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LR 83.21 Law Student Practice

(a) Purpose. Effective legal service for each person in the Eastern District of Michigan, regardless of that person's ability to pay, is important to the directly affected person, to our system of justice and to the whole citizenry. Law students and recent law graduates, under supervision by a member of the Bar of this Court, may assist the United States Attorney's Office, the Federal Defender's Office and the Pro Bono Civil Assignment Panel of this Court or an accredited law school or a legal aid clinic funded pursuant to the Legal Services Corporation Act. Law students and recent law graduates may participate in legal training programs organized in the offices of the United States Attorney, the Federal Defender and the Pro Bono Civil Assignment Panel.

(b) Eligible Persons. A student in a law school approved by the American Bar Association who has received a passing grade in law school courses and has completed the first year is eligible to participate in a legal aid clinic or United States Attorney's Office or Federal Defender's Office or Pro Bono Civil Assignment Panel, if the student meets the academic and moral standards established by the dean of the school. For the purpose of this rule, a "recent law graduate" is a person who has graduated from law school within the last year.

(c) Scope; Procedure.

(1) A member of the legal aid clinic, in representing an indigent person, is authorized to advise the person and to negotiate and appear on the person's behalf before this Court.

(2) Representation must be conducted under the supervision of a member of the Bar of this Court. Supervision by a member of the Bar of this Court includes the duty to examine and sign all pleadings filed. It does not require the member of the Bar of this Court to be present:

(A) while a law student or graduate is advising an indigent person or negotiating on the person's behalf, or

(B) during a courtroom appearance of a law student or graduate, except in a criminal case exposing the client to a penalty of more than six months.

(3) A law student or graduate may not appear in a case before any judicial officer of this Court without the approval of the judicial officer. If the judicial officer grants approval, the judicial officer may suspend the proceedings at any stage if he or she determines that the representation by the law student or graduate:

(A) is professionally inadequate, and

(B) substantial justice requires suspension.

(4) A law student or graduate serving in a United States Attorney's Office, Federal Defender's Office or Pro Bono Civil Assignment Panel may be authorized to perform comparable functions and duties assigned by the United States Attorney or Federal Defender, except that

(A) the law student or graduate is subject to the conditions and restrictions of this Rule; and

(B) the law student or graduate may not be appointed as an Assistant United States Attorney or Assistant Federal Defender.

Comment: LR 83.21 is based on MCR 8.120 which governs law student practice before the Michigan Courts.

January 01, 1992


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