Kids Counsel text in blue and white logo with precocious child thumbnail.
Center for Children's Advocacy

The Center for Children's Advocacy (CCA) offers law students a one-year course with both formal instruction and on-the-job training on legal advocacy for low income children and adolescents.

CCA Field Experience

Through the field experience, student interns will be exposed to, and in some cases participate in:

  • Abuse/Neglect Hearings and Trials at the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters
  • Brief writing for CT Appellate or Supreme Court Hearings
  • Planning and Placement Team Meetings at Schools
  • Systemic Advocacy Coalition Meetings
  • Youth and Professional Legal Trainings
  • Client Meetings (often in clients’ homes, foster homes, group homes, residential facilities, or detention centers)
  • Administrative Case Review Meetings at the Department of Children and Families
  • Legislative Hearings in the CT General Assembly

Students will assist the legal staff at the Center for Children's Advocacy in representing individual children in cases involving abuse/neglect, families with service needs, special education, juvenile justice, and access to medical/mental health care. In addition, students will represent adolescents at Hartford high schools where the Center operates a Teen Legal Advocacy Clinic. In many of the cases, students will participate in an innovative interdisciplinary project, consulting with law, medical and social work students and faculty. Legal research and writing will be assigned as needed for the cases and projects the Center is working on.

Students will also assist on the Center's ongoing impact litigation, Kidscounsel training program for lawyers and engage in state-level legislative and administrative advocacy.

CCA Class

For the first semester, the class will meet once a week for two hours. Readings and class discussion will cover substantive law issues, as well as the trial skills necessary to advocate effectively for young people.

During the second semester, the class will meet every other week for two hours. Part of the work during second semester will focus on legislative advocacy affecting poor children and youth in CT. The course is year-long with four credits offered each semester. Students are expected to put in 3-4 hours for each credit per week.

Application Process

Please submit a resume and cover letter to Martha Stone as soon as possible. Selected applicants will be chosen for interviews thereafter. Every effort will be made to choose students prior to the end of the registration period. Students should select courses without counting enrollment in this course. If selected, extra courses can then be dropped.