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Wayne State University Law School and Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit Partner to Offer New Child Advocacy Clinic, Beginning in Fall 2008

August 06, 2008

DETROIT (August 5, 2008) – Wayne State University Law School and the Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit are pleased to announce the creation of a new Child Advocacy Clinic that will help Detroit-area families, provide hands-on experience to law students, and reinforce Wayne State University’s greater urban mission in Southeastern Michigan.
The Clinic, offered for the first time during the Fall 2008 Term, will allow law student interns to represent children in abuse, neglect, foster care review, termination of parental rights, adoption and delinquency proceedings.

Specifically, students participating in the Clinic will conduct client interviews and home visits, prepare for hearings and trials, advocate for necessary services, perform research, draft motions, and attend juvenile court and foster care review board meetings. In the process, students will learn about the child protection, child welfare and juvenile systems, as well as the roles and responsibilities of lawyers and other actors in those systems.

“The Child Advocacy Clinic is truly a win-win initiative for our students and our community,” said Wayne Law Dean and Professor of Law Robert M. Ackerman. “Wayne Law is committed to assisting in the redevelopment and revitalization of this urban community. Collaborating with the Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit to assist families through difficult times is one way we can help.”

He added, “The practical experience and knowledge that our students will gain from this opportunity will be invaluable to them throughout their legal careers. We are extremely thankful of the kindness and generosity of the Legal Aid and Defender Association.”

The Child Advocacy Clinic will be supervised by William Ladd, Wayne Law adjunct professor and senior staff attorney with the Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit’s Juvenile Law Division, with Wayne Law Assistant Clinical Professor David Moss providing administrative oversight to the program. The Legal Aid and Defender Association of Detroit will provide the clients for the clinic, as well as office space.

"We are proud to collaborate with Wayne Law in providing much needed juvenile representation as well as ‘real life’ training for law students in this important and oft overlooked field of practice," said Ladd.

The Clinic will serve as a four-credit course for Wayne Law students. Enrollment is currently limited to eight students but may go up to 12 in subsequent years. Positions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis and much of the work will take place at the Wayne County Juvenile Court.

Individuals or organizations interested in learning more about the Child Advocacy Clinic can contact Professor Moss by phone at (313) 577-3970 or by email at david.moss@wayne.edu.

The Child Advocacy Clinic is the Law School’s fifth live-client clinic. Other Law School clinics include Criminal Appellate Practice, the Disability Law Clinic, the Free Legal Aid Clinic (FLAC), and the Small Business Enterprises and Nonprofit Corporations Clinic.  

Wayne State University Law School has educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 W. Palmer St. in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media and distance learning classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne State Law School students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, five live-client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit www.law.wayne.edu.

Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan