Career Choice Series

Child Welfare

Presented by Sarah Lyons and Howard L. Tankersley

Note: This is not for CLE.  Live webinars are free and open to the public. The recorded program and materials are exclusively for ABA members.

Child welfare attorneys work to protect the rights of minors in abuse, neglect and termination of parental rights court proceedings.

Child welfare attorneys work to protect the rights of minors in abuse, neglect and termination of parental rights court proceedings.

BrAt82 / Shutterstock

The Career Choice Series is designed to help you choose your career path. Whether you’re a law student, young lawyer, or transitioning attorney, find out what it’s like to work in various practice areas and the best way to position yourself to get there.

Description & Speakers

Children’s law is a relatively new area of the law.  It encompasses a variety of substantive areas including juvenile justice, child welfare, immigration, education and more.  The representation of children in child welfare cases really began when the federal government required the appointment of an advocate for the child under the 1974 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).  Child welfare involves the legal representation of children when the state removes them from their home due to allegations of abuse or neglect.  The removal from the home triggers fundamental constitutional rights of both parents and children and that interference in the family requires a court review.  Jurisdictions vary greatly in how they provide representation, utilizing a variety of models and roles.  Our speakers will share with you their career paths, provide invaluable insight on how to break into this area, what drew them to it, the pros and cons, and what a typical day for a child welfare attorney entails.

Speakers

Sarah Lyons, Law Offices of Sarah E. Lyons, Boston, MA

Howard L. Tankersley, Attorney/Mediator, Children’s Law Center, Covington, KY

Moderator

Tomea Mersmann, Assistant Dean for Graduate Recruitment and Professional Development / Lecturer in Law,  Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, MO

Sponsors

ABA Career CenterYoung Lawyers DivisionLaw Student Division, and 
Section of Litigation Children’s Rights Litigation Committee

Video & Handout