Sixth Annual Mark Hardin Award Winner

Margaret A. Burt, New York Child Welfare Attorney

The Center is pleased to announce the recipient of the Sixth Annual Mark Hardin Award for Child Welfare Legal Scholarship and Systems Change is Margaret A. Burt from New York. In their nomination letter, one colleague shared: "I jumped at the opportunity to communicate my respect and admiration for Margaret as a practitioner, legal scholar, colleague, advocate, teacher and national expert on the law affecting state intervention in the lives of the family. Perhaps equally or more importantly, Margaret has enormous integrity and a winning sense of humor that puts her audiences at ease, freeing even the most anxious to ask questions that advance our dialogue and improve how we represent our clients. She is a NY institution and a national treasure."

Ms. Burt, her colleagues continued, “works as a trainer, lecturer, consultant, child welfare attorney and as a national expert…and exemplifies the spirit of this award…she has reviewed and provided valuable commentary on virtually all pending NY State legislation relative to Family Court and child welfare…”

Her nominators added: "Margaret’s work ethic is inspiring. I have never met anyone else who can fly across the country, present an all-day lecture with superb skill and enthusiasm, then rent a car and drive to the other end of the State, for another full day of training and then do it all again, and again – with conference calls in between – all the while being poised, articulate and mesmerizing.  As a legal scholar, Margaret would have been a success in any area of the law, but she was motivated by her deep compassion for vulnerable children. As a result, Margaret has emerged as a superstar among child welfare legal experts.”

The Mark Hardin Award will be presented to Ms. Burt on April 27, 2017 at the ABA Children and the Law Conference in Virginia. The award is named for the longtime director of child welfare at the Center on Children and the Law in honor of his history as an early innovator in that field. The award is given to an attorney, law professor, judge or legislator who has shown achievement and commitment to legal scholarship and systems change, such as authoring child welfare legislation, leading a child welfare agency through major system change or having a key role in litigation that resulted in major system change.

Please join us in congratulating Margaret!