The Catholic University of America




(Clinical Assistant Professor Faith Mullen working with Daniel Thomas and David Clarke.)


 

The British are coming . . . the British are coming . . .
CUA Law Hosts Law Exchange Students from England

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For the third year, CUA Law is hosting law students from the University of York in York, England.

For the past two weeks David Clarke and Daniel Thomas have been working and studying in the Columbus Community Legal Services (CCLS) Clinic. David lives in Surrey, just outside London and Daniel lives in Birmingham. Both attend the University of York and they are going into their third and final year of undergraduate Law LLB. David added, "We both hope to become qualified solicitors following university graduation."

David and Daniel completed a module (or class) in the York Law School Clinic as part of their studies and they very much enjoyed it. Eager to experience a law clinic in a different legal system, they were especially attracted to the clinic at CUA because of the fact that under supervision, students are able to represent clients in courts themselves. Daniel noted, "This is something that is not possible in England and were therefore eager to observe this when we were here."

They were able to work on two cases while at the clinic. This is how they described the cases, "The first involved a tax dispute between two individuals. The issue was that although they had joint custody over their daughter, only one could claim having the 'qualifying child' and the consequential tax benefits. As such, we were tasked to work out whether fighting over who would have the 'qualifying child' was worth the stress, financially. The second case was a child custody matter and involved us working out whether the judge had been correct to award custody to the grandmother of her grandchildren. We also helped one of the clinic students, [3L Chris O'Meara], prepare for a custody trial by going through the proposed direct and cross examination questions with him, and we attended that trial." Photo on left shows (L to R) David Clarke, Chris O'Meara, and Daniel Thomas standing in the CCLS library.

While in D.C., they very much enjoyed the National Air and Space Museum, as well as the Newseum. However, a particular favorite was attending a lecture at the Supreme Court. They would have loved to have attended an oral argument, but unfortunately the court was not in session.

When asked, what they'll take back with them from this experience, they responded:

" A particular highlight of this experience has been attending court. We both had a fairly limited knowledge of the U.S. legal system before our time here, so we'll definitely be taking back a better understanding of how the courts function and some of the differences between this and our own system. Our work on cases have also given us a basic knowledge of U.S. tax and custody law, which we are sure will be useful should we face these areas in our own studies. Lastly, we know we will take back better file management, legal research and writing skills that we've been able to develop to some extent over these two weeks. We are also quite sophisticated Metro navigators by this point!"