You are here

Student Involvement at the Pace Women’s Justice Center

FAMILY COURT LEGAL PROGRAM

“The Family Court Legal Program at Pace Law School, which I was honored to have been a part of, was a wonderful experience for me.  It not only helped prepare me for representing clients before an actual judge but it showed me the human aspect of lawyering that we don’t often get a chance to experience in a purely academic setting.  It helped remind me of why I wanted to become a lawyer.” -Dev Viswanath, Pace Law School ‘04

The Family Court Legal Program offers two unique opportunities for students.  The first is a one-semester Family Court Externship offered during the spring and fall to students at Pace Law School.  The second is a Summer Internship Program that welcomes students from all accredited law schools.  Housed at Pace Law School, the Pace Women’s Justice Center is in a unique position to provide expertise and legal assistance to domestic violence victims, while simultaneously educating and training law students to represent victims in Family Court.  The Family Court Legal Program bases Pace Women’s Justice Center attorneys and law students at the White Plains and Yonkers Family Courts to directly assist domestic violence victims on a daily walk-in basis.  Law students at the Family Court Legal Program gain practical hands-on legal experience both in and out of the courtroom, including the invaluable opportunity for extensive client interaction under the direct supervision of Pace Women’s Justice Center attorneys. At the Family Court Legal Program site offices, law students interview clients seeking temporary orders of protection, draft family offense, custody and child support petitions, and appear in court to argue clients’ cases before Family Court judges at ex parte proceedings.

The Spring and Fall Family Court Externships at Pace Law School
Law 694 – One Semester Academic Year Externship  (3 credits)
The Family Court Externship includes a weekly courthouse component and a weekly two hour classroom seminar.  Pace Law School students who have completed their first full year of law school are eligible to enroll through the John Jay Legal Services application process. Law students who participate in the Externship work at the Family Court Legal Program courthouse sites one day per week under the direct supervision of Pace Women’s Justice Center attorneys. The Family Court Externship provides Pace Law School students with a solid foundation in the dynamics of domestic violence, as well as family court practice and procedure. Law students are taught relevant areas of the substantive law needed to effectively represent domestic violence victims and survivors in family court and engage in practical exercises related to developing client interviewing skills, drafting petitions, and presenting cases in court.  In addition, law students learn how to prepare clients for oral testimony, instruct clients on service of orders, guide clients through the initial process of seeking child support and custody when necessary, and provide clients with referrals to community resources. 

To apply: Complete the Family Court Externship application available through Pace Law School’s John Jay Legal Services.  

For more information, contact: Adjunct Pace Law Professor Tracey S. Alter, Esq., at the Pace Women’s Justice Center (422-4069 or 422-4627) or email: talter@law.pace.edu.  
           

The Summer Pace Women’s Justice Center Family Court Legal Program Internship
The ten week Summer Internship Program begins with an intensive day-long law student orientation/training conducted by Pace Women’s Justice Center attorneys and requires a full-time commitment to working in the White Plains and Yonkers Family Court Legal Program site offices.  Enrollment in the summer internship is open to law students who have completed their first full year at an accredited law school. Under the direct supervision and guidance of Pace Women’s Justice Center attorneys, the summer internship students typically work four days a week at the White Plains and Yonkers Family Court Legal Program sites, and one day a week at the Center’s main office located on the Pace Law School campus.  Like the Spring and Fall Family Court Externships, the Summer Internship Program provides law school students with a foundation in the dynamics of domestic violence, as well as family court practice and procedure.  Law students are taught relevant areas of the substantive law needed to effectively represent domestic violence victims and survivors in family court and have the invaluable opportunity to develop effective client interviewing, petition drafting and case presentation skills on a daily basis.

To apply:  Any student interested in participating in the Summer Internship should send a resume and a cover letter expressing their interest in the program to:

Tracey S. Alter, Esq.
Director, Family Court Legal Program
Pace Women’s Justice Center
78 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
talter@law.pace.edu

 

 “One of my most memorable and gratifying experiences in law school was my participation in the Family Court Legal Program.  This program provided me with invaluable opportunities to learn from seasoned staff attorneys and assisted in developing many of my practical lawyering skills.  Helping women in crisis take the first step towards a better, safer and happier life gave me a true sense of purpose to my legal studies.” -Jurgita Karobkaite, Pace Law School ‘07