Children's Rights Litigation


Learn while you’re on the go. Access the Children's Rights Litigation Committee's recordings on this archive page.

Children’s Rights Committee YouTube Channel

The Children’s Rights Litigation Committee has a YouTube channel! All videos from the symposium Children’s Rights are Human Rights: 20 Years of Fearless Lawyering for Children can be found on the CRLC YouTube Channel.

Fostering Justice – Children Need a Lawyer
(1:44 min PSA)

Interviewing the Child Client: Approaches and Techniques for a Successful Interview
(37:47 min award winning training video narrated by Amy Brenneman)

To see a full list and descriptions of all our videos, click here!

Symposium Podcasts

Zealous Lawyers for Children: An Essential Part of the Child Welfare System
By Leslie Heimov
Leslie Heimov discusses why legal representation for children (and parents!) is essential within a child welfare system and how good representation helps a judge determine what is in the best interest of the child. (8:24 min)

Experts of Their Own Lives: Childrens' Participation in the Courtroom
By Erik Pitchal
Judge Erik Pitchal shares lessons he has learned about treating children as experts of their own lives and including them in court proceedings. (7:48 min)

Ingredient for Success—One Person Can Change the Life of a Child
By Gerry Glynn
Gerry Glynn discusses the impact one person can have in the life of a child and how one person can help a child achieve success. (5:35 min)

Beyond Suspensions and Expulsions—New Threats Within the School-to-Prison Pipeline
By Curtis Davis
Curtis Davis describes new threats that can plunge students into the school-to-prison pipeline. (7:46 min)

Loving Unconditionally—The Gift of Foster Care to the Whole Family
By Liz Luce
Liz Luce describes her experience of being a biological child in a family that embraced foster children and how that experience gave her the gift of unconditional love. (7:54 min)

Starting a New Law Project for Children: The Difference Pro Bono Lawyers Can Make
By Geoffrey Vitt
Former CRLC cochair Geoffrey Vitt describes a project of the committee, assisted by pro bono lawyers, to help start a new children's law program in an underserved community. (3:12 min)

It Took a Lawyer: Legal Advocacy Can Transform a Child’s Life
By Julia Wilson
Julia Wilson tells the story of how legal advocacy changed the life of a child with a disability. (6:22 min)

How Listening to Our Child Clients Can Lead to Big System Changes
By Scott Hollander
Scott Hollander describes the innovations that took place when his organization really listened to their child clients and responded to their identified needs. The results changed both his organization and the very system in which they are working. (14:57 min)

Honoring our Clients' Connections: The Importance of Family
By Robin Rosenberg
Robin Rosenberg describes what she has learned as a foster parent and children’s rights lawyer about how critical it is to respect our clients’ families and how doing so can help our clients heal. (05:02 min)

Realizing Human Rights: The Importance of Listening to Child Clients
By Katherine Kaufka Walts
Katherine Kaufka Walts describes how critical it is to listen to our child clients so that lawyers can provide zealous advocacy that addresses the client’s most pressing issues. (10:58 min)

Whatever It Takes—Going the Extra Mile for Our Youngest Clients
By Frank Cervone
Frank Cervone shares a memorable story of going the extra mile to ensure his child client had her needs met and details a new project that will assist youth in foster care in safely securing their documents so that they have easy access to them. (6:09 min)

Advice to Those Preparing for a Career in Child Welfare Law: It’s Not About You
By Brooke Silverthorn
Brooke Silverthorn shares her thoughts on the challenges and rewards of pursuing a career in children's law. (5:16 min)

Doing Your Research – How Zealous Advocacy Can Save a Life
By Gail Chang Bohr
Gail Chang Bohr discusses the case of an Ogoni immigrant child client and the critical impact that zealous advocacy had on that child’s life. (09:57 min)

Children’s Rights Celebrates 20 Years!

2018 marks the 20th year of the Children’s Rights Litigation Committee. This video provides some of the highlights of the work of the committee over the last 20 years. CRLC will be celebrating all year culminating in a day-long symposium on May 1, 2018 in San Diego that will look ahead to the next 20 years of children’s rights. Let us know if you would like more information on this invitation-only symposium.


Can Pro Bono Lawyers Expand Access to Justice in School Discipline Cases?
School discipline cases have high stakes that can include a child permanently losing the right to an education. A lawyer can make a critical difference in these cases which can forever change the trajectory of a child’s life. However children very often do not have a lawyer in school discipline cases. Can pro bono lawyers help to close this access to justice gap? Can pro bono lawyers provide effective legal representation on school discipline cases? Engaging pro bono lawyers on these cases can be challenging for a variety of reasons including short timelines, and as a result many organizations have decided not to run pro bono programs for discipline cases. Speakers will explore these very real challenges and discuss how successful programs have overcome the barriers to effective pro bono engagement. Programs from a variety of geographic areas, including non-urban environments, will discuss what works and tips for starting and running a pro bono program that truly expands access to justice for children in school discipline cases. (1:02:19 min)

School Vouchers: Is This the Next Big Civil Rights Issue?
This teleconference focuses on school vouchers and voucher-like systems and discusses how potential changes to the funding of our public education system would impact students. Speakers from different sides of the debate discuss the strengths and weaknesses of vouchers and voucher-like systems and grapple with the civil rights implications. (1:28:37 min.)

Looking Ahead: Next Steps to Address Legal Financial Obligations for Youth
By Brent Pattison
There has been an increase of local governments instituting court costs, fines and fees for minor offenses which have a devastating impact on the poor. Conversations around these issues do not always focus on the effect of these costs and fees on juveniles specifically. Panelists on this program will discuss efforts specific to juveniles around the country, what has happened thus far, but importantly will look ahead to strategize future work that is needed to ensure that we are not criminalizing poverty for our children. (01:30:07)

Podcast Series

Starting and Building a Children's Legal Services Practice—Part I
By Lourdes Rosado and Bob Schwartz
In the first installment of the series, Lourdes Rosado and Bob Schwartz tackle the topic of staffing and putting together a multidisciplinary team. Listen each month for more advice on starting or expanding legal services for children. (13:24 min)

Starting and Building a Children's Legal Services Practice—Part II
By Don Duquette
In the second installment of the series, hear as Lourdes Rosado interviews Professor Don Duquette about his experiences starting and building the Child Advocacy Law Clinic at the University of Michigan. (16:53 min)

Starting and Building a Children's Legal Services Practice—Part III
By Frank Cervone
Lourdes Rosado interviews Frank Cervone, executive director of the Support Center for Child Advocates, about how the center has built a large support system for children by combining full-time advocates with pro bono attorneys. (18:21 min)

Starting and Building a Children's Legal Services Practice—Part IV
By Jay McManus
Listen as Tiffany Friend interviews Jay McManus, the Executive Director of the Children's Law Center of Massachusetts, about the history of his organization and the lessons he's learned through the years. (11:52 min)

Starting and Building a Children’s Legal Service Practice—Fundraising, Part V
By Shari Shink
In the next installment in the series, listen as Lourdes Rosado interviews long-time child rights advocate Shari Shink as she reflects on raising money and you may be surprised where she suggests focusing your efforts. (16:43 min)

Starting and Building a Children's Legal Services Practice—Part VI
By Ira Lustbader and Tami Steckler
In Part VI of our series, Ira Lustbader interviews longtime child rights advocate Tami Steckler on how her office works and how it continues to thrive. (19:14 min)


International Summit on the Legal Needs of Street Youth
This 2-minute video provides a glimpse into the ABA co-sponsored International Summit which was held June 16–17, 2015, in London, England. Thank you to Navigant Consulting for producing the video.

Interviewing the Child Client
This guide from the Section of Litigation’s Children’s Rights Litigation Committee provides a multidisciplinary and practical approach to counseling child clients. This booklet contains tips on how to assess the developmental level of a client, build rapport with a client, use different strategies to effectively counsel a client, and minimize the impact of common challenges to counseling child clients.
» View the Video
» Download the Manual

Sound Advice

Effective Representation for Immigrant Youth
By Martin Gauto and Lindsay Toczylowski – April 11, 2018
Immigration attorneys in Los Angeles, CA, Martin Gauto, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and Lindsay Toczylowski, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, discuss tips for providing effective representation to immigrant youth in deportation proceedings. (12:53 min)

Quality Representation for Children: Lessons Learned
By Judge Constance Cohen and Wendy Rima
A conversation between Constance Cohen, a retired Juvenile Court Judge, and Wendy Rima, a Drake Law School clinic student who has just started representing children in juvenile court. Judge Cohen and Wendy discuss lessons learned about the important role the child's counsel plays in a child welfare case. (08:45 min)

Lessons from Juvenile Clients
By Brent Pattison and Lori Bullock
Listen as Professor Brent Pattison and current law student and former foster-care child Lori Bullock discuss three critiques of legal representation brought forth by young people who are in the child-welfare system. (7:56 min)

Representing a Grandparent Petitioning for Visitation Rights
Carla-Michelle Adams outlines the criteria that are examined by the courts when determining whether to grant grandparents visitation rights for their underage grandchildren. (7:59 min)

Hidden Victimization of Foster Children
Learn from Ira Lustbader how you can help to end this national disgrace. (16:01 min)

Training Manual

Counseling Children and Youth in Times of Crisis: Tips to Achieve Success and Avoid Pitfalls

This guide from the Section of Litigation’s Children’s Rights Litigation Committee provides a multidisciplinary and practical approach to counseling child clients. This booklet contains tips on how to assess the developmental level of a client, build rapport with a client, use different strategies to effectively counsel a client, and minimize the impact of common challenges to counseling child clients.

» Download the Manual |