Co-requisite Class: Child Advocacy Clinical Seminar (2 Spring credits). Students must first enroll in the clinic before attempting to enroll in the class. The class will be available to add or drop once Phase 1 registration results are posted, and will not be in Phase 2 registration.
Early Add/Drop Deadline: December 7, 2012.
LLM Students: This clinic is open to LLM students through an application process.
The Child Advocacy Clinic is designed to educate students about a range of social change strategies and encourages critical thinking about the pros and cons of different approaches. The clinic includes both a classroom and a fieldwork component. A variety of substantive areas impacting the lives of children will be addressed with a focus on child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care, and adoption), education, and juvenile justice. The clinic is relevant for students with a particular interest in children's issues but also for those more generally interested in social change.
Enrollment Options: The Child Advocacy Clinic offers two different clinic options, a Spring-only clinic and a Winter-Spring clinic. This offering is for the Spring Child Advocacy Clinic. Spring clinical students work part-time, mainly at local organizations in the Greater Boston area, for 15-20 hours/week (3-4 clinical credits). Enrollment in the Spring clinic is capped at 14 students.
Fieldwork Component: Students will be placed in a wide array of fieldwork settings, ranging from organizations providing individual advocacy, to those promoting systemic change through impact litigation and legislative reform, to grassroots organizing initiatives, to social enterprises. Some students will work for reform from within the system and others from outside. Students will work on different types of projects such as: developing legislative reform proposals, participating in mediations, doing in-court advocacy work, analyzing social science and psychological research, leveraging the media and writing op-ed articles, providing strategic advice to start-ups. For instance:
- In the child welfare area, CAP students may represent individual children who are abused and neglected, serve alongside District Attorneys prosecuting caretakers accused of child maltreatment, or work with a new social venture to engage the media to promote the interests of foster care youth.
- In the education area, CAP students may engage in efforts aimed at ensuring low-income students receive a high-quality education, advocate for children with special needs who are exposed to violence, work with a city councilor to improve Boston inner-city schools, or work with the state agency charged with overseeing schools on issues such as charter schools, assessment and accountability, student rights, and school discipline.
- In the juvenile justice area, CAP students may support legislative changes to improve conditions of confinement for juveniles, promote policies to reform the justice system for youth of color, or join efforts to combat life without parole sentences for juveniles.
- Many placements cut across substantive areas. Students may serve as law clerks in the juvenile court, alongside mediators to resolve disputes involving children, with a non-profit serving homeless children, or with a medical-legal collaborative aimed at improving child well-being.
Visit the CAP website for a list of organizations where clinic students have been placed in prior years.