The Caribbean Law Clinic (CLC) offers students the unique opportunity to work collaboratively with students from multiple countries on live legal issues referred by attorney generals in the Caribbean Basin. Each semester the attorney general of a Caribbean jurisdiction such as the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, U.S., Florida or Texas refers legal problems to the Caribbean Law Clinic for students from the participating ACLI member law schools to research under faculty supervision.
Research and writing conducted in the CLC typically involves the law of the host country, international law, or comparative law and the memoranda address a variety of ways to resolve the legal problems. Areas addressed so far in the CLC include criminal law, constitutional law, human rights, privatization, foreign investment, government ethics, family law, environmental law, maritime law, property, contracts, and international trade and business law.
The CLC serves as a free legal resource the requesting governmental authority can turn to for timely research and analysis. The Caribbean Law Clinic provides students with an opportunity to develop professional skills including cross-cultural negotiation, problem solving, international and comparative law research and analysis, factual assessments, legal writing, and formal oral presentation.
The clinic includes traveling to the office of the attorney general from which the legal work originates to present completed work to the staff of the attorney general’s office, as well as to any ministry participating in the CLC. Students from participating law schools first meet to discuss their findings and recommendations and decide how to present them the following day when they make their formal presentations in the attorney general’s offices. During the trip, time is also spent meeting with government officials to learn about the legal system, visiting courts, legislative bodies, prisons, and legal service providers such as legal aid clinics, as well as the law schools.