BA/MLS Family Law Default Clinic

BA/MLS Family Law Default Clinic

The BA/MLS Family Law Default Clinic (LAW 496A/596A) is part of the unique and innovative offerings provided for BA in Law and Master of Legal Studies (MLS) students. Students who have an interest in family law can learn and practice client advocacy skills by working with participants from the community providing guidance about the default process and child support. The Family Law Default Clinic provides valuable, hands-on experience for those students interested in becoming Legal Paraprofessionals after graduation and will fulfill the experiential learning requirement for these students.

Students will perform the following:

  • Conduct intake tasks
  • Case research
  • Initiate contact to schedule meetings
  • Prepare for and conduct meetings to either provide guidance as far as form selection and next steps or a referral to other legal service resources if the case is beyond the scope of our clinic
  • Maintain intake records through use of legal practice software

Seminars are held weekly and offer additional background on the laws, procedures, and advocacy skills required to be an effective family law advocate. Several guest speakers are invited and offsite visits to observe court hearings and meet with Judges and court personnel are planned each semester. 

"I learned considerably more than I could have ever imagined in the Family Law Default Clinic. It truly gave me an inside perspective into what it might be like to be a family law LP. My favorite part was seeing people's reactions when their family law issues were remedied. It is one thing to receive an A on a test throughout your course work but witnessing someone you helped in real life display relief was motivating. The clinic allowed me to see firsthand how the LP program will enable me to assist individuals in a higher capacity.”

Michelle Byrd

The mission of this clinic is to provide the tools and knowledge necessary for those navigating a divorce or paternity matter as a self-represented party to enable them to accomplish their legal goals.

Divorce is a complicated process and over 80% of cases filed in Pima County include at least one self-represented party. Often a family law case is uncontested, meaning no response has been filed, but people simply do not know what step to take next. Working with the resources available for self-represented parties, students can recommend forms and next steps to take for cases on the default path.
 

Credits: 3
Requirements: Enrollment or completion of Family Law (can be taken concurrently). Preference is given to Juniors and Seniors and those seeking to become Legal Paraprofessionals.
Grading: standard A/B/C (etc.)
Application Instructions: Interested students should complete the Family Law Default Clinic Interest Form to be considered for enrollment. You can email Kristy Clairmont with additional questions at kaclairmont@arizona.edu.

University of Arizona Free Family Court Default Clinic

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law offers a free clinic to assist individuals representing themselves who are seeking a default decree or judgment, and who have a Family Court case on file at the Pima County Superior Court. The clinic is staffed by students enrolled in the University of Arizona’s Bachelor of Arts in Law program or Master of Legal Studies program, and is supervised by faculty from the College of Law. To schedule an appointment, or for more information, contact the University of Arizona Free Family Court Default Clinic at law-familydefault@list.arizona.edu or by phone at (520) 344-4958.

Leadership

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Kristy Clairmont is a professor of practice and the program coordinator for the Legal Paraprofessional Program at the College of Law. Prior to joining the University of Arizona, she was the owner of Family Law Legal Consulting, PLLC in Tucson, Arizona where she offered unbundled services for all family law matters focusing her practice on assisting self-represented parties. She is a former member of the Family law Executive Council and serves a volunteer attorney and Board member for Step Up to Justice, a local non-profit that provides free civil legal aid. A proud Wildcat alum, Clairmont has practiced law since 2015, after graduating magna cum laude with a Certificate in Family and Juvenile Law Studies. 

 

 

Contact Information

To schedule an appointment, or for more information, contact the University of Arizona Free Family Court Default Clinic at law-familydefault@list.arizona.edu or by phone at (520) 344-4958.