Family Law Clinic
What We Do
Formed in 1996, the Family Law Clinic (FLC) stresses the importance of a holistic approach to the practice of family law. Students in their last year of law school are certified by the North Carolina State Bar to practice law under the supervision of an attorney whose has practiced in various areas of family law. Specifically, students are trained to provide legal services in the areas of divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and property issues. In addition, students are trained to identify potential social and/or mental health issues and assist clients in addressing them by referring them to appropriate community resources within the triangle area.
Unfortunately, the FLC is unable to provide every person who is in need of assistance with legal advice and/or representation, especially in the areas of child custody. The FLC provides various services to provide members of our community with the information, documentation and confidence to proceed with their legal matter pro se (representation of one’s self).
Child Custody. In an effort to provide those in need with the knowledge and confidence that they can in fact represent themselves, the File It Yourself Services (FIYS) and Child Custody-Bundled Services (CCBS) provide participants who desire to file a custody complaint pro se with the necessary documentation and legal advice to confidently “file it” themselves. Please note, these services is not for those who currently have a child custody order from the court and wish to have it modified or would like to bring it back before the court to address a party not abiding by the order. Contact us for detailed information on these services and the completion of the required documentation.
Family Law Advice. We recognize that in many instances, people wish to only inquire about the various options they may have as it relates to an existing or potential family law matter. We provide two services that allow participants to receive legal advice on various family law issues.
Courthouse Presence: The NCCU School of Law Clinical Legal Education Program is very fortunate to have an office in the Community Suite located on the second floor of the Durham County Courthouse. During the academic year, the certified legal interns hold office hours at various times during the week to provide legal advice to those in need. This service is not only available to those residing in Durham County. The certified interns are equipped to provide legal advice to all with an existing or potential family law matter arising in our state. Please ensure that you inquire at the telephone number or email address below for the times and dates of this service.
Know Your Rights Series: North Carolina Central University School of Law is very fortunate to be on the cutting edge of technology. With the use of broadband technology, the Virtual Justice Project (VJP) provides legal education in numerous areas of the law through the Know Your Rights Series. Each program is a one hour-long in-depth session on a particular area of law and allows for participants to ask real time questions and receive real time answers from the attorney and any other special guests. You can appear at one of the our many sites located throughout our state or in the comfort of your home via your smartphone, tablet or ipad. Attorney Nakia C. Davis and other local family law attorneys have presented on various topics over the years. Such topics include but are not limited to, child support, child custody, separation and divorce. For more information regarding upcoming sessions, please click the link here or email your questions to Professor Deria Hayes at email@example.com.
The Family Law Clinic (“FLC”) is a year-long course that is divided into a first semester classroom component and a second semester field component. Each component is letter graded and results in three (3) hours of course credit. Due to the longevity of domestic cases, each student must commit to both semesters and complete at least 128 hours per semester to earn course credit.
The areas of practice for the FLC include but are not limited to child custody, child support, absolute divorces, guardianships, name changes and abuse, neglect and dependency. Working under the supervision of Professor Nakia C. Davis, supervising attorney of the FLC,, or other assigned licensed attorneys, students provide clients with legal advice, legal representation perform various administrative tasks for the clinic, participate and conduct File It Yourself group session services and bundled services, and fulfill Courthouse Presence office hours at the Community Partnership Suite of the Durham County Courthouse.
The FLC classroom component is structured to ensure that students are prepared with the knowledge and skill set needed to represent clients effectively. Students are introduced to various substantive and procedural laws in the areas of domestic laws,civil procedure and evidence found in the North Carolina General Statutes and counties’ local rules.
Students are introduced to and apply relevant legal concepts during class lectures and discussions, drafting of mock pleadings and motions, the completion of timed NC Bar essays, simulations, and a model client.
The FLC field component allows students to represent indigent clients in the areas of child custody, child support, absolute divorces, abuse, neglect and dependency, guardianships, name changes and adoptions, under the North Carolina State Bar’s Rules Governing Student Practice.
Potential Clients and Community Partners
Representation by the FLC is not automatic. A potential client’s matter may be assessed by a certified legal intern and discussed with the supervising attorney; however, it is the ultimate decision of the supervising attorney if the clinic will be able to assist the potential client with their legal matter. Such determination is dependent upon numerous factors and may be different for each assessment. The clinic is active from September until early May. Client intake for full representation occurs from September until the second week of February of each academic year. If you are interested in learning more about the intake process or seeking representation during the time frame mentioned, please contact the supervising attorney at the telephone number or email address listed below.
The FLC takes part in various community events hosted by churches, schools, community organizations and institutions in the triangle area. FLC takes great provide in its ability to serve its community. During these events, certified legal interns provide legal advice and information regarding various domestic issues (child custody, child support, alimony and divorce) upon requests of the participants. We also take direct referrals from various organizations and institutions. We do not guarantee that the FLC will be able to provide representation for the referral but will ensure that the person is provided with advice if there is not a conflict in our system.
Director of Family Law Clinic, Visiting Clinical Professor Katrina