Miami Law Children and Youth Law Clinic

How We Teach

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The Clinic teaches law students the skills, craft and ethics of lawyering by assigning them real clients in real situations with real problems. We teach students that good lawyers are problem-solvers who help others achieve their goals, often under conditions of uncertainty. Excellence in lawyering requires the application of legal knowledge, development of strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to grasp the multi-dimensional aspects and contextual nature of a problem. It entails appreciating that clients are people, not cases, who need empathetic counselors as well as zealous advocates. This prepares students for the real world, where problems often are neither immediately obvious nor easily defined.

The Clinic has an intensive curricular component that covers three areas:

  • Substantive law such as federal and state child welfare, independent living, administrative law, special education, immigration, disabilities and public benefits
  • Lawyering skills, such as interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, theory development, oral advocacy and trial practice
  • Professional ethics in context, applying the Florida Rules of Ethics and American Bar Association Standards of Practice for Lawyers who Represent Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases

In weekly individual supervision meetings, we encourage students to take ownership of their cases, plan carefully and reflect on their experiences.


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.