Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Public Interest Law

Bruce A. Boyer

Title/s: Clinical Professor
Director, Civitas ChildLaw Clinic

Office #: Corboy 1120

Phone: 312.915.7927

E-mail: bboyer@luc.edu


Professor Boyer is an expert in child welfare law who has litigated, taught, consulted and written extensively in the area of child abuse and neglect. He has represented clients in a wide range of proceedings including child welfare, adoption, juvenile delinquency, special education, disability hearings, and international child abduction, with his focus being primarily on issues of child maltreatment. He has designed and co-directed an intensive trial skills course for child advocates, and his publications include a book of training materials for child advocates, as well as numerous scholarly and practice-oriented articles. He has served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children and as a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and he has been elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in recognition of his "outstanding dedication to the welfare of the community and the highest principles of the legal profession." He currently sits on the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute's Board of Directors. Before joining Loyola in 2001, Professor Boyer taught for 12 years at the Northwestern University Law School, where he helped in 1991 to establish Northwestern's nationally-renowned Children and Family Justice Center, a multidisciplinary project focused on Juvenile Court reform. He was an associate at the law firm of Jenner & Block before joining the Northwestern Law School faculty in 1989.


B.A., Dartmouth, 1982
J.D., Northwestern, 1986 

Program Areas

Child and Family Law Clinic
ChildLaw Trial Practice

Selected Publications

Professor Bruce Boyer's SSRN Website


Advocating for Children in Care in a Climate of Economic Recession: The Relationship Between Poverty and Child Maltreatment,” 6 Nw. J. L. & Soc. Pol’y. (2011) (w/ Amy Halbrook)[article]

Neglected, Abused and Dependent Children - Dispositions and Permanency, (co-authored with Anita Weinberg) in Illinois Juvenile Law and Practice (IICLE 2007)

Justice, Access to the Courts, and the Right to Counsel for Indigent Parents: The Continuing Scourge of Lassiter v. Department of Social Services, 36 Loy.U.Chi. L.J. 363 (2005), reprinted in 15 Temple Pol. & Civ. Rights L. Rev. 635 (2006), and Spreading Justice, Journal of the ABA Litigation Section (Spring 2007) [article]

The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara: Contemporary Lessons in the Child Welfare Wars, 45 Villanova L.Rev. 245 (2000)

Ethical Issues in the Representation of Parents in Child Welfare Cases, 64 Fordham L. Rev. 1621 (March 1996)

Jurisdictional Conflicts Between Juvenile Courts and Child Welfare Agencies: The Uneasy Relationship between Institutional Co-Parents, 54 Maryland L. Rev. 377 (1995)

Parental Rights v. Best Interests of the Child: A False Dichotomy in the Context of Adoption, 2 Duke J. Gender L. & Pol. 63 (1995) (with A.Appell)

Problems in Training the Child Advocate, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (1995) (with T. Geraghty)

Professional Service

Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Member, Board of Directors (2006-present)

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism (2005-2006)

Consultant, Nebraska Supreme Court Commission on Children and the Courts (2005)

American Bar Association, Steering Committee on Unmet Legal Needs of Children, Chair (2001- 2004) and Member (2000-01)

ABA Advisor to National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, Drafting Committee on Standards for the Protection of Children from International Abduction (2004-2007)

Reporter, Illinois Supreme Court Special Committee on Professionalism (2002-2005)

Advisory Committee, ABA Center on Children and the Law (2001- 2006)

Advisory Board, ABA Child Custody Pro Bono Project (2001- 2008)

Recent Presentations

“Reforming Courts to Meet the Needs of Abused and Neglected Children,” American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children Colloquium, Chicago, IL (June 2012)

“Recent Developments in Child Protection Law,” Cook County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Webinar (March 2012)

“Improving Outcomes for Children: The ABA Model Act Governing the Representation of Children in Abuse, Neglect and Dependency Proceedings,” Shephard Broad Law Center, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (February 2012)

“Protecting Children’s Rights through Multidisciplinary Forensics,” Center for Human Rights of Children, Loyola University, Chicago, IL (November 2011)

“The State of the Child Welfare System & Advocacy for our Children,” Cook County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) 25th Anniversary Program, Chicago, IL (May 2011)

“Lawyering for Children in a Climate of Economic Decline,” Symposium on the Future of Child Advocacy, Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, IL (November 2010)

“Raising our Hands:  Creating a National Strategy for a Child’s Right to Counsel and Education,” Invitational conference on Children’s Right to Representation, Chicago, IL (October 2009)

"Joining Forces: Tackling the Challenges Attorneys Face in Juvenile Abuse and Neglect Cases," Attorney Training sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, Springfield,  IL (July 2009)

“Child Welfare and Immigration Law,” Suffer the Children - Celebration of 60th Anniversary of the UN Declaration of Universal Human Rights, on Children and Immigration Law, Chicago, IL (October 2008)