This skills-based seminar
examines the laws of child protection with a focus on the lawyer’s role in
abuse, neglect, dependency and termination of parental rights proceedings. After a critical review of the legal basis
for state intervention in parental rights, this course will turn to an
examination of the roles of other professionals in the child protection system,
particularly social workers, medical professionals, Guardians ad Litem, and
judges. In this context, we will commence
our examination of the role of attorneys who advocate for parents, children,
and the state, first focusing on their professional obligations in relation to
their clients and these other professionals and then moving on to the practical
skills necessary for effective advocacy.
Students will be
given case scenarios in which they will, at different points in the semester,
act as lawyer for the parent, lawyer for the state, and lawyer for the
child. Drafting and simulation exercises
will focus on interview planning and litigation skills, including litigation
plans, pleadings, evidence collection, direct
and cross examinations, and oral arguments.
course will complement clinic offerings, particularly in juvenile justice and
domestic violence, as well as courses in family law; professional
responsibility; evidence; and trial advocacy.