Loyola University Chicago

Civitas ChildLaw Center

School of Law

What is ChildLaw?

Child Law, also known as pediatric law, is a legal specialty focused on laws, policies and practices that affect children and their families.  Traditionally the practice of children’s law focused on the legal representation of children in a range of legal proceedings, including child abuse and neglect, juvenile justice, child custody and visitation, adoption, and other forms of civil litigation involving children.

While the provision of high quality, ethical representation in these areas remains critical, today the concept of children’s law is much broader. It involves all forms of advocacy in support of children’s well-being anywhere in the world. This expansion in the definition of child law grows out of a global recognition, enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, that children not only have needs, but also fundamental human rights. Under the Convention, the four basic categories of child rights are protection, provision, prevention, and participation.

ChildLaw at Loyola
Loyola’s ChildLaw Center and promotes the concept of children’s rights in all of our work. Consistent with that vision, the Center’s mission is to prepare law students, lawyers and other leaders to be effective advocates for children. To accomplish this mission, we:

  • Train law student, 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 following graphic is a schematic design of how the Civitas ChildLaw Center is organized to carry out its mission.

In addition to Loyola’s Civitas ChildLaw Center, Loyola University has established the Center on the Human Rights of Children , an interdisciplinary academic center committed to the advancement of children’s rights. The ChildLaw Center collaborates closely with the Center on the Human Rights of Children on a range of issues, including human trafficking and the promotion of children’s rights in Africa. To learn more, please visithttp://www.luc.edu/chrc/.