The Children & Youth Law Clinic is an in-house, live-client clinic established in 1995 by the Law School. The Clinic represents children in foster care and former foster youth in dependency, health care, mental health, disability, independent living, education, immigration and other general civil legal matters, ensuring that they have a voice in court proceedings.
Under the supervision of three Florida-licensed attorneys, approximately 24 second and third year law students each year assume primary responsibility for all aspects of a client's case. Students learn fundamental lawyering skills, substantive law and professional ethics. The Clinic seeks to instill in students a sense of professionalism and encourages them to pursue public interest law careers or to devote substantial portions of their legal practices to providing pro bono legal assistance to the poor.
Many cases have impact beyond the individual clients served by the Clinic. We view our educational mission as one in which students do not just learn the law, they help make the law. The Clinic is an integral player in Florida's children's legal services community, engaging in statewide impact litigation, law reform advocacy and community lawyering.
Optimizing its position within the University for the benefit of the wider community, the Clinic participates in interdisciplinary research, provides training and technical assistance for lawyers, judges, and other professionals, and produces legal scholarship and practice materials on the legal needs of children, with an emphasis on older foster youth.
Professor Bernard Perlmutter
Professor Kele Stewart
Robert Latham, Esq.
An introduction to the Children and Youth Law clinic.
Why participate in this clinic: Graduate Evian White, J.D. '10 discusses how the clinic taught her to be a holistic lawyer and treat the child-client-issue as a whole. She also appreciates the essential tools she gained to become a better counselor, mediator, problem solver and listener, and how her experiences will impact her life and legal career.