Children's Justice Attorney Education Program
There is nothing juvenile about practicing law in juvenile court. The Children's Justice Attorney Education Fellowship Program acknowledges precisely how difficult this work is for even the most experienced practitioner. To be highly effective, you must be well versed in civil, criminal, and juvenile law. What's even more challenging is that understanding statutes and case law is not enough! Attorneys must have a deep understanding of the complex social and family dynamics often present in juvenile court cases including substance use, mental health disorders, trauma, and domestic violence. This job is tough, and we are here to help!
In 2021, the Children's Justice Attorney Education Fellowship Program was created to provide a holistic approach to educating and supporting attorneys in Nebraska rural communities. Over eight months, Children's Justice Fellows will learn how to be high quality advocates through extensive training, expert case consultation and reflective practice. This is not your traditional CLE, instead participants will see real meaningful change through consultation with experts and mentors.
This program is intended to help attorneys become better advocates and thus, help the children and families they serve. Even better, attorneys will be paid for participation. Every Children's Justice Fellow will receive a stipend and travel expenses for their participation.
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“Attorneys working in juvenile court have a tremendous impact on the outcomes for the children and families they serve. Our program’s unique approach supports fellows to be high quality advocates in their respective roles."
Michelle PaxtonDirector of the Children's Justice Clinic and Children's Justice Attorney Education Program
“The CJAE program increased my understanding of issues that are prevalent in juvenile cases and made me a stronger advocate for better outcomes.”
Anna BrokawCJAE Fellow
“This fellowship provided me with tools to explore different ways of advocacy for children by allowing me access experts I would not have had otherwise.”
Hayley HuyserCJAE Fellow
“The program has really improved both my knowledge and confidence in juvenile law by giving me a judgement free place to ask questions and grow professionally, all while getting to know an amazing group of attorneys from across the state.”
Amber HornCJAE Fellow
“This fellowship has given me more confidence in my advocacy, a better understanding of options for juveniles, and has helped me to be more aware of disparities, making me more compassionate.”
Leah GleasonCJAE Fellow
“The Center on Children, Families and the Law is equipped with a team of experts that will provide guidance to Children's Justice Attorney Education participants throughout the program. The Center on Children, Families and the Law’s psychologists, attorneys, child welfare practitioners, social workers, mental health practitioners, and former state wards will consult with the program’s participants to allow rural attorneys an opportunity to address complex legal questions in their cases while integrating social and psychological factors to increase their child advocacy skills for underrepresented communities.”
Eve BrankDirector of Center on Children, Families, and the Law and Professor of Psychology
“We are thrilled to once again be partnering with the Center on Children, Families, and the Law to improve the quality of child welfare representation in Nebraska. Our mission to develop inclusive leaders goes beyond our current students. The Children's Justice Attorney Education program reaches into rural communities and helps develop the leaders who are serving the state’s most vulnerable children.”
Richard MoberlyDean of the College of Law
“Applying the Children's Justice Clinic model to rural communities with the Children's Justice Attorney Education program is an essential step to improving quality representation in Nebraska.”
Deb Van-Dyke RiesDirector of the Nebraska Court Improvement Project
CJAE in the News
Grant will expand access to attorneys in rural areas
The Children's Justice Attorney Education program will increase the availability and accessibility of court-appointed and juvenile county attorneys thanks to a grant from the Aviv Foundation …
Children's Justice Attorney Education Program to help better serve rural children and families
Legal Aid of Nebraska
The shortage of attorneys in rural Nebraska creates barriers for individuals accessing and receiving crucial legal assistance — especially for children and families facing some of the most difficult of life challenges ...
New program aims to enhance child advocacy through Nebraska
Lincoln Journal Star
In The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Children's Justice Clinic has served Lancaster County's vulnerable child population in the justice system since 2017 ...