By Allison Green
The first few weeks of my internship at the Children's Law Center (CLC) in Washington, DC have just flown by. CLC is a non-profit organization that advocates for children and families. It's largest project is the GAL division, which provides attorneys who represent "the best interest of the child" in child abuse and neglect proceedings. The office also has a Family Permanency Project, which represents caregivers in custody and adoption cases, and a Health Access Project, which works in local medical clinics to address systemic issues that cause health complications for young people.
I've already had the chance to do some really fascinating work. I've observed a number of court hearings, agency reviews, treatment team meetings, and consultations with clients. I've also done substantial research for my supervising attorneys, including legal research on family law issues as well investigation into local social services. The best experiences have been getting to know clients and their families, who are truly inspirational. Each interaction has affirmed my ongoing commitment to this work.
In addition to the first few days of training provided by CLC, there have been lots of opportunities to keep learning along the way. I've already attended an advanced GAL practice training, a caregivers representation training, and a host of other presentations on lawyering skills intended to keep us interns up to date on current issues in the field. My supervisors are also terrific about helping to make this summer a tremendous learning experience. Whenever I observe their work, they take the time to explain their legal strategies and decision-making processes. Especially when dealing with complex family law matters, these are things I can't learn from textbooks, so its great to learn directly from practitioners in the field.
I'm so grateful for the EJF money that has enabled me to spend a summer at this wonderful organization. I'm looking forward to the rest of my time here, and to returning to campus in the Fall feeling refreshed and reinvigorated about my legal career.