Miami Law Children and Youth Law Clinic

What We Do

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Our clients are primarily current and former foster youth. Nationwide studies have shown that a disproportionate number of foster youth end up homeless, on welfare, institutionalized in state mental hospitals or in prison after they leave foster care. The Children & Youth Law Clinic helps Florida's foster youths avoid those dire outcomes by helping them get the support they need from state government to make the difficult transition to self-sufficient adulthood.

The Clinic's goals are to:

  • Train students in fundamental lawyering skills, with an emphasis on learning from experience.
  • Instill in students high standards of ethics and professional responsibility.
  • Provide high quality, professional and zealous representation to our clients.
  • Foster students' ability to engage in self-reflection and introspective professional development.
  • Enhance students' understanding of how legal doctrine and institutions operate in individual cases.
  • Encourage students to consider public interest careers, and generally emphasize the value of public service.

We primarily represent children and young adults in the following matters:

  • Dependency
  • Road to Independence (RTI) and other independent living advocacy and administrative hearings
  • Special Education
  • Medicaid and Medicaid Waiver administrative hearings
  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Public Benefits
  • Emancipation
  • Temporary Custody by Relative Caregivers
  • Guardianship
  • Immigration

Clinic Director Bernie Perlmutter gives an overview.

Hear the student perspective on why this clinic is an amazing experience.


Recent Miami Law Graduates and Former Children & Youth Law Clinic Interns Become Child Advocates

Florida Bar Foundation Awards Grant to Children & Youth Law Clinic

Championing Children: How Involved Should They Be in Their Own Hearings?

Former Student Seida Wood, JD '11, Makes Forceful Argument Before 1st District Court of Appeal

Clinic Helps Foster Child Receive Medicaid Benefits

Clinic Helps Former Foster Youths Receive Favorable Decision from the Social Security Administration

Clinic Students Fight for Children to be Present for Their Day in Court

Children & Youth Law Clinic Sways Florida Supreme Court to Abolish Shackling of Juveniles.

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.