Children's Law Center Clinic
What is the Children's Law Center Clinic?
The NKU Chase Children's Law Center Clinic is a close collaboration between NKU Chase College of Law and the Children's Law Center ("CLC"), a non-profit legal organization that has been effectively serving children and youth for more than two decades. The clinic is located in a newly-created 3,000-square-foot law office on the third floor of the CLC's Covington, Kentucky office.
Each semester, clinic students spend over 1,200 hours providing direct service to children and teens. The legal issues in cases often involve one or more of the following: high-conflict custody, education, status offenses, civil rights, and delinquency. Each eligible student observes court, interviews clients, visits clients at home or in facilities, and appears on the record in court.
How do NKU Chase Students Participate in the Children's Law Center Clinic?
At the outset, students receive intensive training on substantive child and family law topics and court processes. Once oriented, students are assigned to actual cases. The clinical professor and the law students share joint responsibility for cases. With assistance and supervision, students participate in all aspects of cases and serve as lead counsel in court. Students begin with a 3-day boot camp covering substantive law and tours of the family court and the regional detention center. A weekly classroom component focuses on child and adolescent development, interviewing and counseling, case theory, negotiation, ethical issues related to representing child clients, and trial skills development. Students and the clinical professor also participate in case conferencing sessions with the CLC staff attorneys, taking advantage of their specialized knowledge and skill. In addition to their litigation responsibilities, students participate in research projects, policy pieces and community education.
Benefits to Student Practitioners
By participating in the clinic, students develop skills and abilities necessary to the successful practice of law, including legal research and analysis skills, oral and written communication abilities, creative problem-solving skills, interviewing skills, counseling skills, negotiation skills, investigation skills, litigation strategy, and trial advocacy skills. In class and court, students are exposed to multiple perspectives on justice, fairness and morality and they reflect on attorneys' roles and ethical responsibilities.
Credit Hours and Time Requirements
The clinic is a four-credit-hour course. Students are expected to complete 50 hours of clinic work per credit hour. Clinic students must be available for a 3-day boot camp the week after the semester begins, clinic class and some Wednesday mornings for court appearances. Additional clinic hours will be arranged based on student schedules.
Prerequisites and Student Participation
Students must have completed or be enrolled in Professional Responsibility in order to participate in the clinic. Per ABA rules, students must have completed 60 credit hours to be eligible for a limited license to appear in court. First preference will be given to senior law students who have taken trial advocacy and either juvenile law or family law.
Amy E. Halbrook is the director of the NKU Chase Children's Law Center Clinic, a partnership between the college of law and the Children's Law Center in Covington, Kentucky. Professor Halbrook has represented clients in a range of court proceedings, including child welfare, high-conflict custody, juvenile delinquency, school discipline and special education matters. Before joining the Chase faculty, Professor Halbrook completed clinical teaching fellowships in the Northwestern University School of Law's Children and Family Justice Center and the Loyola University Chicago Civitas ChildLaw Clinic. She has also taught child law trial practice in New York, Ohio and Illinois. Before law school, Professor Halbrook was the Director of Youth Services for the Donald P. McCullum Youth Court in Oakland, California. Stemming from that work, some of her interests include positive youth development, balanced and restorative justice, and community-based alternatives to incarceration.
How to Apply
Prof. Amy Halbrook
NKU Chase College of Law
Nunn Hall 562
Highland Heights, KY 41099
More Information About the Clinic
Direct questions about the clinic to Amy Halbrook, director of the Children's Law Center Clinic, at 859-431-3313.
The clinic is located on third floor of the Children's Law Center, 1002 Russell Street, Covington, Kentucky. Students are expected to do the majority of their work at this location.
More Information About the Children's Law Center
The Children's Law Center exists to protect and enhance the legal rights of children through quality legal representation, research and policy development, and training and education of attorneys and others regarding children's rights issues. The center currently provides direct services in Ohio and Kentucky, but collaborates with other organizations within the region and nationally on a variety of topics. For more information, go to the Children's Law Center.