Founded in 1966, our clinical program offers four in-house clinics and 24 field placements. Under the supervision of faculty and experienced attorneys, third-year students practice law in a variety of settings, from criminal defense and prosecutors’ offices to environmental nonprofits and government agencies. They prosecute civil rights claims; handle complex transactions; serve as law clerks to members of the judiciary, legislature and corporate counsel; analyze and advocate policy; and intervene as third-party neutrals—making real differences in real people’s lives.
Today, just as when we were founded, we believe that all law students must be trained to practice law before they graduate and to recognize the importance of public service and access to justice. Clinical training remains at the heart of our educational philosophy.
Our clinics and field placements are the capstone of our integrated skills curriculum. They are the culmination of our Lawyering Fundamentals program in the first year and transactional and trial practice simulation courses in the second year. Our school is proud of its close relationship with Montana’s bench and bar, and we are grateful to them for co-supervising our students—and future lawyers.
Students must meet the essential abilities and characteristics required for any clinic or field placement in which they wish to participate, in accordance with the law school's Technical Standards found in the Student Handbook as well as have completed any prerequisites or co-requisites listed in the clinic descriptions found in the Clinic Course Offerings Including Pre- and Co-Requisites.
For more information regarding clinic requirements and placements, please see the Clinic FAQs.
Land Use & Natural Resources Clinic
Work with government agencies and organizations on land use planning and conservation issues affecting communities in the West.
Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic
Assist tribal governments, courts, organizations, and attorneys on Indian law issues.
Perform mediation and conflict resolution for varying groups of clients.
Veterans Advocacy Clinic
Develop lawyering skills in a complex administrative law setting by providing pro bono legal services to Montana veterans before the VA Regional Office, Board of Veterans Appeals, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, or Department of Defense boards addressing military discharge upgrade.
ACLU of Montana
Work focuses solely on constitutional issues and the defense of individual freedoms.
Appellate Defender Division of the Montana State Public Defender
Assist with appeals for clients of the Office of the State Public Defender on a variety of cases.
ASMSU Legal Services
Represent and assist Montana State University-Bozeman students with legal issues in a variety of disciplines, including landlord-tenant, family, criminal defense, immigration, business and non-profit, negotiations, and mediation.
ASUM Legal Services
Represent University of Montana students in civil and minor criminal defense matters.
Federal Defenders of Montana
Represent indigent criminal defendants in federal court.
Judicial Field Placements
Work with a U.S. District Court Judge or Magistrate Judge on cases pending in federal court in Missoula.
Missoula City Attorney's Office
Prosecute traffic and other misdemeanor offenses in the Missoula Municipal Court.
Missoula County Attorney's Office
Work on felony cases and Dependent and Neglect Proceedings, assist with land-use litigation, appear in court, communicate and negotiate with opposing counsel and pro se defendants, work with county departments, interview witnesses, perform legal research, draft motions.
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Forestry and Trust Land Management Divisions
Assist the DNRC in prosecuting and defending lawsuits, conducting administrative hearings, and conducting legal research and projects.
Montana Department of Natural Resources Water Resources and Trust Lands Management Divisions
Assist the DNRC in prosecuting and defending lawsuits, conducting administrative hearings, and conducting legal research and projects. (Located in Helena)
Montana Department of Transportation (Not offered at this time)
Assist the MDT with general counsel duties and litigation pertaining to all facets of transportation, construction claims, environmental, real estate, and contract issues.
Montana Domestic Violence Field Placement
Provide direct holistic civil legal representation to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Montana Innocence Project
Work with this nonprofit organization dedicated to identifying and advancing credible claims of innocence made by Montana inmates.
Montana Legal Services Association
Represent low-income clients in family, public benefits, administrative law, and low-income taxpayer matters.
Montana Legal Services Association-Consumer Protection
Represent low-income clients on issues related to consumer law.
Office of Legal Affairs Child Support Enforcement Division
Represent this state agency in administrative hearings and in district court.
Office of State Public Defender
Work with court-appointed attorneys on a variety of cases.
Powell County Attorney's Office
Represent the State of Montana in criminal, civil, and quasi-criminal cases in Justice and District Court, prosecute all felonies and high misdemeanors committed by inmates at the Montana State Prison, as well as all escape charges in the state of Montana. (Located in Deer Lodge)
Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Work with in-house counsel on a variety of corporate matters in non-profit conservation organizations.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Work on active court cases and receive instruction and guidance from the Judge and court staff.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the General Counsel
Assist with civil matters involving the U.S. Forest Service and the Farm Home Administration.
U.S. Department of Justice
Assist attorneys in civil and minor criminal matters on behalf of the U.S. government.
U.S. Department of Justice - Billings Office
Assist attorneys prosecuting federal violent crimes in Indian Country; litigation, research and writing, negotiation, communication. This field placement can satisfy the Indian Law Certificate clinic requirement. This is a single-semester field placement. Students enrolled in this field placement must live in Billings during the semester they are enrolled.
University of Montana Legal Counsel's Office
Work with the University's general counsel, advising the administration and assisting in administrative and judicial proceedings.
University of Montana Office of Tech Transfer (Not offered at this time)
Work with the Office of Tech Transfer on intellectual property issues involving UM faculty or staff.
Independent Field Placement
Independent Field Placement
Allows a student to propose and secure approval for a clinical experience not currently offered as an in-house clinic or field placement. Completed Independent Field Placement applications, including
- student application
- supervising attorney application,
- and three letters of recommendation,
should be submitted to Geri Sturgill no later than February 15 to ensure ample time for review and approval. The deadline for approval is March 1 for the summer and next academic year. Late submissions will not be accepted.