Child Welfare Practicum

About the Practicum:  The Practicum consists of a fieldwork placement representing children or parents in child welfare cases,  with a companion seminar. The Child Welfare Practicum seeks to provide Hastings students with training and experience that will enable them to go into child welfare law directly after graduation. Students who participate in the Practicum will have already completed some of the requirements for joining the San Francisco Dependency panel.

Classroom Component: The externship will be accompanied by a seminar taught by Hastings Adjunct Professor, Abigail Trillin, who is the Director of Legal Services for Children. The seminar will be a two-credit seminar that will serve as both an opportunity to reflect on and learn from the students’ externship experiences and an overview of child welfare law and other related topics. Topics will include an overview of child welfare law and process,  institutional racism in child welfare and trauma-informed lawyering. Trial skills topics will also be included.

Fieldwork Component: The practicum’s fieldwork component will take place at Legal Services for Children, East Bay Children’s Law Office, Family Defenders of the East Bay or the San Francisco Dependency Panel(part of the SF Bar Association.) Students will be representing parents or children in child welfare proceedings.  All externships will be at least 16 hours/week. Extern supervisors will involve externs in cases where the extern can take the lead and where there may be an opportunity for trial experience.

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

Open to: All upper division JD students, with enrollment preference given to third years and to Spanish-speaking students able to converse with clients without an interpreter. LLM and MSL students are also welcome to apply. 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: Children and the Law. Recommended but not required for prior enrollment: Lawyering for Children Clinic.

Next OfferingThe Clinic will be offered in Spring 2021.

To enroll: Apply using the Common Clinic Application.