BFDP attorneys spend most of their time in court litigating fact finding trials, permanency and dispositional hearings and emergency hearings challenging the removal of children from their parents. Attorneys frequently file motions to dismiss and for summary judgment as well as motions for increased supervision and for contempt. Law students assist attorneys with all aspects of litigation affording students an opportunity to develop a wide range of legal skills.
Legal interns help attorneys by interviewing clients, drafting motions and pleadings, and preparing for emergency hearings and trials, which includes preparing witnesses, drafting direct and cross examinations, and reviewing agency case records.
Under our student practice order, law students can appear in court under the supervision of an attorney. Students also conduct research and writing on legal issues that pertain to cases on which they are working. BFDP will consider work study applicants.
BFDP’s collaboration with NYU School of Law’s Family Defense Clinic promotes an environment of teaching and learning. Each year, twelve law students and two social work students from the Clinic support our work in our more complicated cases. During the school year, BFDP hosts student externs from Cardozo’s Family Court Practice Clinic and Fordham’s Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child Advocacy.