The Catholic University of America

Columbus Community Legal Services


I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. - Confucius

Founded in 1969, in response to the desire of students to develop their legal skills in concert with their wish to serve the legal needs of the surrounding community, Columbus Community Legal Services provides free, high-quality legal services to needy individuals and families who live in the District of Columbia. In addition to assisting persons who would otherwise go unrepresented, Columbus Community Legal Services provides a challenging learning environment for approximately 90 second- and third-year law students each year.

In each of the four Columbus Community Legal Services clinics, students have primary responsibility for their clients' cases. While supervising attorneys provide guidance and closely monitor case strategy, Columbus Community Legal Services emphasizes experiential learning and self reflection with the goal of producing alumni who will demonstrate a lifetime of professional improvement. In addition to learning practical trial techniques, students must also wrestle with the ethical issues that confront lawyers and examine such critical issues as racism, sexism, and class bias in the context of the legal system.

Columbus Community Legal Services offers four distinct clinical courses: the Civil Practice Clinic; the Families and the Law Clinic; the Advocacy for the Elderly Clinic; and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Considering applying for admission to the New York State bar?

Pursuant to Rule § 520.16 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law, every applicant admitted to the New York State bar on or after January 1, 2015, other than applicants for admission without examination, is required to complete at least 50 hours of qualifying pro bono service prior to filing an application for admission. Participation in a clinical program at Columbus Community Legal Services fulfills the pro bono requirement.



Special Notice for All Students Interested in Enrolling in a CCLS Clinical Course Next Semester

Each semester, Columbus Community Legal Services (CCLS) conducts a pre-registration process for students who wish to enroll in one of the office’s clinical courses during the next semester.  CCLS offers four clinical courses: the Families and the Law Clinic (FALC), the General Practice Clinic (GP), the Advocacy for the Elderly Clinic (AFE), and the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC). Evening students receive preference for enrollment in AFE.
Participation in a CCLS clinical course offers students the opportunity to learn practical trial techniques, refine research and writing skills, and develop other important lawyering skills while representing real clients in real cases. Although there are no course prerequisites for enrollment in any of the CCLS clinics, students who have successfully completed Evidence and Criminal Procedure are also eligible to practice before the D.C. Superior Court as certified student attorneys.

Students may satisfy both the professional skills requirement and the practice-oriented writing requirement by completing a semester at CCLS if enrolled for 6 credits.  A student may also satisfy the Law School’s Transition to Practice requirement through enrollment in a CCLS clinical course. 
For additional information regarding the pre-registration process or enrollment opportunities with CCLS, please contact Paul Kurth, at or by calling (202) 319-6788.


Request for Assistance

 Main Office Phone: 202-319-6788

Related Links

> Student Opportunities
> Frequently Asked Questions
> CCLS In the News
> CCLS Newsletter
> Achievement & Recognition
> Alumni
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Your contribution allows us to continue to provide free legal services to those who would otherwise go unrepresented. 
We thank you for your support.