Indian Child Welfare Clinic – 7098
The Indian Child Welfare Act Clinic (the “ICWA Clinic”) is a full academic year, seven credit program beginning in the fall semester. The case work associated with this clinic focuses exclusively on issues under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act.
Classroom sessions are held in conjunction with the Child Advocacy and Juvenile Justice Clinic and cover not only applicable procedure, substantive law and relevant trial skills, but also address broader systemic issues. Students are consistently challenged to consider the historical context and purpose of the family and juvenile courts and to think critically about the effectiveness and equity of the present-day system. Class does not meet in the spring semester but students continue to work on cases.
Students in the ICWA clinic represent multiple clients of the Indian Child Welfare Act Center during the school year. Students are supervised in their case work by attorneys working at the Indian Child Welfare Act Center located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (http://www.icwlc.org/) Each student will handle three to five Indian Child Welfare Act cases during the semester. Cases are primarily venued in Hennepin County Family and Juvenile Court but may also be venued in tribal courts throughout Minnesota. Cases involve representation of Indian parents in juvenile CHIPS (children in need of protection and services cases) and third party custody/adoption cases involving Indian children.
Additional Commitments: • Attend Clinic Roundtables scheduled throughout the academic year.
What to expect when working on cases and with clients: Students will represent an average of 3-5 clients. To ensure a fulfilling experience in the ICWA Clinic students must be willing to make a substantial time commitment that goes beyond the classroom work. This may require students to arrange their class schedules in a way that allows students to appear in court, conduct investigations, and meet with clients. We also strongly recommend that students enroll in Evidence.
NOTE: This course requires certification pursuant to the student practice rule and is open to JD students only.