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Beginning in 1947, the Clinical Program at the Dedman School of Law was among the country’s first to sponsor a community legal clinic. Today, it remains a national model of excellence. The Program has evolved over the years, reflecting changing perspectives in legal education and innovation in legal practice. However, at its core, the Program remains committed to the ideals that shaped it from its inception: public service, professional responsibility, and outstanding skills training. The Program now encompasses six specialized clinics.

Clinics & Projects

Civil Clinic
Represents low-income clients in matters ranging from housing disputes to elder advocacy to civil rights litigation.

Criminal Justice Clinic
Represents Dallas county citizens charged with criminal offenses. Works with the Dallas Public Defender’s Office and provides students with jury trial experience.

Federal Taxpayers Clinic
Represents low-income taxpayers needing to resolve tax problems with the Audit, Appeals and Collection divisions of the I.R.S. and the U.S. Tax Court. First tax clinic in the country with the authority to represent clients before the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Tax Court.

Small Business and Trademark Clinics
The Small Business Clinic provides free legal services to new and existing small businesses and non-profit organizations who cannot afford to pay legal fees, while providing our students with training and experience in how to be a transactional lawyer. Student attorneys will advise clients in the start-up of their business and assist in preparing necessary legal documents. The student attorneys will also form and give advice to non-profit organizations. Student attorneys will learn how to deal with clients involving transactional business law. The Trademark Clinic is part of the Small Business Clinic and a member of the USPTO Law School Clinic program. Law students gain specific experience in advising clients about basic trademark matters as well as drafting, filing and handling trademark applications with the USPTO.

W. W. Caruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic
Represents children who have been abused and neglected in Dallas County. The Clinic is appointed by juvenile district court judges to serve as guardian/attorney ad litem.

Consumer Advocacy Project
Students work with public and private community partners to provide consumer education and engage in research and advocacy on issues important to lower income consumers, especially those in Spanish-speaking communities.  Students also provide direct representation to consumers to help resolve consumer complaints using formal and and informal negotiation and mediation strategies.

Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women
Made possible by Ray L. and Nancy Ann Hunter Hunt and named in honor of Mrs. Hunt’s father, this legal center will provide services for the victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and other crimes against women.  Under the supervision of law faculty, SMU Dedman Law students working in the Hunter Legal Center will provide legal services such as protective orders, divorce, custody and child support agreements; and assistance with credit and housing issues.  This clinic is expected to open January 2016.
VanSickle Family Law Clinic
The VanSickle Family Law Clinic will provide free legal assistance for low-income North Texas residents in matters such as divorce, annulment, paternity actions, custody and visitation, and child and spousal support.  A clinic director will train and closely supervise student attorneys who will represent families through the VanSickle Family Law Clinic.  This clinic is expected to open January 2016.
Patent Clinic
SMU Dedman Law has been chosen to become part of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) law school clinic certification program.  The law school will house two separate clinics, one for patent and another for trademark, and will offer services for small start-up companies and individuals, as well as provide essential skills training for law students.  The USPTO chose SMU because of its curriculum, pro bono service to the public, and community networking and outreach.

Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation
Scheduled to begin operating in 2015, the center will focus on the intersection of innovation, intellectual property law and entrepreneurship by exploring the relationship between innovation policies, scientific research and the development and commercialization of new technologies.


Clinic Contact Information: 214-768-2562

Clinic Faculty:

Maureen Armour
Co-Director of the Civil Clinic and Associate Professor of Law

Mary Spector
Co-Director of Civil Clinic, Director, Consumer Advocacy Project
and Professor of Law

Diane Sumoski
Director, W. W. Caruth, Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic

Larry Jones
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Federal Tax Clinic

Christopher M. Jenks
Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic and Assistant Professor of Law

Mike McCollum
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Criminal Justice Clinic

Brook Busbee
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Criminal Justice Clinic

Eliot Shavin
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Civil Clinic

Eric Cedillo
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Consumer Advocacy Project and Summer Civil Clinic

David Cho
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Trademark Clinic
Marc Hubbard
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Patent Clinic
Walter Theiss
Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, Small Business Clinic

Clinic Administrative Assistants:

Gloria Zapata 
Criminal Justice, Tax, Small Business, Patent, Trademark and
Child Advocacy Clinics

Lisa Montes 
Civil Clinic and Consumer Advocacy Project

Mailing Address:
SMU Dedman School of Law
P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275-0116

Physical Address:
SMU Dedman School of Law
3315 Daniel Avenue
Dallas, TX 75205