The Children’s Law Clinic provides students with an opportunity to represent low-income children and parents on issues relating to the social determinants of health, including education, public benefits, and access to adequate healthcare. Students will work in teams on case assignments that could involve client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, informal advocacy, and litigation in administrative hearings or court. There will also be opportunities to engage in policy and community education projects. With training and supervision from clinic faculty, students will act as the lead attorneys for the matters on their caseload allowing them to develop critical professional skills such as case strategy development and time management. In the weekly two-hour virtual seminar, students will engage in interactive practical skills training, learn substantive law, and analyze the broader systemic injustices that impact children and families. Students work on clinic cases approximately 10 hours a week, for a minimum of 100 hours of legal work during the semester for 4 credits. There is no paper and no exam. Students must be in at least their third semester of law school to enroll in the clinic due to state student practice rules. Students must meet the legal ethics graduation requirement either before or during enrollment in the Children's Law Clinic. For the Spring 2021 semester, there will be an option to participate in the clinic remotely. Students who are in Durham may attend the virtual seminar and provide in-person representation if they choose to. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the opportunity to engage in in-person representation is subject to change. In the event that students are unable to continue in-person representation, they will be allowed to complete their clinic work remotely. (see Clinics Enrollment Policy).
- This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
- Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
- International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.
- Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Children's Law Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).
Any ethics course (Law 237, Law 238, Law 239, Law 317, or Law 539)
|Course Areas of Practice|
Live-client representation and case management
Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context
Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession