416.02 Children's Law Clinic

Students in this course participate in a legal clinic focused on the representation of low income children and their parents. While the majority of cases will focus on school-related matters, students may also participate in cases involving other issues relating to the health and well-being of children, such as government benefits and limited family law. Students will have an individual case load and will be closely supervised by clinic faculty. Various case assignments can involve client interviewing and counseling, negotiation, informal advocacy, and litigation in administrative hearings or court. Students must attend a two-hour seminar once per week, with associated preparation. Students work on clinic cases approximately 10-12 hours a week, for a minimum of 125 hours of legal work during the semester for 5 credits and 100 hours for 4 credits. There is no paper and no exam. Students must be in at least their fourth semester of law school to enroll in the clinic due to state student practice rules. Education Law is recommended, but not required. Students must meet the legal ethics graduation requirement either before or during enrollment in the Children's Law Clinic. (see Clinics Enrollment Policy).


  • This course may not be dropped after the first class meeting.
  • *Variable Credit: 4-5 credits upon student selection*
  • Students MUST be able to attend the day-long clinic intensive training session to enroll in this course.
  • International LLM students who wish to enroll in a clinic must seek the permission of the clinic's faculty director prior to the enrollment period. Permission is required to enroll but permission does not constitute entry into the clinic.

Ethics Requirement

  • Students are required to have instruction in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prior to, or during, enrollment in the Children's Law Clinic. The following ethics classes meet the requirement: Ethics of Social Justice Lawyering (LAW 237), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering (LAW 238), Ethics and the Law of Lawyering in Civil Litigation (LAW 239), Criminal Justice Ethics (LAW 317) and Ethics in Action (LAW 539).

Special Notes:

**Note: This course is variable credit and can be taken for 4 or 5 credits

Enrollment Pre-/Co- Requisite Information

Any ethics course (Law 237, Law 238, Law 239, Law 317, or Law 539)

Spring 2017

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Practical exercises
In-class exercise
Live-client representation and case management
Class participation
Jane R. Wettach, Brenda Berlin
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.416.02.Sp17
Email list: LAW.416.02.Sp17@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Areas of Practice