Custody and Support Assistance Clinic (CASAC)
What We Do
The Custody and Support Assistance Clinic (CASAC) assists hundreds of low income Philadelphians with child custody, child support, and domestic violence legal issues every year. In close partnership with Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA), student advocates work one-on-one with clients to prepare legal documents, provide advice on court appearances, and educate clients about the family law legal process. The vast majority of CASAC clients will be representing themselves pro se in any family court proceedings, and CASAC’s goal is to educate and prepare them. In select cases, experienced advocates represent clients in their child custody and child support conference and hearings in Philadelphia Family Court, under the supervision of experienced family law attorneys at Philadelphia Legal Assistance and Berner Klaw & Watson LLP.
Advocates manage their own caseload during the course of the school year, interacting with anywhere from 25 to 50 clients. Advocates support their clients throughout the course of their family law issue, from basic advice and an initial filing to a stipulated agreement and court hearings. In any given year CASAC usually serves 500-600 clients.
Who We Are
CASAC is a student pro bono clinic run and staffed by Penn Law students. During the school year, current Penn Law students serve as advocates. Experienced CASAC advocates manage the program through our executive board. During the summer, law students from a variety of local law schools support the program. Attorneys at Philadelphia Legal Assistance provide legal supervision, overseeing the advice and documentation prepared by advocates.
CASAC is also an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. CASAC works closely with their non-profit board that includes current/past CASAC advocates and practicing attorneys.
Click the links to learn more!
Meet the Advocates: Get to know the students serving Philadelphia clients every day.
Get Involved: Learn more about getting involved in CASAC and what participation looks like.
Get current CASAC news on our Facebook page.
What Do Advocates Get From Their CASAC Experience?
Students gain unprecedented experience drafting legal documents, working with clients, and navigating the Philadelphia court system. CASAC provides an excellent opportunity to work with skilled attorneys and develop expertise in family law, child advocacy, and litigation. Experienced advocates also have the opportunity to represent clients in Family Court.
Read more about how these Advocates have benefited from their CASAC experiences:
- Arielle Herzberg: Learning Outside the Classroom
- Catherine Eagan: Summer Employment at North Australian Aboriginal Family Violence Legal Service
Two Past Student Experiences in Public Interest
Through its direct access to practicing attorneys and firsthand service of low-income clients, the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic (CASAC) enriched the legal educations of Stephanie Brockman L’11 and Jesse Krohn L’11. Having served as advocates and leaders of the student-initiated project in 2011, Brockman and Krohn are now embarking on careers in very different sectors. Watch the videos below to find out more about their experiences at Penn Law.