Join us for courses on children and the law in Spring 2024!
ART OF SOCIAL CHANGE: CHILD WELFARE, EDUCATION, AND JUVENILE JUSTICE
Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education, and Juvenile Justice explores various strategies for systemic law and policy reform, focusing on legal systems that impact children, including the education, juvenile legal, and child welfare systems, among others. We examine significant reform initiatives and consider how best to advance the interests of young people. The emphasis is on analyzing different approaches to system change, inside and outside of the courtroom, with the goal of informing students’ future advocacy efforts. During approximately half of the class sessions, we bring into the classroom as visiting lecturers leaders and changemakers from the worlds of policy and practice who represent different disciplines, career paths, and approaches to system change. During the other weeks of the course, we convene in smaller learning communities, deepening our understanding of the work shared by guest speakers by using a conceptual model as a tool. Through readings, speakers, and in other ways, we will endeavor as much as possible to bring the voices of young people themselves into our conversations. Class meets Mondays from 1:30-3:30. Click here for the full Art of Social Change Course Catalog listing. *1L’s are encouraged to enroll to satisfy their spring elective.
CHILD ADVOCACY CLINIC
Are you a second- or third-year student who wants to get academic credit for interning at an agency focused on advancing the rights of children & youth? The Child Advocacy Clinic has seats available for the spring clinic! The Child Advocacy Clinic is an externship clinic where students are placed in an external legal setting that is focused on one or more aspects of child advocacy to conduct fieldwork under the supervision of a practicing attorney. Students take a companion seminar and bring into the classroom their experiences and learning from the field. The course is designed to educate students about a variety of substantive areas impacting the lives of children-such as child welfare, education, and juvenile justice-and the different systems that are meant to serve them. In addition, the course exposes students to a range of system change strategies to encourage critical thinking about the pros and cons of different approaches. The Clinic is relevant not only for students with a particular interest in children’s issues, but also for those more generally interested in system change. Students will be matched with an agency, juvenile court, or non-profit organization as a legal intern, and commit to working 16- or 20-hours per week with the host placement during the spring semester. In addition, there is a required classroom component–Lawyering for Children & Youth Clinical Seminar—which meets Tuesdays from 3:45-5:45. Click here for the full spring 2024 Child Advocacy Clinic Course Catalog listing.
Potential externship placements available in spring 2024 include:
Attorney General’s Office, Children’s Justice Unit
Children & Family Law Division of CPCS- Boston Trial Office
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office –Human Trafficking & Exploitation Unit
Health Law Advocates/Mental Health Advocacy Project for Kids
Juvenile Court – Suffolk County
Juvenile Court- Middlesex County
Mass Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Mass Advocates for Children
Mass Law Reform Institute
Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee
Our Children’s Trust
Pine Tree Legal Services (Maine)
EDUCATION LAW CLINIC: IMPACT LITIGATION
Y-Lab will be offering the strategic litigation in education clinic, Education Law Clinic: Impact Litigation, again during the spring semester. Interested students should contact Professor Mike Gregory ([email protected]) directly.
LEGISLATIVE LAWYERING IN EDUCATION
In Legislative Lawyering in Education law students advocate to empower youth voice in educational policymaking by working directly with Massachusetts secondary students as part of the clinic’s Students Speak initiative. Through weekly one-on-one mentoring, clinic students support young people to develop testimony for the Massachusetts legislature about their school experiences. Clinic students will organize and host a legislative briefing in which their mentees present their testimony. Clinic students will also learn about the legislative and budget process in Massachusetts and engage directly in legislative advocacy by meeting with legislators and their staff as part of the clinic’s ongoing education reform campaign. The semester will culminate with the clinic organizing and hosting a statewide Students Speak Youth Summit, in which young people across the Commonwealth will spend a day at HLS presenting and attending workshops they have created for each other on various aspects of youth activism and advocacy. The associated clinical seminar is Systemic Advocacy for Safe and Supportive Schools and it meets on Thursday afternoons from 1:30-3:30.