Directed by Clinical Professor Paolo Annino, The Children’s Advocacy Clinic is nationally and internationally recognized for its advocacy on behalf of children.
The Children’s Advocacy Clinic represents children in foster care, juvenile delinquency, health care, special education, disability, social security and criminal law cases. The clinic provides each child full legal representation. Students represent children in state courts, in trial and appellate cases and in state and federal administrative hearings. Students learn by doing. Through role playing, pre and post legal event discussions, and court room observation, students learn the skill sets and the substantive law to zealously represent their clients. State court judges around Florida routinely appoint the clinic to handle the legal issues of the neediest children.
Children's Advocacy Center Projects
Children in Prison Project
In 1997, the Public Interest Law Center began its Children in Prison Project (CIPP) in response to the wave of Florida children being swept into the adult criminal system. In 1995 alone, Florida transferred 7,000 children to the adult criminal system. The primary goal is to provide legal representation to children in adult prison. In specific, the project is focused on the 256 juveniles who received life without parole sentences in Florida. Students represent juveniles in prison in a variety of ways, specifically in the areas of resentencing, clemency, and post-conviction motions and appeals.
Disability Health Care Advocates Project
The Disability Health Care Advocates Project advocates for two groups of children: fragile children (children on life support) and developmentally delayed children (mainly cerebral palsy, autism, and mental retardation). The goal of the project is to provide these two groups of children with the services they are legally entitled to so that they can remain integrated in their communities.