Nadia Seeratan is the Deputy Director of the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law supporting a team of attorneys and core staff to provide meaningful access to justice for children and families who come into contact with the legal system. Nadia joined the Center in April 2021 and brings extensive experience in juvenile, child welfare, and criminal justice systems through litigation, appellate defense, training, policy development, and racial justice advocacy.
Before joining the Center, Nadia worked across the country providing leadership development, training, technical assistance, and support to frontline and appellate public defenders. She spent eight years with the National Juvenile Defender Center where she promoted access to justice for children by working to build the capacity of the juvenile defense bar. Before that, she served as the Racial Justice Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) challenging injustice and discrimination through impact litigation, advocacy, and public education campaigns designed to positively impact communities of color.
Nadia began her legal career on the frontlines of children’s advocacy with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice in New York City, where she represented children in child welfare and juvenile delinquency proceedings, and in domestic violence proceedings in criminal court. She has trained public defenders, judges, and other legal system stakeholders across 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico and looks forward to working in all 50 states and the territories. Nadia received her Hons. B.A. degree from the University of Toronto, and her J.D. from St. Mary’s University. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Nadia now lives in Virginia with her husband and daughter.
As a dedicated children’s rights advocate, Nadia is committed to ensuring children who come in contact with the system – disproportionately poor children of color – receive the support they need to advance and thrive. She strongly believes in the potential for every child and their family to have healthy relationships, even in the face of adversity, and is committed to improving the legal system and to challenging systemic racism, disparity, and bias.
Throughout her life, Nadia has found inspiration in the words of Margaret Meade, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed [people] can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” She remains unwavering in pursuit of change to give every child a chance at success, even when change seems out of reach. She feels privileged to bolster the efforts of the team at the Center who embody this philosophy.