Rule 38(d) of the Rules for Admission of Applicants to the Practice of Law in Arizona allows eligible law students to practice in Arizona courts as part of a law school’s educational and clinical practice program as if they are members of the Arizona Bar.
Legal interns must:
- Be duly enrolled in the Colleges of Law at the University of Arizona or Arizona State University or be duly enrolled in a law school’s J.D. program approved by the ABA.
- Have successfully completed legal studies amounting to at least three semesters (or the equivalent).
- Be certified by the law school Dean as being of good character and competent legal ability and as being adequately trained to perform as a legal intern. This includes instruction in civil, criminal, and courtroom procedure.
- Certify in writing that the clinical student has read and is familiar with the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, the Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court, and Arizona statutes relating to the conduct of attorneys.
The Dean and faculty of the Colleges of Law at the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, or other law school J.D. program that is approved and accredited by the ABA must approve the clinical practice program. A written statement of the school’s educational and clinical law practice program must be filed with the executive director of the Arizona Bar no later than 30 days prior to the commencement of the program.
Legal interns may participate in the following matters:
- Civil Matters. In such cases in justice, municipal, and magistrate courts. The supervising attorney is not required to be personally present if the client
consents to the supervising attorney’s absence.
- Criminal Matters. In any misdemeanor criminal defense matter in justice, municipal, and magistrate courts. The supervising attorney is not required to be
personally present in court except during trial if the client consents to the supervising attorney’s absence.
In any felony criminal defense matter in justice, municipal, and magistrate courts and any criminal matter in superior court. The supervising attorney must be personally present throughout the proceedings and must be fully responsible for the manner in which they are conducted.
In any criminal matter on behalf of the sate or any political subdivision with the written approval of the prosecuting attorney or the attorney’s authorized representative. The supervising attorney must be present except when the appearance is in justice, municipal, or magistrate courts.
- Oral arguments in the Arizona Supreme Court and the court of appeals. The supervising attorney must be present.
The court may at any time and in any proceeding require the supervising attorney to be personally present for a period and under such circumstances as the court directs.
Law students cannot ask for nor receive any compensation or remuneration of any kind for such services from the client. Attorneys, legal aid bureaus, law schools, public defender agencies, and the state may pay compensation to eligible law students. Attorneys and agencies may also charge for their services as otherwise properly required.
The written consents and supervisor approval must be filed in the record of the case and will be brought to the attention of the judge of the court or the presiding officer of the administrative tribunal. The student has to orally advise the court on the student’s initial appearance in the case of certification to appear as a law student.
Law students may also practice under the general supervision of the supervising attorney but outside his or her personal presence. Law students may:
- Prepare pleadings and other documents to be filed in any matter where the student is eligible to appear. The supervising attorney must sign the
- Prepare briefs, abstracts, and other documents to be filed in Arizona appellate courts. The supervising attorney must sign the documents.
- Assist indigent inmates of correctional institutions or other persons who request such assistance in preparing applications and supporting documents for post-conviction relief. When the assignment of counsel in the matter is required by any constitutional provision, statute, or court rule, the attorney of record (if any) must supervise the law student assistance. All attorney of record must sign all documents submitted to the court.
- Render legal advice and perform other appropriate legal services, but only after prior consultation with and upon the express consent of the supervising attorney.
A “supervising attorney” is a clinical law professor or a member of the Arizona Bar whose service as a supervising attorney is approved by the law school Dean where the law student is enrolled.
Clinical law professors must:
- Be duly employed as a faculty member of the Colleges of Law at the University of Arizona or Arizona State University for the purpose of instructing and supervising a clinical law program approved by the Dean and faculty of the law school.
- Be admitted by exam to the bar of another state or DC.
- Neither ask for nor receive any compensation or remuneration of any kind for such services from the client.
- Certify in writing that the clinical law professor has and read and is familiar with the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, the Rules of the Arizona Supreme Court, and Arizona statutes relating to the conduct of attorneys.
Supervising attorneys may not delegate their responsibility to another except that the incumbent of a public office may designate one or more qualified deputies.
Supervising attorneys must:
- Assume professional responsibility for the student’s guidance in any work undertaken and for supervising the quality of the student’s work.
- Assist in the student’s preparation to the extent the supervising lawyer considers it necessary.
- Agree to serve as a supervising lawyer and to participate in the clinical program administered by the law school.
Application and Termination
The law school Dean is required to file the certificate of the clinical law professor with the Clerk of the Arizona Supreme Court and with the Arizona Bar. The certificate remains in effect until withdrawn.
The law school Dean must file the certificate of the law student with the Clerk of the Arizona Supreme Court and with the Arizona Bar. Unless it is withdrawn, the certificate remains in effect for 18 months or until the announcement of the results of the first bar exam following the student’s graduation. If the student passes the bar exam, the certificate continues in effect until the date the student is admitted to the Arizona Bar.
Either certificate may:
- Be withdrawn by the Dean at any time with or without stating cause for withdrawal.
- Be terminated by the Arizona Supreme Court at any time without cause and without notice or hearing.
Certificates are not considered to be an advantage or disadvantage to the professor or student in an application for admission to the Arizona Bar.
The procedures governing the discipline for lawyers are not applicable to the termination of the certification of a clinical law professor or law student. Termination is without prejudice to the privilege of the professor or student to make application for admission to practice law if the professor or student is qualified for such admission.