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Fostering Justice: Third National Conference on the Right to Counsel for Abused and Neglected Children

William H. Gates Hall

7:15 AM - 5:00 PM

This invitation only symposium is the third national conference focused on a child’s right to counsel in abuse and neglect cases. The first conference Raising our Hands: Creating a National Strategy for Children’s Right to Education and Counsel (Northwestern University School of Law, 2009), was the first gathering of national experts designed to advance the critical issue of a human right to counsel for children. The second conference Improving Outcomes for Children (Nova Southeastern University Law Center, 2012) focused on designing strategies for implementing the ABA Model Act on Representing Children in Abuse, Neglect and Dependency Proceedings as well as discussing the advancement of a right to quality counsel for children in abuse and neglect cases. The Nova Law Review published a symposium edition in conjunction with the event.

In order to advance this conversation and build on the first two national conferences, Fostering Justice is utilizing a unique format that invites dialogue and brainstorming from each attendee. At the end of the day we hope that as a community we will have built consensus around the things lawyers do that result in better outcomes for children, the outcomes that past studies have already demonstrated and what studies are still needed. One of our dynamic sessions will also result in group-wide consensus around messaging: how do we best convey the importance of quality lawyers for children to various audiences? Additionally, there will be an overview of litigation and legislation around the country, as well as an opportunity to brainstorm and share strategies on both topics. Our hope and expectation is that every invitee will actively engage and participate in each session. The work during the day will lead to post-symposium materials focused on advancing the issue.

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