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Children’s lawyering is changing. Just as we are seeing in other professions like teaching and healthcare, lawyers are leaving this work (“The Great Resignation”). In addition, the children’s bar is aging without sufficiently bringing in new lawyers into the field. We need changes to our field if we are to strengthen and diversify the bar representing children and youth. This series of three webinars will focus on what current children’s law leaders at all levels can do to support both the entrance of new children’s lawyers into the field as well as the lawyers currently providing legal representation to children and youth. Representation in a variety of substantive areas such as youth justice, child welfare, immigration, education and youth experiencing homelessness will be included in these interactive conversations which will focus on solutions.

This complementary, non-CLE webinar series is sponsored by the Children’s Rights Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association Litigation Section and co-sponsored by the ABA Center on Children and the Law; Children’s Law Center of California; Children’s Rights; Education Law Center; The Gault Center; Juvenile Law Center; and the National Association of Counsel for Children. If you have any questions please contact [email protected].

Part One: Accessibility of the Work

This program took place on September 19, 2022. You can watch this webinar here.

The pipeline into children’s law needs to be diversified and children’s law as a field needs to be more accessible to people, including those with lived expertise. How we frame and talk about this work matters as does the language we use. Historically, organizations that employ children’s lawyers have been part of the problem, but we currently have an opportunity to be part of the solution. Join our speakers for an interactive discussion about these issues and hear ideas for solutions to make the field of children’s law more accessible.

Speakers:

  • Kirstin Evans, 2020–22 Gault Fellow, The Gault Center, Washington, DC
  • Leyda Garcia-Greenawalt, National Law School Student Organizer, National Association of Counsel for Children, Chicago, IL
  • Hector Linares, Coordinator of Skills & Experiential Learning and Clinic Professor, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
  • Shannon Moody, PhD, MSSW, CSW, Kentucky Youth Advocates, Louisville, KY
  • Chach Duarte White, Director of Legal Services, Justice Expansion Team, Legal Counsel for Youth & Children, Seattle, WA (moderator)

Part Two: Supporting the Next Generation of Children’s Lawyers

This program took place on October 17, 2022. You can watch this webinar here.

There is a gap between the generations of children’s lawyers that reflects a changing narrative about children’s law as well as the nature of work generally. This gap presents opportunities for our field and our organizations that touch on issues such as workforce wellbeing, supporting lawyers of color and living up to the values we are professing. Our speakers explored these issues and brainstormed ideas for ways to address them that can strengthen our field and support the next generation of children’s lawyers.

Speakers:

  • Paige Joki, Staff Attorney, Education Law Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • Brittany Mobley, Deputy Chief, Community Defender Division, Juvenile Services Program, Public Defender Service for DC, Washington, DC
  • Vivek Sankaran, Clinical Professor of Law, Director, Child Advocacy Law Clinic, Director, Child Welfare Appellate Clinic, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Heather Wilson, Attorney Supervisor, Children’s Law Center of California, Los Angeles, CA
  • Trenny Stovall, LGC Core Consulting, Washington, DC (moderator)

Part Three: Systemic Issues

This program took place on Thursday, November 10, 2022. You can watch this webinar here.

The field of children’s law is impacted by the systemic racism within the systems in which we work as well as systemic pressures that impact issues like pay and caseloads. Speakers in this session discussed how children’s law leaders can address the systemic issues that impact the sustainability of this work.

Speakers:

  • Annie Chung, Staff Attorney, Legal Counsel for Youth & Children, Seattle, WA
  • Megan Connolly, Mercer, New York, NY
  • Marisol Garcia, Director/Managing Attorney, Mental Health Advocates for Kids, Boston, MA
  • HyeJi Kim, Senior Youth Defense Counsel, The Gault Center, Brooklyn, NY
  • Shereen White, Director of Advocacy & Policy, Children’s Rights, New York, NY (moderator)

Materials

Well-Being:

General Information on the Great Resignation:

Retention Strategies:

Pipeline into the Profession:

Resources on Loan Forgiveness:

Contact

Cathy Krebs
Manager, Children's Rights Litigation Committee
[email protected]