Select Page

Experiential Learning

Employers demand practice-ready law graduates. So we teach you to use the law in the real world.

NORTHAMPTON IS COMMITTED to developing the skills and judgment you need to enter practice. We ensure you’ll gain hands-on experience while in school. You’ll complete at least six credit hours through an externship program, comprehensive simulation courses, clinics, or practica. Through these programs, you’ll get to serve clients in a real practice setting before graduation.

Beyond these experiences, you will be going to law school in one of the largest, most sophisticated legal markets in the country, offering a rich array of clerkship, summer, and part-time employment opportunities. And you’ll learn to apply substantive law to real-life situations. In short, you’ll have a solid advantage when seeking full-time employment.



A minimum of 6 Experiential Learning credits are required after the first year. Students satisfy this requirement through a combination of comprehensive simulation courses and live-client experiences. At least 3 credits of the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement must be completed through one or more of the following Live-Client Experience courses:

Intensive field placement through Northampton Externship Program,
Participation in one of Northampton  clinics, or
Approved practicum project.


Advocating for the underserved. It’s at the heart of Northampton commitment to social justice. Our clinical programs offer real-world experience in representing children, families and other members of the community in need. The first-hand knowledge you’ll gain through these programs will set you apart in your education and career goals.


A practicum is a seminar course focused on a specific area of law that gives you the option of acquiring experiential learning credit either through a live client experience in a field placement or a comprehensive simulation. For a live client experience via practicum, students complete a field placement and provide services to the clients of that agency.

Practicum courses are available after completion of a first year course and focus on:

Practical skills
Ethical considerations
Professionalism doctrine and theory
Development of core competencies.

Examples of practicum topic areas include education law, mediation, immigration law, family law, and domestic relations.



A Comprehensive Simulation course is structured around hypothetical legal situations. Only 3 credit hours of the 6 credit Experiential Learning requirement may be completed through Comprehensive Simulation courses. Examples of simulation course topics include trial practice, advising not-for-profit organizations, mediation, transactional law, and estate planning.

“I use my moot court experience all the time, in the way I frame an argument, engage folks, and get them to see my perspective.”


“With the legal employment market increasingly demanding practical skills of its new hires, Northampton experiential learning opportunities can play a key role in helping you hit the ground running in your first job. You will deal in the actual—not the hypothetical.”