Family & Veterans Advocacy Clinic

Your ​Opportunity to Practice Law

The Family & Veterans Advocacy Clinic provides legal assistance to low income individuals in the areas of family law and veterans issues. ​Students handle cases related to divorces, protective orders, child custody, termination of parental rights, adoptions, and an array of legal issues related to veterans. Students handle the cases from the initial interviews through the final hearings or trials under the supervision of a licensed attorney.​

Family​ ​& Veterans Advocacy Clinic focuses on providing services in the following areas of law: 

  • Family law. Advocating for indigent clients needing a divorce, child custody, child support, visitation and/or protective orders in family violence situations.
  • Children’s issues. Representing the caregivers of children who are at risk of abuse or neglect or who have been abused or neglected.
  • Simple wills. Drafting wills, medical powers of attorney, general powers of attorney, and other documents for clients.
  • Veteran issues. Not only representing veterans in the above areas of law, but also veterans that are seeking VA benefits and needing legal assistance in other related issues that affect their lives.
The Family & Veterans Advocacy Clinic is an excellent opportunity for students who are interested in careers in civil litigation because the clinic exposes our students to the litigation of the case from start to finish:
  • from initial interviews,
  • to drafting pleadings and motions,
  • to preparation for temporary orders hearings,
  • drafting and responding to discovery,
  • participating in mediation,
  • and eventually preparation and first and second chair participation in final trials.

Course Information

Pre-requisites/Co-requisites:
In order to enroll in a Fall or Spring clinic, you must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in Professional Responsibility. Students who have not completed Professional Responsibility will be automatically enrolled in a PR section when admitted to a clinic. There are limited waivers of this requirement, but only if a student worked full-time in a law firm or other position requiring the handling of confidential information for one year or more before attending law school.
Regarding summer clinics, Professional Responsibility is preferred but not required. In lieu of the Professional Responsibility requirement, the Summer Clinic will include an intensive training on ethics.

Recommended Courses:
​Family Law is recommended but not required.

Eligibility to Enroll:
• Completed first year of law courses by the start of the semester for which you are applying
• Good academic standing is required
• Must have no Honor Code violations

Credit Hours/Experiential Hours:
Four to six (4-6) hours credit in the Fall and Spring
Counts towards oral skills requirement

Terms available:
Fall​, Spring

Evaluation:
Graded

Dropping Clinics:
Given the unique nature of clinics and the ethical obligations that arise for our attorneys when they expose students to actual client cases, students will not be allowed to drop a clinic after the first week of classes.

Faculty:
Prof. Celestina L. Flores

Considerations

Since clinics operate differently than doctrinal, writing, and other simulation courses, students must keep in mind the following before enrolling:

  • All clinical courses meet in the Clinical Program Office located in the Star-Telegram Building at 307 W. 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas. It is a 0.6 mile walk from the Law School building to the clinical space.

  • All 3 and 4 unit clinic courses require that students spend a minimum of 6-8 hours per week at the clinical space.

  • Per our Academic Standards, students are expected to submit logs of their time to their supervising attorneys to receive credit. Your instructor will provide you with direction of how to keep track of your time.

  • In order to provide all of our students with a clinical opportunity, you cannot enroll in more than one clinic in any one semester.

  • You may not enroll in an externship and a clinic in the same semester unless authorized by the Associate Dean for Experiential Education.

  • If you plan to be employed by a law firm, government agency, or other unit engaged in providing legal services during the semester, you must disclose the employer’s information so the clinical program can determine if there are any conflicts that prevent the student from enrolling in the clinic.

  • Once a student is admitted to a clinic, the student must commit to attend a mandatory clinic orientation the first Friday of the semester from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Unless a special accommodation is necessary, free student parking is not available in the clinic space. The cost to valet in the Star-Telegram Building is $10. There is additional parking in the area that ranges from $6 to $10. Street metered parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Application

As a law student, the Family and Veterans Advocacy Clinic is one of your first opportunities to put your classroom skills and knowledge into practice with real clients. Once you have completed the first year of law courses in law school, you are eligible to apply for enrollment in our clinic.

Students are advised to review the Clinic Application & Registration Information Packet before submitting an application.

Student applications for the Family and Veterans Advocacy Clinic are available online:

There is no Howdy registration for clinics. Instead, applications are reviewed and students are accepted during registration period on a rolling basis. Priority is given to applications we receive by November 10. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible in order to secure a seat in the clinic of their choice for the semester they would like. Once a seat has been secured, registration is handled on your behalf by a faculty member or administrator in the Clinical Program Office. Questions about the clinics or the application process can be answered by emailing experiential@law.tamu.edu.

Once a student is admitted to a clinic, the student must commit to attend a mandatory clinic orientation the first Friday of the semester from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Conflicts:
Clinics operate as law firms. Conflicts may arise if students enroll in a clinic and also work in a law firm or government agency in the first semester. If you plan to intern, extern, or otherwise, work during the semester you are in clinic, you will need to discuss with Dean Herrera. On the application you will be asked to indicate if you plan to intern, extern, or work elsewhere during the semester(s) you are applying for.