Youth Advocacy Clinic students learn the facets of client advocacy through the challenging experience of representing youth in special immigrant juvenile matters and child maltreatment cases.
Students advocate in the Queens, Nassau and Suffolk family courts, as well as before immigration court judges and hearing officers in Manhattan, on behalf of youth in cases where the allegations range from physical and sexual abuse to educational neglect, abandonment and inadequate supervision.
In addition, students often represent their clients on related issues, such as delinquency, custody and school suspension matters.
In court, clinic students are expected to advocate vigorously for their clients in all aspects of the practice, including
picking up cases at arraignment,
engaging in dynamic motion practice,
conducting full trials and hearings, and
formulating dispositional plans.
Outside court, students must
maintain regular contact with their clients,
investigate the factual allegations of neglect or abuse involved in their court cases,
formulate realistic and compassionate plans for clients and their families, and
work closely with mental health professionals, caseworkers, teachers and foster parents to ensure that their clients’ needs are being met.