The Family Justice Clinic of the Legal Services Center focuses on offering clients legal assistance on divorce, paternity, child and spousal support, protective orders/restraining orders, and family defense.
Students in the Family Justice Clinic work under close supervision to manage all aspects of a family law case, from the initial client intake to representing clients in both Family and District Courts in Massachusetts, such as drafting pleadings and other case-related and court documents; requesting, gathering, and analyzing discovery; case-management and organization; negotiating with opposing parties and counsel, and working with complex financial issues. Students will conduct intake and provide legal advice and consultation on-site at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and other community health centers. In addition to learning and using valuable legal and litigation skills, students will also have the opportunity to prepare and present workshops and trainings on relevant legal issues to community groups and service providers.
Students have the opportunity to:
- Conduct factual and legal research
- Interview clients
- Draft complaints and other legal documents
- Draft and respond to discovery requests
- Negotiate with opposing parties and counsel
- Argue motions and represent clients in district court and family and probate court
- Develop and present trainings and workshops
The clinic is a part of the Legal Services Center (LSC), a general practice community law office in Jamaica Plain. LSC’s diverse clinics provide clinical instruction to second- and third-year law students and serve as a laboratory for the innovative delivery of legal services. Students are taught and mentored under the supervision and guidance of clinical instructors and fellows in one of LSC’s litigation clinical practices.
How to Register
The clinic is offered in the Fall and Spring semesters. You can learn about the required clinical course component, clinical credits and the clinical registration process by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.
Meet the Instructors
Clinical Instructor; Lecturer on Law
Marianna Yang joined the Legal Services Center in December 2019. Since 2002, Marianna has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in various fields including MassTorts (MDL) Litigation, litigation involving Class A railroad companies, and most recently, in Child Welfare and Domestic Relations litigation. She served as a panel member in the CPCS Child and Family Law Division Trial Panel and the Appellate Panel. She is also a trained mediator and a member of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council.
Rebecca Greening is Clinical Instructor, Family Justice Clinic. She is a graduate of Northeastern University Law School with an undergraduate degree in social work from New York University. Her career has focused on representing clients in family law and child welfare matters with an emphasis on domestic relations/divorce cases, child support actions, paternity actions, guardianships, and care and protection cases, including actions to terminate parental rights. Prior to coming to LSC, she worked as a private attorney and as a court appointed trial attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services’ Children and Family Law Division in Juvenile and Probate courts representing parents and children who can’t afford an attorney in state intervention/child welfare cases.
In the News
Harvard Gazette: ‘Shadow Pandemic’ of Domestic Violence
Harvard Law School’s Marianna Yang examines rise in factors, hurdles in courts for victims By Liz Mineo | Harvard Gazette, June 29, 2022 Violence against women increased to record levels around the world following lockdowns to … Harvard Gazette: ‘Shadow Pandemic’ of Domestic Violence Read More » The post Harvard Gazette: ‘Shadow Pandemic’ of Domestic […]
June 30, 2022
On Winning and Losing: What Public Interest Litigation Is Fighting For
By Stephanie Kelemen ’22, Domestic Violence and Family Law Clinic I lost my first appeal, and I am not sad. Over the course of a year, I put my blood, sweat, and tears into the … On Winning and Losing: What Public Interest Litigation Is Fighting For Read More » The post On Winning […]
April 25, 2022
When Perpetrators of Domestic Violence Use Civil Court System to Re-Victimize Survivors
By Madeline Finnegan ’23, Domestic Violence and Family Law Clinic While domestic violence is sometimes dealt with in the criminal justice system, more frequently it is handled as a civil matter disputed in Probate and … When Perpetrators of Domestic Violence Use Civil Court System to Re-Victimize Survivors Read More » The post When […]
April 21, 2022
Join us Tuesday, April 13 for Advocating for Survivors
The Legal Services Center invites you to a virtual panel discussion: Advocating for Survivors at LSC How Three Clinics Empower Clients Who Have Experienced Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence Survivors of sexual assault and … Join us Tuesday, April 13 for Advocating for Survivors Read More » The post Join us Tuesday, April […]
April 7, 2021