USD's Child Advocacy Clinic is operated by the Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI), one of the nation's premiere academic, research, and advocacy organizations working to improve the lives of children and youth. Child Advocacy Clinic interns have three options:(1) they may work with a supervising attorney to represent minors or parents in child abuse and neglect proceedings; (2) they may work with a supervising attorney to advocate on behalf of minors involved in delinquency proceedings; and/or (3) they may work with CAI's professional staff on state and federal policy advocacy projects, such as legislative or regulatory advocacy, impact litigation, research, or public education projects. Past policy projects have included research, analysis, and advocacy to, among other things:
- ensure a child’s right to competent, client-directed counsel in legal proceedings that implicate their rights and impact every imaginable aspect of their lives;
- advocate for states' appropriate implementation of the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act’s public disclosure requirement regarding child abuse or neglect fatalities and near fatalities;
- promote educational rights, particularly for children involved in the juvenile court system;
- protect and promote the interests of commercially sexually exploited children; and
- improve the oversight and regulation of private, for-profit postsecondary schools.