Students in the Children’s Rights Clinic represent children in Travis County District Court as student attorneys ad litem in cases in which the state seeks custody or termination of parental rights based on allegations of abuse and neglect. Although the supervising attorneys sign pleadings drafted by the students and accompany the students to formal proceedings, the student attorneys sit “first chair” at hearings, depositions, mediations, and trial appearances, and they research and prepare cases as the primary attorneys.
Bethany Copeland ‘20 and supervising attorney Leslie Strauch ‘95 of the Children’s Rights Clinic after having won their bench trial in November of 2019.After 3 days of evidence and 2 weeks of waiting for a decision from the bench, Bethany Copeland ’20 and supervising attorney Leslie Strauch ’95 of the Children’s Rights Clinic won their bench trial. Working closely with Strauch, Copeland conducted direct examination of several witnesses, including experts, and cross-examination of both fact and expert witnesses. She also researched and wrote a bench memo for the court.