The Family Law Assistance Project
This program is a collaboration between WMU-Cooley and Lakeshore Legal Aid. Students in this clinic work with FLAP’s staff attorneys representing low-income people in family law and domestic violence matters in Oakland County Circuit Court under Michigan Court rule 8.120. In the clinic, students have the chance to litigate and practice family law and represent low-income people in a “hands-on” environment.
- Interview, counsel, and represent clients
- Engage in the practice of law under the supervision of experienced attorneys
- Have an opportunity to appear in court
- Work with highly skilled attorneys who have been trained by the WMU-Cooley clinic faculty to be outstanding supervisors and mentors
- Have opportunities to polish your public speaking skills
- Have an opportunity to work in a collegial, cooperative atmosphere with other students
- Have an opportunity to apply the legal theories you have learned in the classroom in your real cases with live clients
- Have an opportunity to engage in negotiations/conversations with practicing attorneys in the community
This extraordinary opportunity requires extraordinary commitment and responsibility.
Students enrolling in the Family Law Assistance Project (FLAP) may enroll for one term or two consecutive terms. If you elect to enroll for two terms, you will be required to complete the program once the first of the two terms has begun. You may register for 3 to 5 credits per term, for a maximum of 10 credits overall.
At the beginning of each term, you will be expected to attend an intensive orientation class. The purpose of this orientation is to familiarize you with the procedures and basic legal issues which you will face as you deal with our clients. This is a good way to "come up to speed" very quickly so you can begin your clinical experience as quickly as possible.
You will be expected to be at the clinic frequently, and to maintain regular communication with the office staff, your supervisor, and your clients.
We make every effort to accommodate your class and work schedules.
Except for extraordinary circumstances, students who withdraw from the Family Law Assistance Project (FLAP) after Friday of the first week of the first term will earn an "F" for the class for that term. Withdrawal in the second term will result in an "F" for both terms.
The most frequently asked question about the Family Law Assistance Project (FLAP) is "How much work will this involve?" Including class time (two hours per week) and meetings with your supervisor, you can expect to invest between 18 to 22 hours per week on clinic-related work. You will be required to document a minimum of four hours of client-related work for every credit (e.g. 16 hours per week for 3-4 credits and 20 hours per week for 5 credits).
- Cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better,
- At least 40 credit hours earned,
- At least one term left before graduation, and
- Completion of the following courses: Professional Responsibility, Civil Procedure I and II, Evidence and Research and Writing.
- Recommended courses include: Pretrial Skills, Family Law and Trial Skills
- Applicants who have taken the recommended courses, and are closest to graduation, with at least two terms remaining, are favored in the selection process. Students who have applied before and not been selected for enrollment are also favored.
- Students selected for the Family Law Assistance Project (FLAP), and the waiting list of alternates, will be notified by email no later than noon on the day before registration begins.
If you have questions regarding the Family Law Assistance Project (FLAP), contact Professor Dustin S. Foster at [email protected].