Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic

Legal Clinics

Faculty Supervisor: Professor Dona Playton


Dona PlaytonThe Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic is dedicated to offering law students an immersive, comprehensive educational experience that emphasizes the importance of dispute resolution, providing unbundled legal services, and extending crucial legal information to self-represented litigants. Through direct lawyer-client interactions, students engage in interviewing, counseling, legal research, discovery, negotiation, motion practice, trials, and appeals. They tackle a wide array of civil legal issues, such as divorce, child custody, domestic violence, adoption, guardian ad litem appointments, and select immigration matters. The clinic also enables student attorneys to represent individuals in cases of child abuse and neglect and termination of parental rights, with a special focus on facilitating resolutions tailored to families' specific needs.

Under the close mentorship of Professor Dona Playton, students navigate the multifaceted legal, social, emotional, ethical, and policy challenges inherent in legal practice. They learn to draft legal documents, maintain client confidentiality, engage in professional communications, and conduct regular case reviews. The clinic places a strong emphasis on equipping students with the skills to assist self-represented litigants and to employ dispute resolution methods effectively, ensuring clients with limited resources receive competent and considerate legal support.

Students commit to an average of 5-10 hours per week in the office. Their responsibilities extend to meeting with clients, negotiating settlements, and making court appearances. Additional time is allocated for legal skills seminars, client screening, and supporting individuals navigating the legal system independently. The clinic's broad caseload includes managing divorces, custody battles, and family law negotiations, mediation, and litigation, preparing students for a diverse range of legal challenges in both trial and appellate courts.

This hands-on approach, coupled with interdisciplinary collaboration with experts in social work, psychology, pediatrics, and psychiatry, prepares law students to enter the legal profession with a strong foundation in lawyering skills and the values essential for effective, ethical legal practice. Through their work in the clinic, students are not only trained in traditional lawyering competencies, but also in the innovative practices of dispute resolution and legal service delivery, making them well-equipped to serve society's evolving needs.

* All clinics are subject to change in terms of content, caseload, and specific course focus in any given year.

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Faculty Director

College of Law

Dona Playton
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Student Director

Jesselyn Burroughs
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Clinical News

Family and Child Legal Advocacy

Clinical News
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Course Files

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Contact Us




Contact the Family and Child Legal Advocacy Clinic

Phone: 307-766-3747
Contact Us

College of Law

1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3035

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6416

Fax: 307-766-6417


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