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American Bar Association

  Children's Rights Litigation
Practice Points »

Ban on Mandatory life Without Parole Is Now Retroactive

The decision means that many serving such sentences will receive new sentencing hearings or be considered for parole.


Re-Authorization of Every Student Succeeds Act

The first major overhaul of federal education law in over a decade.


Might the ADA and Rehabilitation Act Require Accommodation of the Effects of Trauma in Education under the ADA and Section 504?

If the court rules that exposure to traumatizing events is a disability, its impact could reach other public school systems.

Articles »

Protecting Foster Youth from Unsafely Administered Psychotropic Drugs

By Sara Bartosz

Dependency court lawyers must play a meaningful role in preventing unsafely administered medications.


Compassion Fatigue: Caveat Caregiver?

By Jennifer Baum

Identify, prevent, and treat the stress that arises from child welfare professionals' constant exposure to the trauma of children.

Needed and Welcome Change: Supporting the Education of Foster Youth

By Noy Davis

Recent federal and state laws and programs promote foster youth education and achievement.

Sound Advice »

audio Starting and building a Children’s Legal Service Practice—Fundraising

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)


audio 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)


audio 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)


Roundtables »

audio Addressing Compassion Fatigue: An Ethical Mandate

Working with clients in trauma can impact lawyers, both personally and professionally. Speakers focus on preventative and responsive strategies for solo practitioners, agency lawyers, and leaders who manage child lawyers, as well as the ethical implications of compassion fatigue on child representation. (01:28:39)


audio Representing Very Young Children: What does Zealous Advocacy Look Like?

Providing legal representation to very young children (0–5 yrs) in dependency cases presents unique challenges. Panelists address questions by discussing what lawyers in different states and systems are actually doing to provide zealous advocacy to some of our most vulnerable clients in juvenile court.  (02:29:29)


audio Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth Alone in the Courts

The number of unaccompanied immigrant youth who arrive with no adult at our borders is skyrocketing with approximately 24,000 youth detained in 2012, more than three times the number of youth detained in 2008. These children have no right to a lawyer. (00:59:14)


Announcements »

Educational Civil Rights Accountability Project

Join us at an upcoming Roundtable on December 7 to discuss Current Trends in the OCR Complaint Process on School Disparities.


International Summit on the Legal Needs of Street Youth

The summit was held on June 16–17, 2015, in London, England. Read more.

Juvenile Records Model Act

Resolution 103A was presented to and adopted by the House of Delegates in August.

Directory Updates

We are in the process of updating the ABA Directory of Children's Law Programs. Contact Committee Director Cathy Krebs if you have any updates.

Children's Rights Litigation Leadership


Committee Cochairs

Committee Director/
Newsletter Editor


Web Editors

Ira Lustbader

New York, NY

Marlene Sallo

Washington, D.C.

Brent Pattison

Des Moines, IA

Catherine Krebs

Washington, D.C.


Marlene Sallo

Washington, D.C.

Jen Baum

New York, NY