Loyola University Chicago

Civitas ChildLaw Center

School of Law

Advocacy Resources for Children

Advocacy Resources for Children

The Institute serves the educational needs of children through direct representation and policy initiatives, including:

  • Support for children in the special education process
  • Support for children faced with school discipline, suspension and expulsion
  • Support for children denied educational services because of race or gender
  • Support for children whose education is disrupted due to exposure to the juvenile justice system or placement in foster care
  • Support for efforts to make preschool available to all children
  • Support for equitable funding of educational opportunities

Through its Education Law Practicum, the Institute empowers law students to work on these matters while building their skills in education law and policy.  This unique course has a classroom component and a field work component. The class meets formally one hour per week to cover substantive education law issues and to develop skills tailored to the practice of education law. For the field work component of the class, students have the option to work in one of a variety of local placements where they will work under the supervision of practicing attorneys. Students may choose to provide either: (1) direct representation and legal assistance to children and families in need of special education services; or (2) representation of school districts in education law matters. Students may also work on educational policy matters.

Placement options include local organizations, school districts, law firms and government agencies, such as the following:

Students may also participate in Loyola’s Educational Advocacy project as an alternative to a field placement.  Working under the close supervision of a law school faculty member, students will provide advocacy for youth involved in school disciplinary and special education proceedings.  Students may also work on policy projects related to education law matters, develop training manuals and materials, and provide trainings for parents or community organizations. 

More information on the Education Law Practicum and the field placements sites is available here.

The Education Law Practicum is directed by Hillary Coustan, an adjunct faculty member.  Placements with Loyola’s Educational Advocacy Project are supervised by Miranda Johnson.