Sarah Bown

I was a student attorney ad litem in the Children’s Rights Clinic for two semesters. During that time I was able not only to make a difference in children’s lives but also develop and sharpen my advocacy skills. I was often the child’s only representative in meetings with caregivers, caseworkers, and family members, and it was my job to make sure my client’s opinion was heard and seriously considered. I attended hearings regularly where I informed the court of my client’s well-being and asked that certain needs of my client be met. During my first semester, I participated in two contested hearings and countless uncontested hearings. At the beginning of my second semester, one of my cases went to trial. During the two-day bench trial I gave an opening statement, cross-examined the opposing party, direct-examined two witnesses, one of whom was an expert, and overcame multiple objections by opposing counsel. We won this case, and I cannot describe the joy I felt when I recently witnessed the adoption of my client by a truly incredible family. The Children’s Rights Clinic afforded me the opportunity to help others while gaining unparalleled advocacy experience.

Category: Perspectives