MSU College of Law

About the First Amendment Law Clinic

The MSU First Amendment Law Clinic is the new name for the Great Lakes Student Press Law Clinic (GLSPLC) created in 2004 as a unique partnership of the Michigan State University College of Law, the School of Journalism at Michigan State University, and the Michigan Interscholastic Press association, (a [501c)(3) nonprofit housed in the School of Journalism.

In 2011, the Clinic expanded its role to become the MSU First Amendment Law Clinic dedicated to providing pro bono legal representation on First Amendment issues to news media companies in the state of Michigan, while continuing its education work and legal advice and representation to Michigan high school and college journalists. Law and journalism faculty supervise second- and third-year law students in their work with the Clinic. Law students also visit high school journalism staffs to review current legal precedents and laws and their impact on the student press and provide legal advice and assistance when required.

The Clinic continues to offer First Amendment Workshops to high school journalism programs and pro bono legal services to student journalists struggling with a variety of legal issues including censorship, copyright infringement, access to government records, freedom of information, libel and invasion of privacy challenges. In the student press arena, the Clinic is the only one in the nation devoted to providing legal representation in defense of student press rights.