Specialist Clinics

The Commercial and Financial Services Law Clinic

The Commercial and Financial Services Clinic introduces student participants to various aspects of commercial practice including commercial and non-profit company incorporation, contract drafting, arbitration and negotiation, community economic development, intellectual property and other transactional legal services.
Legal services offered through the Clinic provide students with hands-on experience and prepares them for the transition into the complex and diverse practice of commercial and financial services law. Students also have opportunities to partner with industry stakeholders, including financial service providers and regulators to acquire a deeper understanding of how those providers and regulators function and the role they play in the industry.

One of the highlights of the Clinic is a Trust Law Moot which is presented in partnership with STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Bahamas. Students are assigned to competing for law firms to work alongside the firms’ attorneys in researching, drafting and litigating, before a bench comprising judges and leading lawyers in the trust field, a trust law problem.

When the Clinic concludes, the students are expected to have attained a holistic experience designed to assist with their formation into competent attorneys.

Criminal Law Clinic

The Criminal Law Clinic provides students opportunities to gain more in-depth knowledge of the theory and practice of advocacy in the criminal justice system.

Participating students will review the legislative framework underpinning criminal practice and procedure fully in the context of its application in the day-to-day running of the criminal justice system; and will critically examine the rights of the arrestee from arrest and remand, through arraignment, trial and appeal.

Students will also explore the impact of technology on the detection of crime and the nature of evidence available in criminal matters and how the use of technology can improve access to the criminal justice system.

During the year, students will work on criminal matters in the Legal Aid Clinic under the supervision of legal counsel and will visit key legal institutions concerned with the administration of the criminal justice system to gain practical insights into the role of the advocate in each arena.

Recognizing the need for greater public awareness of individual fundamental rights and the workings of the criminal justice system, the Clinic will conceptualize and execute community outreach projects to educate young people about their rights and responsibilities during selected police interactions and the basic workings of the criminal court.

Environmental Law Clinic

The Bahamas is known for its pristine beaches, clear blue waters and flora and fauna. Comprised of over 700 low-lying islands and cays and spanning over 100,000 square miles of ocean, this archipelagic nation is also known for its vulnerability to climate change and other external factors which threaten its ecosystems, its economic livelihood and, indeed, the very existence of its people.

The main objective of the Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) is therefore to protect, preserve and conserve the vulnerable natural resources and environment of The Bahamas. The ELC seeks to attain this objective by reviewing existing laws and policies, proposing amendments to existing laws and policies, contributing to the development of new environmental laws and policies, and raising public awareness of the value of our natural resources and the environment.
Following its inception in 2014, the ELC was engaged by The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation to provide recommendations and policy advice on drafting legislation to protect coral reefs. The ELC is presently assisting The Bahamas National Trust with drafting by-laws for the national parks to legislate the behaviour and activities which are permitted or prohibited within the parks.

Students in the ELC have a special opportunity to further develop their legal research and writing skills by working on the annual Country Report which is published in the prestigious ejournal of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. The Report comments on interesting environmental developments within The Bahamas.

Public awareness of environmental issues is promoted through publications in the local newspaper, participation in workshops, and presentations to various groups in the local community.

Through engagement with the various projects of the ELC, students are exposed to a wide range of environmental concerns that include pollution control, illegal and unregulated fishing, climate change, planning development, natural resource conservation and management and constitutional and public law protections.

Human Rights Law Clinic

The Human Rights Specialist Clinic aims to provide students with hands-on experience working on common human rights issues and projects. The training which the Clinic sets out to impart is grounded in real-world advocacy. Students work in partnership with each other and with the community, in order to engage in human rights activism.

The focus of the Clinic is not only on fundamental international human rights and constitutional rights, but also on other rights that arise within the wider socio-legal sphere, such as access to housing and clean water. The Clinic aims also to inform and bring about some degree of positive change or awareness in relation to selected human and social rights issues. In order to achieve the goals of the Clinic, students engage in legal research and writing, as well as public education and public speaking, all of which form the basis for the assessment of their performance in the Clinic.