Offering J.D. students a way to concentrate their studies on areas of law that benefit children and families, the Children’s Law Concentration program covers family law, juvenile justice, education law, and child protection and welfare.
Students who complete the curriculum will receive a certificate of concentration, recognizing their achievement. The concentration will also be noted on their law school transcript.
Students who participate in the Children’s Law Concentration:
- Choose from a variety of classes in the areas of child protection, education law, juvenile justice, and family law
- Receive informal advisement and mentoring from experienced law faculty
- Attend seminars and special events with experts in children’s legal issues
- Get career counseling and information about prospective employers throughout the United States
Opportunities for Students
USC offers four clinics in the arena of children’s law. All clinical work will be under the supervision of an experienced clinical faculty member and attorney.
Carolina Health Advocacy Medicolegal PartnerShips (CHAMPS) Clinic
The CHAMPS clinic will provide students with the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary learning and community engagement in the context of live-client legal cases. More specifically, students will take legal cases on behalf of low income families referred from Palmetto Health and Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group. These cases will address the social-determinants of clients’ health. The law students will work collaboratively on these legal cases with doctors, social workers and other health professionals.
Domestic Violence Clinic
This course will train students to assume the role of lawyer and introduce them to domestic violence law. Through classroom discussion, simulations, assigned readings, and fieldwork, the course will cover central concepts of laws governing emergency orders of protection and affirmative domestic violence-related immigration remedies, such as U Visas, VAWA Self-Petitions, and Battered Spouse Waivers, and give students an opportunity to apply their knowledge by representing clients seeking these forms of relief. Students will have an opportunity to develop legal skills, including: interviewing and counseling clients; fact investigation; legal research, writing and analysis; case strategy; negotiations; and courtroom advocacy, as well as professional and life skills related to legal practice. The course will also give students an opportunity to consider the broader context of their individual cases through class discussion and community-based projects, which may include know-your-rights presentations, limited advice and assistance clinics, and policy research.
Education Rights Clinic
The clinic helps special-needs children and their families get access to equal educational opportunity, handling legal issues ranging from disability eligibility and entitlement to services, to developing adequate Individualized Education Programs and discipline matters.
Immigration and Family Law Skills Workshop
Juvenile Justice Clinic
Students will help plan, prepare and present the legal defense of juveniles in cases involving allegations of delinquent (i.e. criminal) conduct, including pre-trial issues, guilt or innocence, and disposition (i.e. sentencing) advocacy.
Students enrolled in the Children’s Law Externship may work with various government agencies involving children's issues. Typically, students assist lawyers with research and drafting and they will have the opportunity to observe lawyering skills such as interviewing, counseling, and negotiation.
Previous Placements Include:
- SC Attorney General’s Office of Human Trafficking
- SC Legal Services
- Kershaw County Department of Social Services
- Kershaw County Guardian Ad Litem
- Lexington County Department of Juvenile Justice
- Lexington County Department of Social Services
- Lexington County Public Defender
- Richland County Public Defender
- Richland County Solicitor
- Richland County Department of Social Services
The Children’s Advocacy Law Society is a student organization created to promote awareness of and educate law students about the many aspects of law affecting children. The Society aims to increase student involvement with organizations that provide legal services for and advance the rights of children. It is the goal of the Children’s Advocacy Law Society to produce members well informed and well educated about the legal needs and rights of children, ready to enter the legal profession as able and active children’s advocates.
Our Affiliation with USC’s Children's Law Center
The Children’s Law Center was established in 1995 and provides over 300 training programs a year for attorneys, case workers, guardians ad litem, and law enforcement. The Children’s Law Center is right across the street from the new law school building and has close partnerships with the school, including placement opportunities and a fellowship for recent graduates.
For CLC requirements and forms, please visit the program details pages.