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Social Justice & the Legal Profession Series: Children's Advocacy Panel

Friday, February 08, 2019,

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  • Location: Vanderbilt Law School • 131 21st Ave South • Nashville, TN 37203
  • Room: Hyatt Room

event poster imagePlease join the George Barrett Social Justice Program and the Public Interest Office for the second installment of the 2018-2019 Social Justice and the Legal Profession series. The Children’s Advocacy Panel will feature Beth Cruz, Team Leader of the Education Rights Project at the Nashville Defenders; Sarah Grey McCroskey, Assistant General Counsel at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services; and Cara Suvall, Assistant Clinical Professor of Law teaching the Youth Opportunity Clinic at Vanderbilt University Law School. The panel will be moderated by Spring Miller, Assistant Dean for Public Interest.

The panel will explore various areas of children’s rights practice, including: education rights; juvenile justice; and “best interests” advocacy, as well as the range of practice settings – nonprofit, public defender’s offices, government agencies – from which this work can be pursued. 

Beth Cruz ‘10 is the team leader of the Education Rights Project, a delinquency prevention and reduction initiative that provides advocacy for students with disabilities at risk of involvement in the juvenile justice system.  Cruz joined the office after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2010. 

Sarah Grey McCroskey '14 is an Assistant General Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, the state agency tasked with investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect, caring for children who have been placed in foster care, and providing services to help preserve or reunify families. Sarah Grey joined the Williamson County DCS office after graduating from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2014.

Cara Suvall teaches the new Youth Opportunity Clinic at Vanderbilt University Law School. The clinic will support teenagers and young adults who are at risk for criminal legal involvement by providing civil legal representation in the areas of education, housing, and employment. Professor Suvall began her legal career as a staff attorney at The Bronx Defenders. After receiving a Fellowship from the Initiative for Public Interest Law at Yale, Suvall created a pilot program representing young clients in school discipline and other education matters in addition to their criminal cases. Suvall then co-founded The Bronx Defenders’ Adolescent Defense Project, which provides holistic, individualized representation to clients aged 14 to 17 who are charged in adult criminal proceedings. Suvall graduated from Harvard Law School in 2010.

The Social Justice and the Legal Profession series exposes students to a diverse range of career paths that allow attorneys to put into practice their social justice and public service values.  It will also explore the special responsibility all attorneys have for the quality of our justice system.