Montana Legal Services Association

Field Placement
Academic Year

Faculty Supervisor

Professor Craig Cowie

Supervising Attorneys

Beth Hayes, Ed Higgins


Professional Responsibility, Family Law


Family Law, Consumer Law

Areas of Emphasis

Family law; domestic violence; victims’ rights; housing law; professional responsibility; public benefits; business law; negotiations; research and writing; civil litigation; interviewing and counseling; problem-solving

Sample Projects

  • Conduct client interviews
  • Conduct discovery
  • Research legal issues
  • Draft correspondence, memoranda, pleadings and briefs
  • Prepare for and attend settlement conferences and court hearings
  • Negotiate with the IRS

General Information

The Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) provides access to justice for low-income clients in civil cases. Students assigned to this field placement are provided the opportunity to represent and provide legal advice to persons in a variety of civil legal matters including family, landlord-tenant, and consumer law. MLSA has a holistic approach to its clients and attempts to meet all of their legal needs, which may include additional areas of practice such as public benefits, civil rights, and others.  Students can expect to represent and advise low- income people in other areas of Montana through the use of video conferencing technology and other methods.

Students are fully integrated members of MLSA practice. Cases are assigned to the student and each student is expected to handle a variety of cases as if she/he were an associate. Students work under a supervising attorney but are given significant responsibility for their cases. They can expect to appear before District Court judges, Standing Masters, and Administrative Law Judges.  In addition to the opportunity to use civil procedure, evidence, and litigation skills, students gain general practice skills such as client interview techniques, negotiation skills, document drafting, and legal research.