Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Symposium Speakers

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM



Howard Davidson has been the Director of the ABA Center on Children and the Law since it’s founding in 1978. He attended Boston University and received his law degree from the Boston College Law School.



Maria Woltjen launched the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, a national initiative that provides guardians ad litem (Child Protection Advocates) for unaccompanied immigrant children detained by the federal government, in 2003. She began her legal career in 1987 as a litigator at Coffield, Ungaretti, Harris & Slavin, where she devoted substantial time to pro bono cases, and since then her career has centered on children's rights. She directed the Children's Advocacy Project of the Chicago Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights, focusing on delinquency, health and disabilities. Additionally, she worked for several years as adjunct faculty at Loyola University of Chicago School of Law. Ms. Woltjen also serves on numerous boards and committees in the immigration field including the Washington, DC–based Working Group on Unaccompanied Children, the Leadership Council of the National Immigrant Justice Center and the Illinois Task Force on Unaccompanied Immigrant Children. She earned a BS from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a JD from the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, where she was Executive Editor, Lead Articles, for the Loyola University of Chicago Law Journal.

Alie Kabba is Executive Director of the United African Organization (UAO), a Chicago-based coalition of African community-based associations dedicated to social and economic justice, civic participation, and empowerment of African immigrants and refugees in Illinois. A native of Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa , Alie is a lifelong community organizer and advocate. He did his undergraduate studies in History and Philosophy at the University of Ghana andr pursued graduate studies in Political Science at the University of Nigeria and Political Science & Public Policy Analysis at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to community organizing, Alie also has extensive experience in public service administration with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Department of Healthcare & Family Services and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. He is the first African and Muslim to be elected President of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a statewide coalition of 138 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Golden Door Coalition, which is committed to the resettlement of refugees with dignity and the support necessary to thrive in this society.

Julie Sollinger has dedicated her entire legal career to fighting for the legal rights of children who otherwise are frequently forgotten. As Supervising Attorney at the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian, Julie Sollinger works in the Juvenile division where the attorneys of the Public Guardian’s Office act as attorney and guardian ad litem for virtually all abused and neglected children in Cook County. As many of the cases involve undocumented minors, Ms. Sollinger also serves as the Immigration Coordinator for the office, keeping track of all immigration issues facing OPG clients. Julie also has served with distinction as a crucial member of the Illinois Unaccompanied Children’s Taskforce since 2002and a key contributor to amending the Illinois Juvenile Court Act to better protect unaccompanied immigrant minors who have been victims of abuse, neglect or abandonment by their families. 
Julie is a graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was the recipient of the 2008 Honorable Abraham Lincoln Marovitz Public Interest Law Award from Chicago-Kent College of Law and the 2009 Richard J. Phelan Public Service Award from the Chicago Bar Foundation, both for her outstanding commitment to Public interest law. 

Yali Lincroft is a private consultant with over 15 years experience in local, state, and federal policy and program planning. She has been the primary technical expert to the Annie E. Casey Foundation on issues related to the intersection of immigration and child welfare and the intersection of incarceration and child welfare. For the past two years, she has been the primary consultant and technical expert on immigration and child welfare issues for First Focus, a Washington DC Children’s Advocacy organization and helped First Focus develop the HELP Separated Children’s Bill – federal legislation protecting children and vulnerable populations impacted by immigration enforcement and the Foster Opportunity for Children Bill – federal legislation to improve immigration relief screening and assessment for undocumented children in the foster care system. Yali Lincroft is a founding member and co-chair of the American Humane Association’s Migration and Child Welfare National Network. She has provided consultation on child welfare and incarceration issues for clients such as the SF Children of Incarcerated Parents Partnership, NY Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents, Arkansas Voices for Children Left Behind, and Centerforce.

Alexandra Fung began working as a post-graduate fellow in the Civitas ChildLaw Clinic in July 2012. The ChildLaw Clinic is a pediatric law office where Loyola J.D. and LL.M. students learn the lawyering skills needed to represent children while effectively advocating for the clients they serve. Prior to joining to the Civitas ChildLaw Clinic, Alexandra was the supervising attorney for the Immigrant Children’s Protection Project at the National Immigrant Justice Center, where she represented immigrant children and youth before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Immigration Court, and the Board of Immigration Appeals. Alexandra is a graduate of New York University School of Law and the University of Notre Dame. While in law school, Alexandra also represented and advocated for youth and families in various legal proceedings through NYU's Family Defense Clinic, as well as internships at Catholic Charities Community Services and The Door.
Sioban Albiol joined DePaul College of Law in 2001 where she directs the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic and oversees the Legal Resources Project for Immigrant Service Providers. At DePaul, Ms. Albiol teaches law students in a yearlong clinic focused on representation of asylum-seekers and immigration remedies. Prior to joining DePaul, Ms. Albiol served as staff attorney, managing attorney, and associate director of the agency now known as the National Immigrant Justice Center where she represented immigrants and refugees in administrative proceedings and federal court, trained immigrant advocates, directed the detention and citizenship projects, and developed community outreach initiatives. Ms. Albiol previously chaired the Chicago Bar Association Immigration and Nationality Law Committee and served on the Executive Board of the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was awarded the Joseph Minsky Beacon of Light Award from the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in 2011.

Elizabeth Frankel is the Associate Director of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago (formerly the Immigrant Child Advocacy Project or ICAP). The Young Center provides Child Advocates (guardian ad litem in immigration proceedings) to unaccompanied minors pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.  Elizabeth is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where she co-teaches a clinical course in which law students serve as Child Advocates and handle policy projects based on the Young Center’s direct client service.  Elizabeth recently published an article in the Duke Forum on Law and Social Change on children caught at the intersection of the juvenile justice and immigration systems. The article, entitled “Detention and Deportation with Inadequate Due Process: The Devastating Consequences of Juvenile Involvement with Law Enforcement for Immigrant Youth”, focuses on youth apprehended internally and argues that the unique needs and vulnerabilities of these children gives rise a due process right to counsel at government expense. Elizabeth received her JD from NYU School of Law and her BA from Middlebury College.