WVU College of Law introduces Child & Family Law Clinic

By Chris Dickerson | Apr 7, 2011


MORGANTOWN -- The West Virginia University College of Law enhances its commitment to providing legal services to those who could not otherwise afford them with the formal introduction of its Child and Family Law clinic at noon on April 8 in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the WVU Law Center.

The Child and Family Law Clinic was conceived and initiated by Professor Valorie Vojdik, who directs the program to work with West Virginia children and families of limited income to promote their health, security, and future success.

The formal introduction is a way for the College of Law to help build awareness of the program and its services.

Paul D. Bennett, Clinical Professor of Law & Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona, will provide the keynote address for the event.

"Professor Bennett is a leading figure nationally in clinical law programs and has an enormous commitment to child advocacy," Vojdik said.

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Margaret Workman will provide remarks in celebrating the introduction of the Child and Family Law clinic as the West Virginia Supreme Court has also sponsored additional course offering in civil abuse and neglect law at the College of Law.

Family Court Judge Randal Minor of the West Virginia 20th Circuit will make remarks in support of the clinic as a zealous advocate for a child-centered, problem-solving approach to resolving family issues.

The event also will feature remarks from College of Law Dean Joyce E. McConnell, Vojdik, Co-Director Suzanne Weise and several student attorneys who work in the clinic.

In addition to their service to the community, the WVU College of Law clinics provide experience to third-year law students who work under the supervision of faculty and volunteer attorneys while assisting families with issues such as adoption, custody and guardianship matters, domestic violence, protection orders, abuse and neglect and a host of other family related legal services.

The clinic also has formed The WVU College of Law Medical-Legal Partnership conceived in cooperation with the West Virginia University Children's Hospital. This offering of the WVU College of Law's Clinical Law Program will provide faculty-directed law students who will participate in the resident continuity clinics working with children & families to resolve legal problems that can affect health such as eligibility for Medicaid or WVCHIP, services under Medicaid and Medicare, or private insurance issues are some of the services provided.

The WVU College of law was recently recognized by National Jurist Publications who ranked the WVU College of Law as one of the top schools in the nation for public interest law in preLaw Magazine, targeted to prospective students seeking a legal education. preLaw gave the College an "A" rating and a rank of 15th-best in the country in Public Interest Law along with law schools such as Yale, Stanford, Harvard and The Ohio State University.

The event is open to the public and the webcast can be viewed live at http://law.wvu.edu/child_family.

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