Children's Rights Clinic

Faculty: Professor Kathryn Pierce Banks  

The CHILDREN'S RIGHTS CLINIC represents children involved in Missouri’s care and protection, delinquency, and education systems. As law students certified under Missouri Supreme Court Rule 13, clinic students serve as counsel or guardian ad litem in a variety of different court and administrative proceedings that address legal matters such as termination of parental rights, guardianship, adoption, orders of protection, delinquency, and school discipline. As part of their representation, students participate in client interviewing and counseling, case investigation, discovery, legal research and writing, and negotiation. Because the Clinic focuses on holistic representation, students spend much of their time performing tasks such as visiting with clients in their placements and attending family support team and other meetings. Students also engage with a variety of community partners including the Missouri Children’s Division, juvenile courts, school districts, law enforcement agencies, and service providers.

The Clinic has a weekly two-hour classroom component that includes case rounds and discussion of the issues involved in the representation of children. Topics may include best interest of child vs. wishes representation, the role of the guardian ad litem, current issues in juvenile justice, the rights of LQBT youth in delinquency and care and protection systems, and the ethical dilemmas of representing children.  Because students will be working with minors, they are subject to background checks.

The Clinic is taught by Kathryn Pierce Banks, a former staff attorney for the Law School’s Children and Family Advocacy and Juvenile Law and Justice Clinics and former acting director of the Criminal Justice Clinic

STUDENTS: Click here to view the course description for the Children's Rights Clinic.