Legal Externship Program: Child Advocacy Practicum | L4807

The Child Advocacy Practicum is a year-long classroom course and corresponding externship. The goal of the Child Advocacy Practicum is to train law students to advocate on behalf of children in Colorado’s courts.

The course, which is taught by lawyers at the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, examines the laws surrounding the protection of children. It combines a study of the legal foundations of child advocacy with exposure to practice in the child welfare field. Class lectures will include the dependency and neglect process, the overlap of child welfare and family law, appellate advocacy for children, education law, trial practice in the child welfare context, ethical issues in the representation of children, and a variety of other child advocacy topics. There will be a final paper in the fall semester. In the spring semester, the course includes a mock advocacy experience, providing the opportunity to litigate a “hot topic” child welfare issue before local judges on the trial and appellate levels.

Interested students will also apply via the Legal Externship Program’s website to be a year-long extern at an organization that engages in either guardian ad litem work directly or indirectly. Organizations include*: Brandes and Associates, Colorado Office of the Child’s Representative, National Association of Counsel for Children, Radley & Southerland LLC, and Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center. Only students who have completed 60 credits can apply to extern at the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center. Students with fewer credits are eligible to apply to each of the other placements.

To apply for the externship component and corresponding seminar, please place yourself on the wait list for the seminar once registration begins. Then, visit the Legal Externship Program website and apply to each individual placement that is of interest to you. You must abide by all deadlines indicated by the Legal Externship Program in order to have your externship be eligible for academic credit. Supervising attorney acceptance forms are due by July 15 for externships beginning in the fall. Once the Legal Externship Program has received your required paperwork, you will be enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork.

Please note: Because of the nature of this type of work, participation in the fall and spring semesters is required for both the in-class course and the externship component described below.

Prerequisites: None
Credit Hours: 8 (4 credits each semester (2 in class and 2 externship); Participation in Fall and Spring semesters is required, for a total of 8 credits.
ULW: This course does not meet the Upper Level Writing requirement (ULW).


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