News - Capital University Law School

Meet Professor & Staff Attorney, Jennifer Goldson

3/1/2021  - 

Professor Jennifer Goldson is the Senior Staff Attorney and Clinic Supervisor at the Family and Youth Law Center (FYLaw) at Capital University Law School. In her role at FYLaw, she supervises the operations of FYLaw's Family and Youth Advocacy Clinic, which assists with legal issues confronting youth ages 16-24 who have been involved with the child welfare or juvenile justice system. The clinic also has a helpline to assist families in various Ohio counties who cannot afford legal representation with forms and questions so they can represent themselves in family law proceedings. Professor Goldson teaches the Family and Youth Advocacy Clinic class, and she is the coordinator for the National Moot Court Competition in Child Welfare and Adoption Law. 

Prior to coming to Capital, Professor Goldson was an attorney in Columbus for 25 years practicing primarily family law. She spent almost 20 years in private practice with Bradley Frick and Associates. She worked for Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Judge Dana Suzanne Preisse at the start of her career, serves on the Family Law Committee of the Columbus Bar Association as the co-chair of the judicial subcommittee, and helped to establish a Pro Bono Legal Clinic with Jewish Family Services. In her spare time, Jennifer loves to watch sports (especially women’s soccer and college football), cook, solve puzzles and word games (crosswords and logic problems are her favorites), and play cards and mah jongg. She and her husband, Jamie, live in Bexley and have three children: Micah, age 22, Sari, age 19, and Eliana, age 15. 

AS A PROFESSOR

What do you teach?

I teach the Family and Youth Advocacy Clinic (FYAC) to upper class students looking for a clinical experience. The class offers substantive instruction and an opportunity for experiential learning in a variety of civil legal areas related to children, families and advocacy. Students will receive classroom instruction in civil legal areas that affect current and former foster youth, such as public benefits, credit checks, expungements, and housing and may have opportunities to represent and counsel eligible clients, primarily young people, 16-24 years old, who have prior or current involvement with Juvenile Justice or Child Welfare systems.  Law students may also work with courts and legal clinics, assisting clients in preparing pro se documents and instructing pro se individuals on case preparation predominately in domestic relations related areas of the law including child custody, visitation, child support and divorce. FYAC is offered both fall and spring semesters; students may enroll in the class twice and may continue to represent clients from one semester to the next. 

What legal issue fascinates you and why?

Many legal issues fascinate me, but one of my ongoing interests has been the concept of child support and the statutory scheme for calculating it. As times have changed in my years of practice, with courts moving from one parent having custody towards shared parenting and more and more households having dual incomes, the basis for child support has evolved from providing support from the “working parent” to the “stay at home parent” to a more difficult challenge as to who pays and how much. Another issue is that the child support laws don’t contemplate payment by anyone other than one parent to the other, failing to address common family situations such as when a grandparent is caring for the child. Courts and attorneys have had to be very creative in trying to place modern concepts of family into an old statutory scheme.

AS A LAW STUDENT

Where did you attend law school?

The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

What was your proudest moment in law school?

Making law review and, in my second year, being selected as research editor.

What do you know now that you wish you had known in law school?

All of the different careers that you can pursue with a law degree outside of the traditional private practice career. 

ADVISE FOR LAW STUDENTS

What is the most common mistake upper-level students make?

I may be biased, but I’d say not taking advantage of a clinical experience opportunity! There is no greater way to learn about how to be a lawyer than to do it under the supervision of a licensed attorney. I think students also learn a tremendous amount about themselves when dealing with real clients and real cases that could confirm or change their intended post-law school trajectory.

YOUR FAVORITES

What is your favorite local restaurant?

Scotty’s! It’s a hidden gem just down Broad Street open only on weekdays for breakfast and lunch. Hands down the best service you will ever get in a restaurant – the owners know you and visit your table every day. Cheap, delicious, large portions and free dessert with every meal! Best tuna melt in town!