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Amsterdam Law Clinics

Amsterdam Law School

The Amsterdam Law Clinics provide Master's students with unique experiential education focused on developing and improving legal skills. The clinics provide pro bono legal advice to various community organizations. As a result, students learn how to work effectively with clients and fellow students on projects with a public interest. A unique opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to real cases for real clients.

What are clinics?

In the Amsterdam Law Clinics (ALCs), students work on a variety of issues and projects with a public interest. Topics range from environmental issues and human rights protection to corporate responsibility and the right to a fair trial. Working with clients offers you as a student a special opportunity to gain practical legal experience. At the same time, you will increase your knowledge of the law and sharpen your legal skills.

What clinics are available?

What does the clinic program look like?

To enhance the learning experience related to both law and legal skills, the Amsterdam Law Clinics offer a unique educational program. While working on a real case in an ambitious team (the clinic work), you will also participate in a series of interactive working groups on legal skills, strategic litigation and professional ethics (the seminar component).

The seminar component consists of 8 lectures and interactive workshops which address public interest lawyering, strategic litigation, legal ethics and professional responsibility in the legal profession, critical legal thinking and legal skills. Furthermore, specific lectures might be provided depending on the cases students are working on in the clinics. At the end of the semester students will draft a brief essay in which they reflect on the clinical work and on the legal, practical and ethical obstacles or dilemmas they may have encountered.

Through participation in our clinics, you will develop a set of skills that will prove highly useful in your career as a legal professional, including:

  • investigating and analyzing facts;
  • approaching legal questions in an open-minded manner;
  • legal research and drafting legal (procedural) documents;
  • presenting complex cases in a clear in concise manner; and
  • professional skills, particularly in relation to team work and in interacting with clients and partners.

For successful participation in the clinic work and the clinic program, you will receive a total of 6 EC.

Langa Mpofu, Business & Human Rights Clinic, 2020/2021
Copyright: Langa Mpofu
During my time working in the clinic, I had the opportunity to delve into the concepts of business and human rights which are deeply intertwined but often considered separately. Additionally, my ability to work in cross-cultural teams was strengthened, my mind has been opened to new career paths and I learnt the value of the creativity and resilience needed to work through the pandemic. Langa Mpofu, Business & Human Rights Clinic, 2020/2021

Who can apply?

All students of the Master's programmes of the Amsterdam Law School of the University of Amsterdam may in principle apply for the clinics (except to the Master's students of Law & Finance). There are two exceptions:

  • The Amsterdam European Law Clinic is in principle only open to students of the Master's tracks: 
    • European Union Law (International and European Law) and
    • European Competition Law and Regulation (International and European Law). 
  • The Amsterdam International Law Clinic is in principle only open to students of the Master's tracks:
    • Public International Law (International and European Law),
    • International Trade and Investment Law (International and European Law) and
    • International and Transnational Criminal Law (International Criminal Law).

Students are selected based on previous academic performance, pronounced affinity for the project at hand, and the ability to match legal expertise with the cases we will be working on that semester.

Clinic as choice-elective or extracurriculair

Most Master's programmes offer the clinics as an elective course. Check the curriculum of your study programme in the Course Catalogue.

The tracks within the Master's International and European Law offer the ALCs as elective courses only if you are a student in the Amsterdam European Law Clinic (the two EU law tracks) or the Amsterdam International Law Clinic (the two international law tracks). Or if the clinic case you will be working on contains sufficient components in the field of European law or international law respectively. If your Master's does not offer ALCs as an elective, you can take the clinics as an extracurricular course.

Appplication Deadline

The application deadline for the first semester of academic year 2021-2022 is: June 18, 2021

How to apply

Please submit your application, in English, by sending an email to amsterdamlawclinics@uva.nl addressed to Ms. Linde Bryk, LL.M, indicating in the subject-line ‘Application Amsterdam Law Clinics - [your name]’. Your application must include:

  • Your CV or resume (max. 2 pages);
  • An overview of relevant courses and grades from courses you have taken at the University of Amsterdam or other universities;
  • A sample of 1-5 pages (maximum 10) of your own writing in Dutch or English related to your studies;
  • An analysis responding to the questions below, in a Word document that has your signature and indicating place and date: 
    • Why are you interested in taking part in the Amsterdam Law Clinics, and more specifically in the clinics you have listed as your preferences? (max. 400 words)
    • In your opinion, what is one of the most impressive public interest law case you have come across that has been dealt with in the courts and why is this case of such importance? What would you have done differently? (max. 400 words)
  • Indication of preferences. The Amsterdam Law Clinics strive to ensure that as many students as possible are given the opportunity to participate in a clinic during their Master's. We cannot ensure admission to a particular clinic and the application and selection process for the clinics is competitive. We recommend students to list in the e-mail that accompanies their application at least 3 clinics ranked in order of interest.

If selected for the clinic of first choice, selection is binding.

The Amsterdam Law Clinics are part of the Experiential Learning program of the Amsterdam Law Practice.

Abdul Mohamed, Amsterdam European Law Clinic, 2019/2020
Copyright: FdR
The Amsterdam Law Clinics is unique in that students are also expected to attend workshops on legal writing, legal ethics, strategic litigation, public-interest lawyering and culture/ diversity workshops with other students from other law clinics. I would highly recommend all master students to apply to the Amsterdam Law Clinics, as it provides both practical and soft skills for a future career in law. Abdul Mohamed, Amsterdam European Law Clinic, 2019/2020