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Fall 2021 Clinic

Child Advocacy Clinic: System-Involved Youth

Enrollment in this clinic will fulfill the HLS JD pro bono requirement.

Required Class Component: Child Advocacy: System-Involved Youth Clinical Seminar (2 fall classroom credits). This clinic and course are bundled; your enrollment in this clinic will automatically enroll you in the required course.

Additional Co-/Pre-Requisites: None.

By Permission: No.

Add/Drop Deadline: Early drop deadline of August 1, 2021.

LLM Students: International students on F-1 student visas are required to have Curricular Practical Training (CPT) authorization; LL.M. students are not eligible for CPT.

Placement Site: Various externship placements. Visit the CAP website to see a list of recent placement sites.

Child Advocacy Clinic: System-Involved Youth is designed to educate students about a range of issues faced by children and youth involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. With a specific focus on adolescents and young adults, this course will address issues such as transitioning out of the foster care system, sexual exploitation, LGBTQ youth, and the rights of youth in the juvenile justice system.

This course is open only to students who have not taken Child Advocacy Clinic: Child Welfare, Education & Juvenile Justice (held in the winter-spring or spring-only semesters).

Enrollment Options: Child Advocacy Clinic: System-Involved Youth is a fall course. Clinical students work part-time (16-20 hours/week for 4-5 clinical credits) at local organizations in the Greater Boston area.  Enrollment in this course is capped at 12 students.

Fieldwork Component: Students are 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 government agencies.

Based on their particular placements, students may: engage in courtroom advocacy; participate in school and home visits; assist with interviews of child victims; analyze social science and psychological research; leverage the media and write op-ed articles; prepare for city council or legislative hearings; provide trainings to youth, parents, teachers, attorneys, and police officers; develop legislative reform proposals; and participate in mediations. For instance:

• Within the child welfare system, students may represent individual children who are abused and neglected; participate in efforts by the Department of Children and Families to address the needs of transition-aged youth; or work with juvenile court judges adjudicating care and protection and other child welfare cases.

• Within the juvenile justice system, students may work to end the school-to-prison pipeline; promote policies to reform the justice system for youth of color; help youth being sexually trafficked; or work alongside juvenile defenders in delinquency and youthful offender cases.

Note that many placements cut across substantive areas and engage students in a host of advocacy strategies and skills.

Matching Process: Once enrolled in the Clinic, the Child Advocacy Program (CAP) will provide students with a list of fieldwork placement organizations and their potential projects. Students will give CAP information about their background and interests and rank their placement preferences. CAP will then match students with a placement based on their preferences, the organizations’ needs, and CAP’s mission to provide students with a broad spectrum of experiences. Visit the CAP Clinic webpage for more information about the Clinic, including answers to frequently asked questions and a list of recent placement sites.  Please note that the matching process takes place during the summer, so enrolled students will need to be available to correspond with CAP and their host organization about various details.  

This course is part of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP). Please see the CAP website for information about other related courses.