University News

School of Law Partners with the Children and Family Law Program to Fill Attorney Shortage

Published: May 20, 2019 | Categories: Alumni
red family on hand graphic

In response to what Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants has called a “constitutional emergency” resulting from the lack of lawyers available for childcare custody hearings, Western New England University School of Law has partnered with the Children and Family Law (CAFL) program to expedite the placement of new graduates on CAFL’s private counsel panel soon after learning of their bar exams results. Western New England is the only law school in the Commonwealth to offer such a program.

Under the program, new law graduates may be eligible for post-graduation fellowships in the local CAFL office, or employment with local private attorneys during the period between taking the bar exam and finding out the bar results. If you would like to work with a graduating student in support of this program, please contact Professor of Law Jeanne Kaiser, the program coordinator, at or (413)796-2213.

Professor Kaiser has worked as a member of the CAFL appellate panel for almost 20 years, and she is very excited to begin offering this program at the School of Law. She believes the program "will have substantial benefits to both our students, and the parents and children who face separation in Juvenile Court actions.”

The Children and Family Law Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) is in dire need of attorneys interested in representing parents and children in child welfare cases in western Massachusetts. Hampden County has been experiencing a steady increase in the number of care and protections filings - a process where the state removes children from their parents’ custody and places them in foster care. Parents and children are each entitled to an attorney in these proceedings to protect their constitutional and statutory rights. The CPCS must increase the number of attorneys handling these cases in order to ensure that everyone is provided zealous and timely representation.

Current members of the bar interested in becoming certified should contact Carol Rosensweig at or (617)910-5744.