Do clients take a break at the end of each semester?

In the clinics, we represent “live” clients which means, students represent real individuals with real legal problems.  At the end of each fall, spring and summer semester, there is always a span of time between finals and the beginning of the new semester where students are generally not spending time in the clinic.  So, what happens to the clients?  Do they get a vacation too?  The short answer is “no.”  If a case gets scheduled for a hearing, if a client calls with an emergency, or if the client just needs general information, the student clinician is expected to address those issues–promptly.  At the end of each semester, students are required to send all clients letters explaining the transition from one semester to another.  These letters generally explain what each client should do if they need assistance during the break, as well as expectations for clinic hours for students and professors during the break.  One of the biggest bar complaints by clients is lack of communication by their lawyer.  By following these simple steps and setting expectations for how clients can stay connected to the clinic during a semester break, student clinicians are keeping the client well-informed. . .and a well-informed client is a happy client.