Appeal for Youth Clinic

The Appeal for Youth Clinic is one of the only organizations in Georgia focusing exclusively on legal services for foster children in the "school-to-prison pipeline." The Clinic receives case referrals from child welfare attorneys, social workers, public defenders, and prison advocates. From those referrals, law students provide (1) holistic education representation to current foster children facing removal from school; and (2) holistic post-conviction representation to current and former foster children in juvenile detention and prison.

Students represent youth in foster care in administrative disciplinary hearings before the local boards of education in Metro Atlanta and through the administrative appeals process before the Georgia Board of Education. In addition to direct client interaction, hearing preparation, and advocacy, students draft appellate briefs and prepare oral arguments. Concurrent to litigation, students negotiate educational alternatives with local and state agencies.

Additionally, students provide post-conviction representation to youth in juvenile detention facilities or prison who are currently or were formerly in foster care. Cases involve direct appeals, habeas corpus, and post-conviction trial motions. Students meet and interview their clients at the detention center or prison, draft appellate briefs, and investigate and prepare habeas corpus petitions and motions. Additionally, students regularly communicate with their clients to monitor and ensure fair and humane intra-facility treatment.

The Appeal for Youth Clinic is offered in the fall and spring semesters and is open to both 2Ls and 3Ls. Any appearance before a trial court, local board, or appellate body is limited to 3Ls (under Georgia's Third Year Practice Act). All other activities are open to both 2Ls and 3Ls. Students work a minimum of 150 hours during the semester to receive three graded academic credits.


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