Child Protection Litigation

Law 498



Writing Experience (WE)



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.

Throughout the semester, professionals in the child protection arena will share their perspectives and expertise with the class.

The 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.


UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.