Skip to content

The Child Advocacy Clinic, which is part of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, (CAP) is designed to educate students about a range of social change strategies and to encourage critical thinking about the pros and cons of different approaches. The clinic is relevant for students with a particular interest in children’s issues as well as for students interested in social change.

Students are placed at a different organization/agency serving children, with a focus on substantive areas such as child welfare (abuse and neglect, foster care and adoption); education; and juvenile justice.

The placements use a range of strategies to spark social change such as:

  • individual client representation;
  • impact litigation;
  • legislative and policy reform;
  • alternative dispute resolution;
  • grassroots organizing;
  • community education; and
  • social entrepreneurship.

Some students will work for reform from within the system and others from outside. For more information on past placements, see our Master List of CAP Clinic Placements. Most placements are in the Boston-area, although there are some opportunities to work with organizations beyond Boston. In addition, the Winter/Spring Clinic gives students a chance to immerse themselves in a deeper way by adding three weeks of full-time work during J-Term to the part-time work of spring semester.

How to Register

The Child Advocacy Clinic is offered in the Fall, Winter-Spring and Spring semester. You can learn about the required clinical course component, clinical credits, additional requirements, and the clinical registration process, by reading the course catalog description and exploring the links in this section.

Fall 2023 Early Drop Deadline: August 1, 2023
Winter-Spring 2024 Early Drop Deadline: October 27, 2023
Spring 2024 Early Drop Deadline: November: November 27, 2023

Meet the Instructor

headshot of Crisanne Hazen

Crisanne Hazen

Assistant Director; Lecturer on Law

Crisanne Hazen is the Assistant Director of Harvard Law School’s Child Advocacy Program. Crisanne joined CAP in the summer of 2016.  She came from San Jose, California, where she worked as a supervising attorney at Legal Advocates for Children and Youth (LACY), a program of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley.  Starting at LACY as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in 2006, Crisanne developed a “know your rights” curriculum for pregnant and parenting teens, which she taught at 6 area high schools.  Over the 10 years at LACY, she represented hundreds of teen parents in family law and restraining order matters, as well as directly represented children and youth of all ages in a variety of civil proceedings including family law, guardianships, housing, benefits, special education, and school discipline.  She helped to start and later manage a medical-legal partnership clinic in the Pediatric Department of Valley Medical Center in San Jose.  She also managed other population-based projects, including a CSEC project, transition-age foster youth project, and a foster youth identity theft project.  Crisanne is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of California-Davis School of Law.

Staff Members

Margo StruckerProgram

In the News

  • The trial court experience in the Child Advocacy Clinic

    By Diane Bernabei, J.D. 24 Interning at the Boston Juvenile Court (BJC) through the Child Advocacy Clinic afforded me a unique opportunity to experience trial advocacy and learn how judges approach difficult decisions. Interns working with the BJC bench are expected to observe court proceedings, research novel legal issues, and assist judges and their clerks

    January 10, 2023

  • Keeping Tabs: Advocacy Across the Globe with Ha Ryong Jung (Michael), JD ’18

    Keeping Tabs is a Q&A series that follows alumni on their careers after graduation, the lasting impacts of their clinical and pro bono experiences at HLS, and their experiences in a variety of sectors of law. Ha Ryong Jung (Michael) left big shoes to fill upon his graduation from HLS in 2018. The winner of

    January 21, 2022

  • Uplifting children’s voices in the Child Advocacy Clinic

    By Olivia Klein Negotiation, research and writing, trial preparation, and advocacy in the courtroom are just a few of the variety of legal skills practiced by clinical students this semester. But in one particular clinic, students practicing these skills share one thing in common: their clients are children. Austin Riddick ’23, Katie Martinez ’23, and Madelyn

    December 15, 2021