I had an incredible experience in the Child Advocacy Clinic this semester. Before participating in the Clinic, I was contemplating going into Juvenile Dependency Law and after about the first week working in the Clinic with Professor Fitzsimmons, I knew this was the line of work I wanted to pursue. Not only does the Child Advocacy Clinic provide students with hands-on training through court appearances and by being able to directly interact with clients, but it also enables students to learn how to cope with an area of law that can be emotionally trying at times. Professor Fitzsimmons helps her students learn the importance of advocating for their clients through her own knowledge of the Dependency System and by inviting guest speakers to come into our classroom each week.
I feel so grateful to have learned so many practical tips from these lectures that I can now apply to my own practice in the future. I think every law student should be required to participate in at least one clinic during their legal education. Being in the Clinic gave me my first opportunity to apply what I had learned in the classroom to real world situations. The Child Advocacy Clinic also provided me with an opportunity to network. I never would have met so many people (from judges to social workers to other attorneys) associated with the Juvenile Dependency System had it not been for the Clinic. I truly think the Clinic is an invaluable opportunity for students and one that everyone should have a chance to participate in.