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Nationally renowned child welfare expert Elizabeth Bartholet (Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law) is the founding Faculty Director of Harvard Law School's Child Advocacy Program. She teaches family law, specializing in child welfare, adoption and reproductive technology, as well as employment discrimination. Before joining the HLS Faculty, she was engaged in civil rights and public interest work, first with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and later as founder and director of the Legal Action Center, a non-profit organization in New York City focused on criminal justice and substance abuse issues. Bartholet graduated from Radcliffe College in 1962, and from Harvard Law School in 1965. Her publications include: Nobody's Children: Abuse and Neglect, Foster Drift, and the Adoption Alternative (Beacon Press, 1999), and Family Bonds: Adoption, Infertility, and the New World of Child Production (Beacon Press, 1999), as well as numerous law review articles. Bartholet has won several awards for her writing and her related advocacy work in the area of adoption and child welfare. Other awards include a “Media Achievement Award” in 1994 and the Radcliffe College Alumnae Recognition Award in 1997. For more information about Professor Bartholet and to view her publications, please visit her website.
Cheryl Bratt is the Administrative Director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program. Before joining CAP, she was a fellow at the University of Michigan Law School’s Pediatric Advocacy Clinic, a medical-legal partnership dedicated to improving the social determinants of health of low-income children and their families. There, she supervised students litigating family, special education, domestic violence, and housing law cases, and she taught a seminar on substantive law and lawyering skills. Previously, she was a litigation senior associate at WilmerHale LLP in Boston, Massachusetts where she represented parties at the trial, appellate, and U.S. Supreme Court level in securities actions and pro bono education and family law matters. She clerked for the Honorable Norman H. Stahl on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and for the Honorable Mary A. McLaughlin on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2008 and with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 2001. Before law school, she taught eighth grade language arts in New Orleans, Louisiana through Teach For America and later worked for the organization as a regional director.
Margo Strucker is the Child Advocacy Program's Program Assistant. Margo joined CAP in 2010. Previously she worked in early childhood and special education, residential mental health counseling, and non-profit communications and project management. Margo completed Horizons for Homeless Children’s PAL volunteer training and 14 additional hours of instruction in issues surrounding families and individuals affected by domestic violence or intimate partner violence (IPV). Margo is a 2002 graduate of Harvard College.
Eleanor Topping is the Child Advocacy Program's 1/2 time Program Assistant.
Leading education and human rights scholar Martha Minow (Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law) plays a central role in the Child Advocacy Program. Her research and teaching interests include education law and advocacy, including special education issues, as well as equality and inequality, human rights, law and social change, and issues related to women, children, and family. Minow graduated from the University of Michigan in 1975, from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1976, and from Yale Law School in 1979. She is the author of many books and law review articles. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations including various child welfare agencies as well as the American Bar Foundation, the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and the Carnegie Corporation Task Force on Education in the Early Years. For more information about Dean Minow and to view her publications, please visit her faculty webpage.
Jessica Budnitz is the co-founder of Harvard Law School's Child Advocacy Program. From 2004-2014, she worked at CAP, where she served as a Lecturer on Law and Managing Director of the program. Before CAP, she founded and directed Juvenile Justice Partners, a child-focused legal clinic in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which helped lay the groundwork for the establishment of CAP. She is a 2002 Echoing Green Foundation Fellow, the 2003 recipient of HLS's Gary Bellow Public Service Award, and a 2004 recipient of the YWCA of Cambridge Award for Outstanding Women. For many years, Ms. Budnitz served as a Prelaw and Public Service Residential Tutor in Leverett House at Harvard College, where she advised hundreds of Harvard undergraduates. She is a 2001 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1998 summa cum laude graduate of Duke University.
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