Children's Rights Clinic
The Children's Rights Clinic furthers the training and public service goals of the Middleton Center. Through the clinic, second and third year Drake law students practice for a year in juvenile court under the supervision of an experienced clinical professor. In addition, law students team with graduate students in education and a licensed master social worker who provide client services. In joint classes, law students learn about child development, interviewing, and other skills not ordinarily taught in law schools, while the other students learn how the legal system works. This multidisciplinary approach results not only in better served current clients, but, hopefully, also an improved system through better trained child welfare professionals.
Law students can experience the juvenile law system from different perspectives through Juvenile Law or Center internships. The Juvenile Law interns can be placed in a variety of legal settings including the Attorney General's office, Public Defender's office, County Attorney's office, the Department of Human Services, the Youth Law Center, clerk to a juvenile court judge, or with other agencies involved in juvenile justice. Center interns work on center projects geared towards community needs.
Comprised of prominent members of the child welfare community, meets with law students to discuss the most pressing legislative concerns of the juvenile law community. Members' suggestions for legislation are submitted to students in a juvenile legislation class. The students research the issues, draft legislation and accompanying documents, and submit the proposed legislation to the board for comment and approval. The Drake Center for Legislative Practice submits the legislation to one of its board members, who is a licensed lobbyist, to try to get it passed. Students can sign up for extra credit to work with the lobbyist.
The Center aids the courts by sponsoring training and Continuing Legal Education Programs. Programs include legal and judicial practice, the latest scientific research in the field of juvenile law, and legal aspects of abuse and neglect cases for other service providers.