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Children's Rights students raise money for Youth Emergency Shelter Services

November 4, 2014

Children's Rights Clinic students took a break from representing children in Polk County Juvenile Court to spend their Sunday afternoon raising money for Youth Emergency Shelter Services (YESS) through their participation in a "Human Foosball" Tournament.

YESS is a shelter that serves homeless children in Des Moines, providing them with a safe place to stay, counseling, and a continuum of other services.

Brent Pattison, assistant professor of law and director of the Middleton Center for Children’s Rights, noted, "Our community is so fortunate to have YESS. They do amazing work for our clients, and it was nice to see the law students give something back to YESS by raising money to participate in the tournament."

As a result of their fundraising, the Drake Children's Rights Team was guaranteed three games in the round robin tournament. Students Adam Hanson, Andrew Mountsier, Julie Terry, Joslyn Sailer, Andrea McGinn, and Anna Harmon participated, along with Pattison.

While the team was high on enthusiasm and sportsmanship, dominance may not be the right word. They were eliminated in round robin play.

As Adam Hanson, a third-year law student, noted, "At least the kids at YESS were winners."

There were several highlights to the afternoon, including Sailer's outstanding play in goal, a five-goal explosion in the second game by Pattison, and Mountsier showing total commitment by playing after his recent hand surgery. Terry was the team leader in assists, and McGinn and Harmon were terrific at disrupting the other team's attack in the midfield. A special thanks to 3L Tayler Haggerty for cheering on the team.

The Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children’s Rights pursues a broad agenda, advancing children's rights through the legal process, training, public information, and public policy formulation. As active participants in the Middleton Center's four programs, Drake law students learn the multidisciplinary process essential to addressing complex issues.

The Children's Rights Clinic furthers the training and public service goals of the Middleton Center. Through the clinic, third year Drake law students practice for a year in juvenile court under the supervision of an experienced clinical professor. Students help identify and research public policy issues, and then draft proposed legislation. The Drake Legislative Practice Center works on passing the proposed legislation, and students have the opportunity to assist in this process for credit.

Those studying children’s rights and family law at Drake have numerous opportunities to gain valuable experiences ranging from the representing clients to drafting actual legislation. Drake students have presented at conferences and trainings around the country and are guided by two experts in their field, Pattison and Jerry Foxhoven, executive director of the Neal and Bea Smith Legal Clinic.

To learn more about children’s rights at Drake Law, visit http://www.law.drake.edu/clinicsCenters/middleton/.

To learn more about YESS, visit their website: http://www.yessiowa.org.