The Custody and Support Assistance Clinic CASAC is a student founded and run organization that assists low income Philadelphians with their custody, child support, and protection from abuse needs. We work closely with Philadelphia Legal Assistance, which is a local legal aid organization in town, which provides us space and in addition providing us supervision from a practicing attorney in family law. And then we work very closely with the Penn Law community as all of our advocates are Penn Law students. Some differences between the CASAC experience and the classroom experience include really.
The handson and practical nature of the work that you do. In the classroom, most of our work is focused on the law, not much as on the facts of the case, those have already been developed. However, during CASAC as advocates, really you are discovering the facts during each intake and during phone contact with the client as the case goes on. Developing those facts and helping them learn how to present them best before a judge or master in a custody support or protection from abuse hearing and additionally, for some clients.
We will be drafting documents, so helping them prepare pleadings for them to file in court. This will be my second year with CASAC and I chose to stay on and even apply and become a board member and a shift manager because CASAC was my saving grace last year. I worked for a number of years before coming to law school and I did not expect the transition to be so difficult for me back to school, but it really was. CASAC was the one time a week where I didn’t have to think about text books, I didn’t have to worry about being.
Penn Laws Custody and Support Assistance Clinic CASAC
Cold called. I went down to the PLA office, the Philadelphia Legal Assistance office, and I was working one on one with real clients who had real issues that I could actually help them with. I walked out of every CASAC shift, as long as it may have been or as difficult as some of the issues may have been, I walked out of every CASAC shift feeling like I had done something to help someone else. And I had made a real difference. That’s what kept me going throughout my 1L year.
I have stayed with the program all three years of my time at Penn Law because I just found it was not only helpful to me as developing as a young attorney, but I felt it was a great opportunity to actually serve the local community. I came to law school hoping to really give back, to add something to society so to speak and this provided great opportunity to do that. Your working with so many people over the course of a year and you get to see them progress though this process on issues that are really personal to them. You know, these.