Students at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law will have the opportunity to work with Marion County’s Child Advocates starting this fall when the new Child Advocacy Law Clinic opens.
Second- and third-year students will be trained as court appointed special advocates and will learn how to best advocate for children in the child welfare system. The idea for the clinic came from Cindy Booth, executive director of Child Advocates, Carey Haley Wong, chief counsel at the organization, and Nicole Goodson with Disability Legal Services, who met with IU McKinney last year staff to discuss the possibility of a clinic.
Classroom sessions will focus heavily on legal issues faced by children in the child welfare system, including family law, immigration, juvenile delinquency, educational law, and other issues.
“Child Advocates and their Court Appointed Special Advocate training has long been a great (and heavily used) opportunity for students to work for pro bono, so when they approached us about creating a clinic based off of that model I was really excited to be able to work with them to create their vision,” professor Carrie Hagan said in a statement released by the law school. “I’m really excited about this additional clinic opportunity, I know that our students will have a great experience, and that the need for their services is there.”
Wong and Goodson will teach in the clinic as adjunct professors. The hope of those involved in the creation of the clinic is that the students who become involved with Child Advocates during school will continue their involvement after graduation.