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Faculty: Margaret E. Johnson and Shanta Trivedi

Who We Are

We are the Bronfein Family Law Clinic: student attorneys—law students licensed to practice law under supervising attorneys—family law clinic professors and family law clinic staff. We student attorneys are the few, the proud, the chosen (by lottery).

  • the ones who show up to Sales and Leases breathless and in suits because we were in client meetings.
  • the students who go to court, but never just to observe.
  • the students who have been to that mysterious table that stands before the judge's bench and have returned to tell the tale. (Sort of. We can't really tell you anything, actually. Client confidentiality....)
  • the students who truly learn how to be lawyers.

Through a three-hour weekly seminar that covers topics such as interviewing, counseling, negotiating, case planning, trial advocacy, case reflection, and weekly personal supervision of clinic faculty, we are empowered to represent our clients in a wide variety of family law cases.

Who We Serve

Under the supervision of clinic faculty, we represent low-income clients seeking child custody, support, divorce, adoption, and civil remedies for domestic violence. We also work on systemic law reform projects aimed at increasing access to justice in family law.

Why It Matters

Because you will never have another experience like this in law school.

Because no matter how many treatises you read, no matter how many mock trials you do, you will not know the heartbreak of listening to a client's story. You will not feel the determination to get her story told. You will not know the mixed panic and serenity of standing before a judge knowing that you understand this case and that you can help your client meet his goals.

These are experiences that most lawyers have for the first time on the job. The Bronfein Family Law Clinic can give you that experience while you are in law school, preparing you for practice in a way that no other class can, and teaching you the skills to continue learning to be the best lawyer you can be throughout your career.

Additionally, you will be giving your time and legal expertise to clients who would not otherwise be represented. You will be making a difference in the community, whether you are helping a woman experiencing domestic violence get a protective order from an abusive partner, representing a parent or relative seeking custody of a child, preparing and delivering testimony before Maryland's General Assembly on improving the legal system's response to domestic violence, or helping a foster parent or stepparent officially adopt a child.

Prerequisites: First-year day courses; Evidence; Professional Responsibility

Recommended: Family Law

Policies and Procedures

The Bronfein Family Law Clinic selects all of its students under the lottery system. Applications are due at specific dates the semester prior and follow set procedures.