ChildLaw at Loyola

Loyola’s internationally recognized Civitas ChildLaw Center balances classroom learning with a wide range of hands-on experiential opportunities. These offerings, the most comprehensive available at any school in the country, equip students with interdisciplinary knowledge and practical skills to advocate on behalf of vulnerable children and families in both the litigation and policy realms.

Child Law is a legal specialty focused on laws, policies, and practices that affect children and their families, including:

  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Juvenile justice
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Education
  • Adoption

Beyond these basic needs, children around the world are now ensured fundamental human rights. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child defines these enshrined rights as protection, provision, prevention, participation. This global recognition involves all forms of advocacy in support of children’s well-being, anywhere in the world. And it is key to our center's vision.

The Civitas ChildLaw Center is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our work, including client representation, policy development, teaching, scholarship, programming and student, staff and faculty support.

Addressing issues in child and family law

Loyola’s ChildLaw Center prepares law students, lawyers, and other leaders to be effective advocates for children. To accomplish this mission, we:

  • Train law students, attorneys, and child-serving professionals to serve the unique legal needs of children and families;
  • Provide high quality legal representation to child clients;
  • Advocate for laws, policies, and practices that advance children’s rights;
  • Advance knowledge of children’s rights through research, scholarship, and training;
  • Serve the educational needs of children through litigation and policy reforms;
  • Promote improved public child-serving systems;
  • Create greater public awareness of children’s circumstances, needs, and rights;
  • Contribute to children’s law as an area of legal specialization;
  • Strengthen the quality of justice for children.

The Civitas ChildLaw Center is organized to carry out its mission:


Degree Programs

We are pleased to offer a Certificate in Child & Family Law for JD students, an MJ in Children’s Law & Policy, and an LLM in Child and Family Law.  These programs are designed to prepare law students, attorneys, and other professionals to defend and advocate for children in need.