The Legal Aid Clinic traces its roots back to 1951. In that era many members of Notre Dame’s community needed but could not afford legal services. Law School students assessed legal claims presented by students, staff, and faculty, and referred meritorious cases to sympathetic local attorneys.

Over the intervening decades the Clinic has evolved into a fully-functioning law practice capable of representing clients in a wide variety of specialized practice areas. It has achieved formal academic standing with multiple full-time faculty members and has its own office building near campus—a tangible presence in the local community.

The Clinic has also shifted its client focus to stay in step with the needs of the surrounding community. Although its staff and interns still occasionally provide pro bono legal services to members of the Notre Dame family, the Clinic has become an important bulwark of the Northwest Indiana social justice network, providing legal counsel and representation to economically disadvantaged clients in St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties, and other communities throughout the region.

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