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Student Perspectives on the Family Law Clinic

“Working in the Family Law Clinic enabled me to develop practice management and litigation skills that cannot be learned in a classroom setting.  In addition to managing my own caseload under the supervision of a licensed attorney, I conducted client interviews, negotiated settlements, and attended hearings on the clients' behalf.   Professor Engle is passionate and knowledgeable in the area of family law, and she instills this knowledge and passion into her students.  I left this clinic with a greater understanding of family law and a broadened skill set that can be applied in any area of legal practice.”

Laura E. Dolan ’11, Attorney, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP 


“Participating in the Family Law Clinic was the most rewarding part of my law school experience. I enjoyed helping members of the Central Pennsylvania community, while also improving my oral and written advocacy skills. Through the Clinic, I was able to put my classroom knowledge of civil procedure, evidence, professional responsibility, and family law into practice. Further, under Professor Engle’s guidance, I developed confidence in my interactions with judges and adversaries and learned the nuances of client management. These skills have been invaluable to me in my (still new) legal career. Additionally, because many of the Clinic's cases deal with personal and highly-sensitive information, it was beneficial to work collaboratively with and receive support from Professor Engle and my peers in the Clinic. For anyone who wants to pursue a career in family law (or even litigation), participating in the Clinic is an indispensable experience.”

Beth N. Shore '11, Deputy Attorney General, Education/Higher Education Section for State of New Jersey


"The Family Law Clinic presents a rare and valuable opportunity to develop critical litigation skills while still in law school. Working one-on-one with clients gave me the chance to develop real “lawyering” skills, and was both extremely challenging and rewarding. Not only did I advance my ability to handle a caseload, but my confidence in myself as a counselor grew enormously. I especially appreciated the collaborative atmosphere of the clinic. It was a pleasure to work with my fellow classmates, and exchange ideas on how to best achieve our clients’ goals. I very strongly recommend the clinic to any student considering a career in litigation!"

Sarah Hyser '13, Clerk, Hon. William M. Caldwell, Middle District of Pennsylvania 


"I came into Penn State Family clinic during the last semester of my 3L year and I wish I could have had more time.  Spending time in the clinic helped me solidify my desire to practice family law while working in a nurturing environment.  The clinic helped my basic writing skills and boosted my confidence in the Courtroom.  Before the clinic, I was not sure I wanted to practice in the courtroom and I had never taken any Advocacy classes.   The clinic enabled me to jump right into my current family law trial practice and I use the skills I learned there on a daily basis.  I owe a great deal of thanks to the Penn State Family Law Clinic." 

Meghan Edelman Young '11, Associate, Lepley, Engelman & Yaw, Williamsport, PA