Children's Rights Litigation

About the Committee


The Children’s Rights Litigation Committee is one of the more than 40 practice groups open to all members of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation. Joining the committee entitles a member to a number of benefits (see list below). The committee’s leadership is made up of experienced litigators from all over the country working to improve access to justice, engage pro bono lawyers, and improve outcomes for all children who come into contact with the legal system. As it works toward that vision, the committee exercises the unique ability to help local groups who are interested in starting or improving children’s legal programs.

In order to accomplish the goals of improving the quality of the legal representation of children and providing members with opportunities to learn and to lead, the committee provides its members with these benefits:

Children’s Rights, a quarterly publication

• Online access to case notes and alerts on news and developments of interest to the children’s law community

• Opportunities for leadership in the development of children’s legal policy initiatives

• Training that includes a spring teleconference, online programs, and training DVDs (for example, the award-winning Interviewing the Child Client)

• Opportunities to write for committee publications and participate in one or more active subcommittees

Whether you want to receive Children’s Rights, learn from and network with children’s lawyers from around the country, contribute to our programs and publications, or all of the above, join our committee. Section of Litigation members may join as many committees as they like at no charge.

To join, you must first be a member of the ABA and also a member of the ABA Section of Litigation.

Message from the Chairs

Thank you for visiting the Children’s Rights Litigation Committee website. The website aims to house many free resources to assist you in your legal representation of children, whether you provide that representation full time or on a pro bono basis.

The Programs & Materials page is a great place to find free trainings on topics ranging from education to immigration to juvenile justice to child welfare. The site is regularly updated with new programs so be sure to bookmark it and visit it often. The Multimedia page is where you will find videos and podcasts. We are sponsoring a series Starting and Building a Children’s Legal Practice, which is interviews with the children’s law leaders who assisted in forming the field of children’s law. It is a great combination of practical tips as well as a history of the children’s legal field. The Articles page contains fascinating articles on a variety of different topics ranging from practical tips, to overviews of new laws, to descriptions of innovative programs as well as hot topics in children’s law.

The committee also maintains a Directory of Children's Law Programs, a national state-by-state listing of children’s law centers, clinics and resource centers. If you know of a program that is not currently listed or needs to be updated, please contact our committee director, Catherine Krebs. Also, be sure to "like" us on Facebook. Our Facebook page is updated daily and includes the latest information about the legal needs of children across the country.

The hope is that these materials will support the legal community as we aim to elevate and improve the legal representation of children so please do take advantage of these resources and share them with your colleagues.

If you have ideas for programs or articles, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.


Anne Helms
Shannon Prown
Martin Gauto
Cochairs, Children's Rights Litigation Committee


Our active subcommittees include:

Content Development/Editorial Board—This subcommittee provides the opportunity to assist in the development and dissemination of written content that highlights important developments in the law, practice, and sociology of representing children in our judicial system. Our content is distributed via the Committee webpage, our quarterly newsletter, and other publications that we solicit for publication. This group has quarterly phone calls to discuss topics, expert resources, and placement opportunities.

Advocacy: Right to Education—The Advocacy: Right to Education subcommittee provides a forum for lawyers working on the critical issues that impact the right to education for so many of our youth. Issues have included the school-to-prison pipeline, school push-out/zero tolerance, and other critical issues. Participation in this subcommittee provides the opportunity to work on important national initiatives, including the development of a model school code.

Advocacy: Right to Counsel—We have made great strides toward realizing a national right to quality legal counsel for all children who enter our judicial system, but there is much more to be accomplished. The Advocacy: Right to Counsel subcommittee brings lawyers together from across the country to continue this important work. The subcommittee’s current focus is the institution of a right to counsel for children in abuse and neglect cases. This subcommittee holds monthly strategy calls and has an active list serve for sharing developments and ideas in this rapidly developing area of law.

To join a subcommittee or to suggest a new subcommittee, please click here.

Find contact information for committee and subcommittee chairs:
 Download Working Group Roster | 

Also, find contact information in the ABA Member Directory:
» ABA Online Directory

Committee Leadership


Anne Geraghty Helms
DLA Piper LLP (US)
Chicago, IL


Shannon Prown
Morgan Lewis
Philadelphia, PA

Martin Gauto
Los Angeles, CA

Committee Director/Newsletter Editor

Catherine Krebs
American Bar Association, Section of Litigation
Washington, DC

Web Editors

Hon. Robert Murphy

Sarah Lyons


Nicole Scialabba