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Children and Families Law Clinic

The Children and Families Clinic will introduce students to independent case management skills with a focus on client interviewing, legal analysis, drafting legal documents, motion practice, courtroom presentation, and professionalism. The Children and Families Law Clinic focuses on the legal needs of economically disadvantaged individuals. Family law constitutes one of the primary components of civil practice, particularly for practitioners in small firms. Key areas include custody and divorce, paternity, dependency, representation of teenagers, and economic issues. The Clinic formats are at the in-house clinic, or at a legal aid or governmental agency that provides legal assistance to children and families, or as externs at private law firms. The Clinic simultaneously educates students on -the procedural, practical and ethical elements that arise as a result of these legal issues in live client matters.

Clinic Prerequisites

  • All required first-year classes, Professional Responsibility and Family Law


Children and Families Clinic Success

The success of the NSU Children and Families Clinic is a collaborative effort resulting in a truly meaningful reunification of parent and child in an international abduction case.

Six 2018 3L students—Manuel Arrieta (certified legal intern), Mariam Butt, Harshdeep Sandhu, Vivian Arenas, Golbarg Gina Riahi, and Nicholas Ashby — under the direction of Professor Brion Blackwelder and Professor Timothy Arcaro, successfully represented a father seeking the return of his ten-year-old daughter in an international child abduction case in Broward County, Florida. The Clinic accepted this case as a pro bono referral from the U.S. State Department Office of Children’s Legal Issues, which is the designated central authority for purposes of The Hague Convention on Civil family-web.jpgAspects of International Child Abduction.

The client, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, sent his child to the United States during the
summer of 2017 for a three-month visit, but the child was never returned to him, in violation of a Dominican court order and international law. The client subsequently moved to Spain. The team was able to obtain an order granting a return petition, which reunified the minor child with her father. See photo insert.

Circuit Court Judge John Patrick Contini, assigned to the case, was impressed by the level of sophistication NSU Law students demonstrated with this complex matter and the professionalism Manuel demonstrated in the courtroom.
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