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Custody and Support Assistance Clinic (CASAC)

Advocates in the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic (CASAC) assist and counsel low-income pro se litigants on family law matters including custody, child support, and protection from abuse orders.

 

What we do:

CASAC provides volunteer advocates with a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience working one-on-one with clients to prepare legal documents, provide advice for court appearances, and navigate the Philadelphia court system. In addition, 2L and 3L advocates also have the opportunity to become Certified Legal Interns and represent clients in Family Court.

 

How we do it:

CASAC advocates work alongside attorneys at Philadelphia Legal Assistance to work with pro se litigants in the Philadelphia Family Court system. Advocates conduct intake interviews with clients where they learn about the background and facts of the case, discuss statutory parameters with clients, and help clients craft legal arguments to best present their case before a judge or hearing officer in a custody, child support, or protection from abuse hearing. Often advocates will draft motions, assist in accessing criminal records or other relevant documentation, and help prepare exhibits for the court.

 

How and when can I join:

Students interested in participating in CASAC should apply in the fall semester by contacting this year’s Recruitment Chairs, Camille Awono (cawono@penncareylaw.upenn.edu) and Megan Bird (birdmeg@pennlaw.upenn.edu) with any questions. CASAC is a full-year commitment and we do not accept applicants in the spring semester.

 

What skills will I develop:

Client intake and communication skills, case management experience, practice drafting legal petitions for original filings, reconsideration, or modification to orders currently in effect. Additionally, advocates learn to work collaboratively with others to grapple with legal questions and formulate creative case strategy.

 

The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.