The Family Law Clinic provides pro bono advice, counsel and representation to clients of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law (the "Center") in a variety of family law matters, including but not limited to domestic violence, division of property, visitation, custody, parentage, and child support matters.
Students in this Clinic will learn lawyering skills and provide high quality legal assistance to a vulnerable and underserved population in a community-based learning environment.
Under the close supervision of Professor Rebecca Fischer (a staff attorney from the Harriett Buhai Law Center), students will offer legal advice and counsel to clients in the area of family law with domestic violence interwoven in most of these cases. The Clinic students will participate in a weekly course component alongside their casework to deepen their learning of family law. Students will complete their office hours, casework and case supervision at the Center.
At the Center, during the Client Orientation Assessment System ("COAS"), students will hone their skills in interviewing, issue spotting and counseling with potential clients. Once the COAS appointment is completed, law students will apply the facts to the law, assess possible legal options, develop case plans, draft pleadings and declarations, and provide legal counsel to clients during varying stages of legal proceedings to ensure a wide range of understanding of the cycle of a family law case, many that include victims of domestic violence.
Simultaneously with their case assignments, students participate in a classroom component, that prepares them for representing of their assigned clients. The students will also meet individually with their professor for case review and join as a group for discussions and trainings. Students may also have the opportunity to shadow Center attorneys at court and to learn about court processes including filing and retrieving documents.
Clinic students will (under supervision) determine a case plan, set appointments, meet deadlines, prepare pleadings, counsel clients, and adapt to changes in the case. Students must be in good academic standing and have completed their first year of study in order to be eligible to participate in the Clinic.
Prerequisites: Students will be required to have taken either Family Law, Family Law Procedure and Practice, or Community Property, and will be strongly encouraged to have also taken or simultaneously enroll in Evidence and Legal Profession.
Prospective students will apply through an application process and will have the opportunity to explain their interest in the Clinic. All eligible applicants will be interviewed by the Center.