Students participating in the CAC represent individual children and/or caregivers in cases concerning child abuse and neglect, SSI for children, public benefits, and family law. They also engage in the ongoing community education and policy reform efforts of the CAC. All of this is referred to as fieldwork. Students work in teams, usually pairs, and are actively supervised by Professor Randi Mandelbaum, Director of the CAC. (Click here for a PDF of her résumé.) Professor Mandelbaum meets with all students on at least a weekly basis for approximately one hour. Each pair is responsible for representing clients and participating in community education and policy reform projects. Students are expected to work on field and course work for approximately 18 hours per week on average. Despite these guidelines, standards of professional responsibility require that commitments to clients and obligations to fieldwork be met. In sum, the nature of clinic work requires that the students be prepared to do whatever it takes to complete their work and responsibilities. This may include doing some work on nights or weekends.
CAC students also are required to attend a seminar each week that focuses on the substantive topics of child welfare, SSI, public benefits, kinship care, and special education. It also covers lawyering skills, professional responsibility, the various and diverse roles that lawyers must assume, how the roles might differ if one’s client is a child, and the benefits of and issues involved in an interdisciplinary, problem-solving approach to child and family advocacy.
Click here for the complete CAC course overview and Spring 2011 syllabus (PDF).