Emily Peeler

Staff Attorney, Education and Permanency Projects

Emily Peeler

Emily Peeler

Image: Mitch Higgins, American Bar Association

Growing up in Kentucky, Emily marked her path early: “It’s always been about children, helping the kids.”  She also knew she liked the big picture, and for Emily that meant system reform.  So getting a law degree was on her path, but “not the traditional lawyer path.” She wanted something more. 

For Emily that meant getting a Masters in Social Work from Boston University in 2011 then earning her JD from Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. Keeping kids front and center, she participated in the Street Law Program. In summer 2013 -- her second year of law school -- Emily interned at the ABA Center on Children and the Law.  She saw the internship as “the perfect wedding of children’s rights and child welfare.”  

After graduating law school Emily served as a youth advocacy coordinator for CASA for Children of DC. She then became NALP/Street Law Legal Diversity Pipeline Fellow, where she worked with law firms and high schools across the country to increase students' knowledge and interest in the law and legal careers. 

Returning to the Center in 2016 as a staff attorney means the left-handed, vegetarian from Kentucky is doing what she’s always wanted. Emily says her main characteristics are being friendly and empathetic, but her colleagues see the persistence and passion she brings to her work every day. Emily is enjoying: 

  • researching content for the kinship database,
  • working on a 50-state survey of parents rights when the youth is removed from the home, 
  • working on the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education, and
  • kicking off the Education barriers program for the Pennsylvania permanency barriers grant.