision. We have even helped clinical students obtain employment with law firms serving as opposing counsel in some of our litigated cases. This result has been achieved by centering a reference upon the stellar performance of the student defending a particular case which the hiring firm prosecuted.
Explore our clinics
Students represent the rights of low-income individuals victimized by identity theft, unfair trade practices, small business disputes, predatory lending, auto fraud, bankruptcy, unfair sales practices, debt collectors, and other commercial issues. Students interview clients and witnesses, investigate facts, research applicable state and federal laws, write pleadings and briefs, and conduct court proceedings from motion hearings to full trials.
The clinic is operated as a small law firm to familiarize students with many of the practice management systems used by firms throughout the country, including scheduling, conflicts checking, time and billing, case management, and specialized practice software.
Students in the Criminal Practice Clinic stand up for the rights of low-income individuals charged with crimes. Typically, clients face misdemeanor or felony charges in New Hampshire circuit and superior courts. Some clients also face charges in the United States District Court. Students are responsible for client interviews, factual investigations, motions practice, negotiations with the prosecutor, and trials before a judge or jury.
The Advanced Criminal Practice Clinic also offers students the opportunity to work on federal criminal cases at the trial and appellate court levels. Clinic cases include sale and possession of drugs, theft and burglary offenses, assaults, and driving offenses. Students also complete an intensive, practice-based class that includes active hearing and trial simulations.
Students help clients turn their dreams into strategic business ventures. Clients include entrepreneurs, authors, artists, inventors, musicians, publishers, and individuals operating small businesses or nonprofit organizations. These clients are confronting complex and crucial issues pertaining to business formation and organization, copyright and trademark registration and protection, licensing, and small business transactions. Without legal help, their ventures may never get off the ground.
This clinic regularly accepts referrals from the New Hampshire Chapter of Lawyers for the Arts, and assists clients with both adversarial and non-adversarial matters.
In UNH Franklin Pierce's Immigration Law Clinic, established in conjunction with New Hampshire Catholic Charities’Immigration and Refugee Services division, students speak up for vulnerable individuals facing difficult immigration issues, including asylum, family reunification, naturalization, and removal cases. Students also work with clients who are afraid to leave violent domestic relationships in the U.S. for fear of being sent back to their birth country. Students interview clients, prepare these high-stakes and sensitive cases, and appear before judges in immigration court.
Students in the clinic receive the opportunity to learn immigration law and procedures in a classroom setting, then apply that knowledge to real-life cases under the supervision of Catholic Charities attorneys.
Students work on scientific breakthroughs around the world. ITTI promotes science, technology, and innovation in developing countries by building capacity and capability in intellectual property management, technology transfer, and patent information access, assembly, and analysis. Clinic collaborators include world-class organizations, such as the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, United States Patent and Trademark Office, the World Bank, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the World Health Organization.
Community members may seek help from the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law's clinics. If they meet economic, legal and jurisdictional guidelines, they will be represented by law students who are supervised by practicing attorneys.
General Financial and Geographic Guidelines for Clients
Please note that UNH Franklin Pierce Clinics only work with low-income clients. Certain financial criteria must be met before our services are offered. For more details, please contact our office. Potential cases must be within certain practice areas and within certain jurisdictions. We only take cases from:
- Belknap, Sullivan, and Merrimack Counties or Manchester for consumer and landlord/tenant cases
- Throughout New Hampshire for bankruptcies and intellectual property cases
Cases we DO NOT consider:
- Department of Employment Security (Unemployment)
- Department of Health and Human Services cases
- Department of Safety
- Social Security Disability
- Family law such as marital, divorce or custody
- Medical malpractice
- Large actions against state, town, school district, etc.
- Real estate
- Wills, estates and probate
- Criminal cases (but we might give advice/referral)
Civil Practice Clinic
Type of cases considered:
● Bankruptcy – generally we only handle bankruptcies to preserve the client’s home. Because the Bankruptcy Court is in Concord, we can accept cases from all over New Hampshire, as long as the client is willing to travel to Concord.
● Debt collection defense – limited to Merrimack, Hillsborough North, Belknap, and Sullivan counties. We defend individuals who are being sued by banks, collection agencies, or other creditors to collect consumer debt.
● Foreclosure and predatory lending – limited to Merrimack, Hillsborough North, Belknap, and Sullivan counties.
● Auto fraud – deceptive practices in taking loan applications and processing loans (not lemon law cases), illegal repossessions, and some breach of warranty cases. Limited to Merrimack, Hillsborough North, Belknap, and Sullivan counties.
● Landlord/tenant – We only handle defense of eviction in cases where the basis of the eviction is contrary to law or procedure. We do not take cases involving non-payment of rent, unless a rent withholding effort was started properly.
● Marital cases – The Civil Practice Clinic DOES NOT handle any type of marital case such as divorce, child support, custody, or visitation.
Intake form for the Civil Practice Clinic - Download
Criminal Practice Clinic
Type of cases considered:
- ONLY court-appointed criminal cases, Misdemeanor A and Felony B. If you are eligible, you may be given opportunity for an attorney at the time of arrest. Sometimes the appointed attorney is the UNH Franklin Pierce's Criminal Practice Clinic.
Intellectual Property and Transaction Clinic
- Clients may live in any county in New Hampshire.
- For federal issues, copyright and trademark, clients may live anywhere.
- Clients must be unable to afford an attorney.
- Clients are responsible for paying all filing fees and costs.
Although different filing fee levels are available, trademark registrations filed in the clinic carry a $325 filing fee per mark per international class. The filing fee for copyright registration application is $35 for electronically filed applications and $45 for paper filed applications.
Type of cases considered:
- Copyright registration and counseling
- Trademark registration and counseling
- Transactional work, including intellectual property licenses and assignments, recordation of documents with the Patent and Trademark Office and Copyright Office, non-disclosure agreements, consulting agreements and entertainment industry releases and agreements
- Non-profit entity organization and exempt status application representation
- Intellectual property disputes
- Business start-ups
- Patent licensing, but no patent prosecution
(No prior art searches or patent applications)
Intake form for the IP & Transaction Clinic - Download
Other agencies that might be able to help you
Those seeking assistance in areas that we do not cover may choose to contact one of these agencies:
Legal Advice and Referral Center
1 (800) 639-5290
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
NH Legal Assistance
1 (800) 562-3174
9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
1 (800) 868-1212
2nd Wed. of month
6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Help for NH Homeowners
The Foreclosure Prevention Initiative
Understanding and preventing foreclosure with statewide and national resource listings