Law school’s Civil Justice Clinic receives advocacy award

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri gives clinic 2011 Ashley Award

The Civil Justice Clinic (CJC) at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law has received Legal Services of Eastern Missouri’s (LSEM) 2011 Ashley Award.

LSEM selected the CJC because of the work that clinic faculty, students and staff undertake in protecting the rights of children and families.

Co-directed by Annette Appell, JD, professor of law, and Mae Quinn, JD, professor of law, with the assistance of Kathryn Pierce, JD, lecturer in law and clinic attorney, the CJC is one of the law school’s oldest live-client representation clinics in which student attorneys represent children and families in a wide range of matters.

Quinn and Appell said they were excited about receiving the award because they are relatively new to the community and recently changed the focus of the CJC to youth and family advocacy. They are honored to be recognized so soon for their students’ work.

The CJC’s two practice areas, the Juvenile Rights & Re-Entry Project and the Children & Family Defense Project, provide holistic representation to children, youth and families in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Much of the projects’ advocacy originates in the St. Louis County Juvenile Court.

LSEM chose the CJC because it “has assisted LSEM since 2009 by handling cases with our Family Court Project and the Children’s Legal Alliance. The clinic’s focus on equal justice for disadvantaged families means that our clients benefit not just from high-quality representation, but from systemic reform that has resulted from this partnership.”

Appell and Quinn were presented with the award at the LSEM annual “For the Common Good Awards Ceremony” among other advocates for low-income communities in the St. Louis area.

The Ashley Award is named for a child, Ashley, who LSEM helped reunite with her grandmother after her mother’s death. LSEM is an independent, nonprofit organization that has provided legal assistance in civil cases to low-income communities for the past 50 years.

LSEM also publishes educational materials on a number of legal issues, offers community education, and assists people in the community at its outreach centers.

The CJC is one of 15 distinct local, national and international clinical opportunities offered through the law school. Appell, Quinn and Pierce, who share a passion for serving socio-economically disadvantaged youth and families, bring a wealth of knowledge and professional experience in youth and family advocacy to the CJC.