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Real Living Adoption Child Welfare and Felicia Beth Nekritz Juvenile Law Fellowships

  •  FYLAW Fellowship Program Goal

    The FYLaw Fellowship program is designed to provide Capital University Law School students interested in this practice area with a specialized law school experience, including unique educational, extracurricular, and employment opportunities. The program was established with the goal of developing a cohort of highly trained legal advocates to advance the interests of children and their families in communities both locally and nationally.

    Many factors place children and youth at risk of involvement with our nation’s delinquency and child protection court systems, including child abuse and neglect, substance abuse, mental health needs, and educational issues. Of the 900,000 children served by the child welfare system, 114,000 foster care children wait for safe, permanent homes because their biological parents’ rights have been terminated. Thousands of these youths exit the foster care system without the skills needed for successful independent living, leaving them vulnerable to unemployment, homelessness, and criminal behavior.

    Successful outcomes and futures for these children and youth are dependent on talented and dedicated legal professionals acting in all capacities within our child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Well-trained, highly qualified child advocates, agency counsel, government attorneys, and juvenile judges can make all the difference between a youth’s successful transition into adulthood and a youth’s continued struggle in the system.


    Real Living Adoption & Child Welfare Law Fellowship 

    Adoption and child welfare law encompass a wide range of complex and challenging aspects. Adoption law professionals deal with termination of parental rights, parental consent, wrongful adoption, race and cultural issues, sexual orientation issues, and international issues. Child welfare and adoption practitioners grapple with systemic issues impacting the 500,000 children in foster care in the United States, which includes about 114,000 children who have been freed for adoption and who are waiting for permanent, loving homes. Each year, approximately 20,000 children in foster care will age out of the system without ever being placed with a permanent family. Qualified, highly trained attorneys are needed to advocate for the children, families, and child-serving agencies which come before the nation’s courts.

    Fellowship Program Details 

    Fellowships are available only for Capital University Law School students. Interested students are invited to submit a written proposal, outlining which benefit(s) they would like to receive and what reciprocal obligation(s) they are willing to commit to. Examples of activities a student may propose to receive funding for include: scholarships, conference stipends, independent student project stipends, and/or work stipends. Examples of commitments a Fellow may be asked to make include: assisting FYLaw with a fundraising/major event, making presentations to students or faculty groups, or fulfilling the upper class writing requirement with a paper, note, or project concerning a topic on adoption, child welfare, or juvenile law.

    Students who have completed their first two semesters of law school are eligible to apply for the Fellowship program, using the online application form below. Applications will be accepted in the spring semester for the following school year. Information sessions will be held periodically to provide information to interested students and to answer questions. Applications will be reviewed and finalists will be invited to present their proposal to a selection committee comprised of FYLaw staff members, faculty, administrators, and current Fellows. 

    Fellowship Application – for students who have completed two semesters of law school  

    Junior Fellows Program Details 

    First-year students interested in applying for the Fellowship program in the future are eligible to join our Junior Fellows program. A separate information session will be held each fall for first-year students, and applications are due due in October.

    Junior Fellows will be invited to participate in programs and activities throughout their first year of law school that will provide opportunities to meet and interact with FYLaw staff and current Fellows. This may include attending lunch meetings to discuss hot topics, and other FYLaw programs and events. Students are also encouraged to join the Children and Family Law Advocates student organization. 

    Junior Fellows Application – for first-year students only 

    For more information about the Fellowship program at Capital University Law School or the Family and Youth Law Center, contact:

    Family and Youth Law Center
    Capital University Law School
    303 East Broad Street
    Columbus, Ohio 43215-3200