Spring 2024 • Seminar
Family Justice Clinical Seminar
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Required Clinic Component: Family Justice Clinic (3-5 spring clinical credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in the clinic will automatically enroll you in this course.
Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.
By Permission: No.
Add/Drop Deadline: December 8, 2023.
LLM Students: LLM students may apply to the clinic through the LLM General Clinic Application.
The Family Justice Clinical Seminar provides students who are concurrently enrolled in the Legal Services Center Family Justice Clinic, with the practical skills and substantive knowledge necessary to effectively advocate for their clients in and out of the courtroom and administrative hearings. Objectives of the course include: developing practical lawyering skills to be applied in the clinical component and beyond; understanding the statutory and case law applicable in family law litigation; understanding the regulatory and administrative agency policies; enhancing student understanding of the professional roles, values, and ethics involved in the practice of law; gaining insight into unique challenges of low-income clients, racial disparity in state intervention and surveillance of families, and survivors of intimate partner violence; as well as analyzing and proposing legal advocacy approaches to contemporary legal issue in these fields.
This course is hands-on and group-oriented. Most classes involve both small and large-group exercises and discussions. Throughout the course, students work on a hypothetical case from the initial client interview through the final disposition of the case. In a series of simulated group exercises, students conduct in-depth interviews with the client, write memoranda, prepare case and client theories, argue for and defend against Motions, manage discovery, counsel the client as the facts of the case evolve, engage in settlement negotiations on the client’s behalf, and reflect on ethical issues encountered during the course of representation. In addition, students will prepare a memorandum and conduct a substantive presentation on one of their active real life cases at the Legal Services Center, and will lead class discussion on the case and on the larger ethical and legal questions it presents. There is no final examination or final paper for this course. Students will be evaluated based on their preparation for, and participation in, class exercises and discussions.