The Children & Youth Law Clinic (CYLC) is an in-house, live-client clinic that 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.
In Honor of CYLC's 20th Birthday:
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.
Many cases have impact beyond the individual clients served by the Clinic. The Clinic views its educational mission as one in which students do not just learn the law, they help make the law. The Clinic is also 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.