CAMDEN – The rights and protection of society’s youngest citizens are of the utmost concern to members of the Rutgers–Camden Family Law Society (FLS). The law school student group’s commitment to family law issues like divorce, spousal and child support, custody, and adoption isn’t solely a scholarly endeavor; they also care enough to provide Camden children with the makings for a happier holiday.
Alexandra Jacobs of Deptford, FLS co-president, has fundraised with the Rutgers–Camden law community and beyond, to fulfill the wish lists of 19 children served by the Rutgers–Camden Child and Family Advocacy Clinic. Rutgers–Camden law students enrolled in the clinic provide advocacy in court and other venues, and help ensure that the child welfare, public school and social services systems are sufficiently addressing the safety, permanency, and well-being needs of the child-clients.
“We don’t interact with children the way the clinic does,” notes Jacobs, a second-year law student at Rutgers–Camden. “But everyone in the club has an interest in family law or family advocacy.”
According to Meredith Schalick, clinical associate professor at the Rutgers School of Law–Camden, the recipients of these gifts are child-clients, from three months to 18 years old, who are the victims of abuse and neglect and are involved with the child protection system. “The law students enrolled in my clinic represent the children’s interests in family court cases,” Schalick explains. “They will also be delivering the holiday presents and gifts to our clients, who live in foster homes, with relatives and at residential centers throughout southern New Jersey, prior to December 25.”
Second-year Rutgers–Camden law student Erin Mitchell, a former teacher from Voorhees, says her internship experience with family claims has made her profoundly aware of the hardships faced by children involved in complicated legal processes.
“We see how much it can affect them,” Mitchell says. “It’s nice to help give them a holiday.”
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Media Contact: Cathy K. Donovan