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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.

Winter-Spring 2023 Early Drop Deadline: October 28, 2022
Spring 2023 Early Drop Deadline: November: November 28, 2022

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
Kathleen MooreResearch

In the News

  • 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

  • Q&A with Olivia Barket

    by Grace Yuh Every semester, students at the Child Advocacy Clinic work with organizations serving children as a part of their clinical fieldwork. The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs spoke with Olivia Barket J.D.’20 on her experience with her placement at the Juvenile Unit of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. OCP: Why

    May 26, 2020