Adolescent Representation Clinic
- Course Number
- Curriculum Level
- Areas of Study
- Racial, Economic, and Social Justice, Administrative Law and Public Policy, Family Law, Human Rights, Clinics, Externships, and Experiential Learning
- Additional Attributes
- Experiential Credit
Section 001 Information
This is a yearlong clinic and students will be registered in both the Fall and Spring terms. The Adolescent Representation Clinic represents youth and young adults on collateral issues relating to their aging out of foster care or other institutional settings. Most of these clients range in age from 16 to 23. The issues involved extend across a broad spectrum of need and may include housing and homelessness prevention; teen pregnancy and parenting; health and health benefits; income and support benefits; education, tuition and financial aid benefits; financial planning; civil rights including LGBTQ issues; job training and career planning; identify theft and credit; and inheritance. Students paired in teams will represent clients referred from the Juvenile Rights Practice of the Legal Aid Society, Lawyers for Children, foster care agencies and community-based organizations. The project has four components: Seminar in Representing Adolescents: a weekly seminar will focus on the unique attributes of adolescents and young adults as viewed from multiple disciplines including medicine, law, sociology, and psychology. In addition to law students enrolled in the clinic, graduate students from other disciplines may enroll in the seminar portion of the clinic in order to explore adolescence from multiple perspectives. Guest lecturers include advocates, family court judges, youth in foster care, and mental health professionals. Class and Simulation Exercises to prepare for casework: students will participate in intensive simulation practice, being introduced to basic lawyering skills including interviewing and counseling, case development and strategy, complex problem solving, and preparation for negotiation or litigation. During September, there will be two additional ?boot camp? classes on Fridays to jump start students? abilities to begin representing clients. Client Representation: students will begin to represent clients in mid-October following the intensive introduction to representation. Students will be teamed in pairs for casework. Each team will meet weekly with Professor Spinak for case supervision. Once case representation begins, some portion of the classes devoted to case preparation will be structured for case rounds so that students will be aware of and learn from their colleagues? cases. Once casework has begun, students should expect to devote at least 20 hours per week to clinic-related activities. Law Reform, Education and Policy Work: During the 2018-2019 ARC, students will continue to work on our housing instability project, including legislative and policy advocacy to improve the housing prospects for aging out youth and to prevent homelessness. Students with a wide range of backgrounds and/or ultimate career interests are encouraged to apply. Graduates of the clinic enter public service and private practice careers, frequently using their clinic experience to develop pro bono opportunities in the private sector. Students will focus on their own professional goals for the year, identifying specific skills or professional attributes they would like to develop or enhance in preparation for making the transition into the legal profession. The clinic will encompass professional responsibility and ethical practice issues as well as explorations into the role of law and legal practice in a just society.
- School Year & Semester
- Fall 2019
- JGH 546
Class meets on
- Method of Evaluation
- J.D Writing Credit?
- Minor (automatic)
- Major (only upon consultation)
- Develop an understanding of what it means to be a lawyer for clients and a professional with ethical obligations.
- Enhance effective oral and written communication skills.
- Develop an ability to engage with unfamiliar substantive areas of the law.
- Develop and improve interviewing and counseling skills.
- Develop core litigation skills including problem solving and developing case theory.
- Develop an understanding of adolescence across multiple areas of practice.
- Enhance an appreciation of the complexity of clients living within governmental structures and policies.
- Enhance an understanding of the impact of racism, sexism and other forms of structural inequality on client lives.
- Learn to work collaboratively with all members of the office.
- Instructor Pre-requisites
- Instructor Co-Requisites
- Recommended Courses
- Other Limitations
- Admission is by instructor permission during the Clinic application period in the spring - see the Clinic page for more information.
Other Sections of Adolescent Representation Clinic
School Year & Semester
School Year & Semester