The Institute, through the work of our students and faculty, serves the educational needs of children through direct representation and policy initiatives, including support for:
- children in the special education process
- children facing suspension or expulsion
- children experiencing bullying or harassment at school
- children whose education is impacted by involvement in the juvenile justice system or placement in foster care
- efforts to make quality preschool available to all children
Education Law Practicum
The Education Law Practicum is designed to provide practical experience under the supervision of an attorney at a field placement site and a clinical professor from the School of Law. This practicum provides students with the opportunity to develop practice ready and problem- solving skills while working at an approved field placement outside of the classroom.
Students participate in a seminar that builds their substantive knowledge in education law as well as develops practical lawyering skills applicable to a wide range of practice settings. For the field work component of the class, students have the option to work in one of a variety of local placements where they will work under the supervision of practicing attorneys. Students may choose to provide either: (1) direct representation and legal assistance to children and families in need of special education services; or (2) representation of school districts in education law matters. Students may also work on educational policy matters. Placement options include local organizations, school districts, law firms and government agencies.
In semesters where the Education Law Practicum is not offered, students can also participate in education law-related field placements through Loyola’s externship program.
Educational Advocacy Program
Working under close supervision of a law school faculty member, students provide advocacy for youth involved in school disciplinary, bullying, and special education proceedings. Students may also work on policy projects related to education law matters, develop training manuals and materials, and provide trainings for parents or community organizations. Students receive training and support from law school faculty through a seminar course offered as part of Loyola’s Education Law Practicum.
In recognition of the significant harms of bullying and the interconnection of bullying to children’s well-being, the ChildLaw Center launched Loyola’s anti-bullying project in July 2020. The launch of this program was supported by an anonymous donor with a passion for bullying prevention and intervention and is in need of funding to continue to provide critical legal services to children and their families. Through our work, we seek to (1) promote thorough and effective bullying investigations and school-based responses; (2) ensure that a plan is put in place to support targets of bullying and prevent recurrence and escalation; and (3) advocate for school leadership to take proactive steps to prevent and address bullying behavior going forward.