Drake Law School and the Middleton Center for Children’s Rights continue to participate in national discussions about the importance of quality advocacy for children in child welfare proceedings.
Last week, Professor Brent Pattison and 3L Lori Bullock presented in Atlanta on a panel regarding the importance of lawyers partnering with youth in child welfare hearings. Their presentation was titled “Partnering with our Clients in Court: How Youth Participation Makes us More Effective Lawyers.”
Bullock addressed the various state statutes and court rules regarding youth participation.
“Iowa has one of the stronger state laws regarding youth participation, which is, in part, thanks to the legislative advocacy of the Middleton Center,” says Bullock.
She also moderated a “myth-busting” session in which former and current foster youth explained why their participation in Court was so important.
Professor Pattison provided tips for engaging youth during court proceedings and gave practical examples of effective participation.
“Too often in child welfare, critical decisions about the lives of young people are made without an opportunity for meaningful court participation by the people most affected: the young persons themselves,” says Pattison.
Bullock says she is thankful the Student Bar Association (SBA) helped fund her participation in the conference. She was the only law student to present at the conference.
Two other Drake Law Students, second-year Lacey McGlothlien and third-year Sam Huff, also attended the conference with support from the SBA.