Practicum at Legal Services for Children

The Practicum provides students with lawyering skills, substantive legal knowledge and training in non-legal areas such as child development and trauma to prepare them to be excellent attorneys for children and other vulnerable populations. Students work at Legal Services for Children (LSC) under the supervision of its staff attorneys and take a weekly seminar taught by LSC’s executive director.

Classroom Component: There is a weekly seminar held at LSC’s nearby office. It includes rounds discussion of specific cases students are working on, practical training on specific types of youth law cases, substantive legal training in Education, Foster Care, Guardianship and Immigration, and additional training in non-legal topics relevant to attorneys working with children and other vulnerable populations who have been impacted by trauma.

Fieldwork Component: The practicum’s fieldwork component includes participation in LSC’s warmline (a free and confidential help line) and students represent youth in some of the following settings: school expulsion hearings, guardianship proceedings, and immigration matters. Students may also help on LSC policy/advocacy projects. Students will improve their skills in interviewing, issue spotting, case presentation and trial techniques, as well as gain familiarity with administrative hearings, state court hearings, federal immigration proceedings and policy work.

Clinical Instructor: The course is taught by Adjunct Professor Abigail Trillin, the Executive Director of Legal Services for Children.

Open to: All upper division students, with enrollment preference given to third years and to Spanish-speaking students able to converse with clients without an interpreter. It is not possible to concurrently enroll in the same semester in both this course and another live-client clinic, legal or judicial externship, or the Startup Legal Garage.

6 units: 2 class units and 4 fieldwork units graded pass-fail. Fieldwork units count against the 20-unit limit for non-classroom work. All units count as Experiential.

Prerequisites: Recommended, but not required, for prior or concurrent enrollment: Family Law, Education Law, Public Schools and the Constitution, Immigration Law.