The views expressed herein have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, and accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.
Robert Schwartz, JD, received the Mark Hardin Award for Child Welfare Legal Scholarship and Systems Change at the 16th National Conference on Children and the Law in Washington, DC on July 17, 2015. The award kicked off the two-day biannual conference hosted by the ABA Center on Children and the Law.
Mimi Laver, director of legal education at the ABA Center on Children and the Law, described the award and its significance. “The award honors someone in the child law field who represents legal scholarship but also works on systems change—someone who’s written, who’s taught, who’s shared, and who has worked in child welfare and has been influential in changing the way we do our work,” said Laver. These traits embodied attorney Mark Hardin’s career at the Center on Children and the Law.
In 1975, Schwartz was one of the founders of the Juvenile Law Center (JLC) in Philadelphia, the oldest nonprofit public interest law firm for children in the country. He became JLC’s executive director in 1982. Throughout his career, Schwartz has written many scholarly articles, trained and talked to people in over 30 states and many countries. He has supported the ABA Center on Children and the Law over the years and has been active in the greater ABA, serving for several years on the ABA Commission on Youth at Risk.
Laver, who introduced Schwartz and gave him the award, noted that he was her personal mentor. When she graduated law school in Philadelphia, Schwartz took her under his wing and introduced her to many influential child advocates in the city, deepening her commitment to child advocacy as a career.
“I am grateful to receive the Mark Hardin award,” said Schwartz. He described Hardin as “an oracle in the field” and noted that his work and the Juvenile Law Center was “shaped by Mark’s insights and prodigious output.” “Today’s award is a tribute I will treasure forever,” he said.
Claire Chiamulera, legal editor at the ABA Center on Children and the Law, is CLP's editor.