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American Bar Association

  Children's Rights Litigation
Practice Points »

The Price of Juvenile Crime

A recent report studied the cost of court fines and fees imposed on youth and their families.


Access to Justice for Children in Washington State

A new report underscores the importance of legal representation for foster kids.


Social Security Administration Extends Application Period for Youth in Foster Care

The new program allows youth with disabilities extra time to apply for SSI payments.

Articles »

Legal Care as a Tool to Improve Children's Mental Health

By Amanda M. Walsh

Free, accessible legal assistance as part of children's mental health treatment plans.


Making the Case to End Solitary Confinement for Juveniles

By Nicole Scialabba

Juveniles in solitary confinement are more likely to develop mental health problems.

Art Works for Flint's Detained Youth

By Shelley R. Spivack

Visual arts, theater, spoken-word poetry, and dance workshops for youth detained in one of the most distressed cities in our nation.

Sound Advice »

audio 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)


audio 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)


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)


Roundtables »

audio Criminalizing Poverty: Debtor's Prison in the 21st Century

Debtor's prison is thought to be a thing of the past, and yet there is a growing awareness that we continue to criminalize poverty in the United States.  This program examines the issue of the criminalization of poverty and discusses ways that lawyers can address this problem on both an individual and systematic level. (01:33:45)


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)


Announcements »

Educational Civil Rights Accountability Project

The Educational Civil Rights Accountability Project has a new website which was created to provide education, training and tools to civil rights, legal aid, and pro bono attorneys around issues related to the school to prison pipeline, and disparate outcomes in education. 


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.

ABA Directory of Children's Law Programs

The committee maintains an ABA Directory of Children's Law Programs which is a state by state listing of children’s law centers, clinics and resources centers around the country. Please contact Committee Director Cathy Krebs if you have any updates or changes for the Directory.

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