The Child & Youth Advocates (CYA) seeks to build a community of students interested in a wide variety of issues affecting children and youth, including juvenile justice, child welfare, education, and children’s rights. We aim to heighten awareness and encourage discussion of these issues at HLS, facilitate student involvement with children and youth in our community and beyond, and advocate for children’s rights. Our initiatives enable students to gain practical experience in partnership with different organizations, receive training and exposure to various areas of child advocacy, and connect with one another in pursuit of a career dedicated to children and youth. These include:

  • Child Advocacy Hub: The Child Advocacy Hub is a mechanism for organizations working on children’s issues to receive remote support from law students on short-term projects, allowing students to build substantive skill sets, gain a broader exposure to various fields of child advocacy, expand career connections and networks, and get pro bono hours. A brief infosheet of the Hub can be viewed here.
  • Child Advocacy Training Series: The Child Advocacy Trainings are a series of trainings on skills that help students to work with child clients or on issues related to children, including through internships, clinics, post-graduate work, or pro bono work at firms or during the academic school year. Previous topics have included child interviewing, early childhood development, trauma-informed lawyering for children, and representing children and understanding the players in child advocacy.
  • Database of Advocates for Children at HLS: The Database was established to foster a community of advocates for children and serve as a resource for individuals to connect on relevant issues. It includes those who are considering a career involving children, youth, and adolescents, as well as those who have any related prior experience, and it is continuously updated as submissions are received. If you would like to include your name, please fill out the survey. The Database can be accessed here.
  • Community Events: We organize various events on campus related to child and youth issues. Most recently, we held the Juvenile Justice Series covering topics of educating incarcerated youth, demystifying the work of juvenile courts, domestic reform based on child development and racial equity, and global perspectives on justice for children and their rights. We also hosted coffee chats with amazing professionals like Gail Garinger and Lynette Tannis, and we had a chance for our community to gather to share summer experiences and resources in child and youth advocacy.

Additional resources for students can be found on the website of the Child Advocacy Program (CAP): http://cap.law.harvard.edu/.

Please contact us at cya@mail.law.harvard.edu if you have any questions. You can also join our listserv here.