CHILDREN'S LAW CENTER

Law School Courses

There are currently a number of courses offered at the USC School of Law which pertain to Children's Law. Check back, as new courses may be added at any time!

Children and the Courts

  • Course Description:
    This course will cover issues which arise when children become involved in the courts. Particular attention will be given to children who are in criminal or family court as witnesses (including as victims of abuse and neglect) and to children who are in family court as delinquents. The course will focus on law and court procedures as they relate to children and will address specific issues related to children in court, including overview of legal systems, role of counsel in representing children, evidentiary rules, and systemic issues related to children in the courts.
  • Methodology:
    All students will be assigned readings. Classroom instruction will include lecture and discussion. Guest lecturers will provide instruction in specialized areas. 
  • Basis of Grade:
    Participation in class discussion and paper or examination. 
  • Form of Grade:
    Letter grade.

Children's Law Externship

  • Course Description:
    Students will work approximately 6 to 8 hours per week at law firms, government agencies, or non-profit organizations which handle matters involving children in the court system.   Typically, they will assist lawyers in research and drafting, and they will observe lawyering skills such as interviewing, counseling, and negotiation.  Students will consider issues of professional responsibility in the representation of parties in child welfare and juvenile matters before the Family Court.   In addition to their field work, students will be required to attend a class once a week with a faculty member.
  • Methodology:
    All students will be assigned readings. Classroom instruction will include lecture and discussion. Guest lecturers will provide instruction in specialized areas. 
  • Basis of Grade:
    Students must submit a contemporaneously maintained daily journal of their experience, along with either an example of a written product prepared during the externship or a short paper reflecting on a professional aspect of the experience.  The fieldwork supervisor will also complete an evaluation of the student’s performance.  The final grade will be determined by the professor, based upon evaluation submitted by the fieldwork supervisor and upon a determination by the faculty member that all other requirements of the externship have been satisfactorily completed.
  • Form of Grade:
    Pass/Fail
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