Child and Family Justice Clinic
The Child and Family Justice Clinic (CFJC) addresses family and child instability; food and economic insecurity; youth emancipation and school disciplinary issues; decision-making for young adults with incapacitating disabilities; and gender identity actualization, among other basic youth welfare needs. It aims to help build a legal infrastructure to serve New Mexico’s most vulnerable children and families through alliances with UNM’s Health Sciences Center, legal services organizations and community partners.
Students in the CFJC provide advocacy in a variety of matters affecting at risk youth and families who are impacted by poverty, racial and social inequity, immigration status, disability, disproportionate juvenile justice system involvement, the school-to-prison pipeline, and LGBTQ bias. Students are equally engaged in representing individual clients and in social justice project work. Through our Youth Racial Justice, Immigrant Child Safety, LGBTQ Youth, and ADOBE Juvenile Re-entry projects, students educate and counsel youth and parents, do community outreach and support legislative and policy initiatives in partnership with community advocates. CFJC promotes interdisciplinary collaboration with medical providers and social workers, as well as the development of innovative methods to address systemic inequities and unmet civil legal needs.
CFJC students learn and apply core lawyering skills including establishing effective attorney-client relationships, cultural literacy, client interviewing and counseling, fact investigation and development, drafting of pleadings, and motion practice. Through client representation and supervision, they develop their professional identities and engage in self-reflection, establishing career-long learning and best practice habits.