David Pruitt is the new program director for the Notre Dame Clinical Law Center.
Pruitt brings almost two decades of experience as a practicing attorney to the position. Most recently, he was a partner in the litigation department at Barnes & Thornburg in South Bend. He concentrated on commercial and intellectual property litigation and represented clients in state and federal courts throughout the country.
In his new position, Pruitt is responsible for overseeing the Law School’s clinics that function as teaching law offices and provide free legal services to the South Bend community.
Pruitt said clinical experiences provide students with valuable opportunities to explore potential career paths and develop skills that will prepare them to be practicing attorneys.
“It’s a way for the students to get hands-on work with clients that you can’t get in the classroom,” he said. “It’s a different perspective on law that you can’t get just from sitting in class.
“There’s also a real need for individuals to have access to legal services that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” he said.
Pruitt is a “Double Domer” who completed both his undergraduate and law degrees at Notre Dame. He earned a B.B.A. in finance at the University in 1992 and a J.D. from the Law School in 1999.
He taught at the Law School as an adjunct faculty member before taking his new post at the Clinical Law Center, and he will continue to teach for the foreseeable future.
“This position presented me an opportunity to build on what I had been doing in the classroom,” he said.
The Clinical Law Center on Howard Street houses four clinics, including a Community Development Clinic, Economic Justice Clinic, Mediation Clinic, and Tax Clinic, with another Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic housed within the Law School itself.