Community Development Law Clinic

Professor Donovan with Students “The Community Development Law Clinic provides an exceptional opportunity for students to work with clients, learn substantive law, craft and implement legal strategies, and serve the common good. Whether advocating for a human trafficking victim, mediating a small claims dispute, helping a nonprofit provide services, or representing an inventor, students learn from their experience and appreciate the opportunity. It is rewarding that former students often call to tell me about their continued efforts to serve others with their legal skills.“

Elizabeth M. Donovan
Director, Community Development Law Clinic
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

Human Trafficking Law Clinic

Human Trafficking Awareness Photography Human Trafficking Awareness Photography Human Trafficking Awareness Photography
Human Trafficking Awareness Photography Human Trafficking Awareness Photography Human Trafficking Awareness Photography


In Human Trafficking Law Clinic, students represent victims of human trafficking. In addition, students collaborate with government and non-government organizations, and engage in community outreach and training.

“There is no greater reward than serving clients with professionalism and integrity in combating human trafficking and saving the dignity of human life. Being a part of the clinical program allowed me to help victims and make a difference in the lives of people deprived of their freedom.”

Charles Liu, Class of 2010

To read more about this clinical work read an article from the spring 2011 issue of the Advocate


Mediation Law Clinic

Human Trafficking Awareness Photography Human Trafficking Awareness Photography Human Trafficking Awareness Photography Human Trafficking Awareness Photography


In Mediation Law Clinic students learn, use, and develop skills as advocates and mediators. Through the classroom and Lee and Collier County courts, students learn a problem-solving approach to the practice of law, while gaining valuable experience. Once students successfully complete the Mediation Law Clinic, they may apply to the Florida Supreme Court to obtain county court mediator certification.

“The Mediation Clinic is exceptional because it combines active learning in a small classroom setting with hands-on experience in the court system.”

Verggi Viacava, Class of 2012

To read more about this clinical work read an article from the winter 2011 issue of the Advocate

Patent Law Clinic

Fodale &#amp; Students Fodale teaching


In Patent Law Clinic, students represent clients who would not otherwise be able to afford to pursue patents for their inventions. Students work with clients to understand their inventions, research existing patents for similar or related inventions, prepare the documentation necessary to file provisional patent applications, and file applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

“The Ave Maria Patent Clinic provided me with a great opportunity to advance my patent drafting skills while gaining excellent practical experience. In addition to learning the intricacies associated with filing a patent application, I was able to develop my advocacy skills by interacting with actual clients.”

Albert Abbou, Class of 2008