Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law - Beus Center for Law and Society Snell & Wilmer Plaza

First Amendment Clinic

The First Amendment Clinic gives students experience in many aspects of a First Amendment and media law practice. The clinic’s workload is different every semester, due to the wide range of matters we will take on. Students have defended libel and invasion-of-privacy suits, assisted in First Amendment-based civil rights claims, argued to unseal court records, fought to make state and federal government agencies release documents, written friend-of-the-court briefs in a wide array of cases, provided pre-publication assistance for authors, helped authors obtain interviews with controversial prisoners, and fought for changes in government policies.

Students can enroll for four, five or six credits. Two credits will be given for the graded seminar portion, and either two, three or four credits will be pass/fail for the client component.

What students do:

Student attorneys are certified to practice in the clinic by the Arizona Supreme Court. Clinic students will be involved in all aspects of a legal practice, particularly emphasizing interviewing and counseling clients, drafting and filing legal briefs, pleadings and motions, and representing clients in court.

First Amendment Clinic 

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First Amendment Clinic blog


Course information

The First Amendment Clinic is a one semester course.

  • Credits: four/five or six total credits - two graded for seminar AND two/three or four, pass/fail for client component. Students should pick the amount of credits they wish to enroll for. Four total credits will require 180 hours of course and client work over the semester. Five credits will require 225 hours, and six credits will require 270 hours.
  • Pre- or Co-Requites: Professional Responsibility, Evidence, Criminal Law and Civil Procedure

Enrollment limited to 10 students

Time commitment

Students are expected to spend a minimum of between 180-270 hours in the Clinic during the one semester.

  • Fall or Spring Semester – up to 20 hours per week, depending on credits taken. No externships during the semester and outside work only with prior approval from the director of the Clinic.
  • Summer Semester – up to 27 hours per week, depending on credits taken. No other classes, externships or outside work during the semester.
  • Included in those hours is a mandatory seminar class of a minimum of five hours per week.

Student Applications Dates for Clinic:

Students may apply via Atlas during the application period listed below.

Summer 2024:
Applications: January 22 - February 12, 2024
Offers extended to students: February 19, 2024
Student accept/decline due: February 22, 2024

Fall 2024: Application period: March 11-29, 2024 Offers extended to students: April 5, 2024 Student accept/decline due: April 11, 2024


**IMPORTANT!* - Externships and Clinics – Students who have applied for an externship or clinic and been accepted may decline upon offer without consequence. However, once a student has accepted an externship or clinic, any student who drops the externship or clinic without prior approval by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs will be subject to the 12-month ban.

Our People

Gregg Leslie

Gregg Leslie Executive Director, First Amendment Clinic
Professor of Practice

James Weinstein

James Weinstein Faculty Advisor
Professor of Law

Zach Cormier

Zach Cormier Legal Fellow