Family Advocacy Clinic

Students in the Family Advocacy Clinic will represent parents, children, and families facing separation due to allegations of abuse or neglect, under the supervision of an experienced attorney. Students will have a chance to provide high quality, holistic representation for clients facing the serious consequences of family disruption. Clients accused of abuse or neglect, and those who are the victims of abuse and neglect, face incredibly important and dire circumstances, and students enrolling in the Family Advocacy Clinic should be prepared to engage in zealous advocacy on behalf of clients in crisis.

Students will be responsible for all aspects of the legal representation of their clients including challenging adjudicatory allegations in court, establishing visitation rights for the parents, and developing appropriate plans for reconciliation. Students will learn the substantive and procedural law associated with abuse and neglect proceedings. In addition, students will be trained and gain experience in skills such as interviewing, counseling, case planning and strategy, fact investigation, negotiating, research, drafting, motion practice, oral advocacy and trial work. This is a four credit, graded course that includes both a clinic and simultaneous seminar. Students will be expected to complete a minimum of 180 hours in the course of the semester. Client obligations must be met on a case by case basis; students should have flexibility in their schedules to meet the demands of their cases.

Sequence and Prerequisites: Students must be eligible for certification under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711 which requires, among other things, that a student have completed 45 semester hours toward graduation.