Law Guardian Externship
Students interested in children’s rights have found the Law Guardian Externship to offer important insights into the representation of children in Family Court. In this externship, students work in the Law Guardian Office, which provides representation to children in abuse and neglect, custody, juvenile delinquency and Persons In Need of Supervision (PINS) cases.
“Not only did I learn firsthand what it is like to work as a law guardian, but I learned a lot about the foster care system, the interaction of the different agencies, counselors and others who work with these children, and personally about what it is like to interact with children as clients.” Anonymous student’s course evaluation comment
While at the placement, students will be able to observe and actively be involved with a number of activities. This includes the following activities:
- Representing children in court
- Interacting with clients, their parents, social service providers, foster parents, and other individuals who are involved in the children’s lives
- Observing social service team meetings for Family Treatment Court
- Observing Family Court proceedings
- Visiting facilities that provide social and mental health services to children, and facilities to which children are sent, when they have been adjudicated as juvenile delinquents
- Performing legal and factual research
- Drafting motions, affidavits, answers, discovery devices, and legal memoranda
- Exploring with the staff attorneys the many and varied issues facing lawyers who represent children
Students work at the Law Guardian Office approximately 12 hours weekly. In addition, they submit journals to the faculty instructor, and meet with the instructor on a bi-weekly basis. Each meeting focuses on a different issue of importance to children and parents. Readings for the meetings include statutes, cases, articles and portions of books.
If you are interested in children’s rights, the Law Guardian Externship will give you an in-depth understanding and exposure to the experiences of children in the juvenile and family legal system.