- Eric S. Janus
- Jean Backes
Law and Psychiatry Clinic
William Mitchell College of Law
875 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
William Mitchell College of Law with the University of Minnesota School of Medicine’s Psychiatry Department
No-Cost Forensic Psychiatric Evaluations
In operation since 1999, the Clinic performs psychiatric and psychological evaluations in a variety of legal settings, including:
- Juvenile court—disposition, certification, placement
- Criminal—Rule 20.01, 20.02 evaluation; disposition
- Civil commitment—release; non-consensual medication (Jarvis); suitability of treatment
- Guardianship and conservatorship
- Competency to consent to medical treatment
- Educational—discipline and special needs
The Law and Psychiatry Clinic is a joint academic project of William Mitchell College of Law, the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Minnesota Medical School, and State Operated Forensic Services. The Clinic provides free forensic psychiatric and psychological examinations, generally at the request of the attorney who represents the person being evaluated. The clinic also is available for court-appointment.
The Clinic participants are law students, psychiatry residents, child psychiatry fellows, and forensic psychology fellows. The Clinic uses a team model, where law students, medical doctors, and psychologists work together on Clinic evaluations, with the medical doctor or psychologist conducting the actual evaluation (under faculty supervision). The law student role is that of legal advisor to the team, and also liaison between the referring attorney and the team. The law students are able to observe the evaluations (with appropriate consents) and participate in case conferences, in which the mental health findings and applicable legal standards are discussed. Evaluations are conducted either at William Mitchell or on-site in correctional or mental health institutions.
All Clinic participants also engage in mock legal proceedings, with the law students taking on the role of lawyers examining the psychologists and psychiatrists, who act as expert witnesses.
Forensic Psychiatrist, Hennepin County Medical Center
Associate Professor, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School
President and Dean, William Mitchell College of Law
Dr. William B. Orr
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota Medical School
Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law