HLS’s Child Advocacy Program transcends disciplinary boundaries

Daniel Heimpel, founder of Fostering Media Connections and HLS Professor Elizabeth Bartholet ’65, director of the Child Advocacy Program at HLS

When Elizabeth Bartholet ‘65 and Jessica Budnitz ‘01founded the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School over eight years ago, they intended the program to serve as a model for other law schools. They intended the program to educate law students about the importance of working across traditional disciplinary lines. But they did not expect their ideas to transcend those boundaries by inspiring action within another discipline, namely journalism.

Building a Bridge of Redemption

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Christina Greenberg’s client was labeled disruptive and was sent home from elementary school every single day last spring. The 8-year-old—who is mentally disabled, has hydrocephalus, seizures and is in a wheelchair—then lost summer services because his school district failed to submit the necessary paperwork. His mother—struggling to care for her son and his disabled twin on $1,000 a month—was desperate when she reached Greenberg, a summer intern with Massachusetts Advocates for Children.