On Tuesday, December 7th, more than one hundred people attended a reception to celebrate the launch of the School of Law's new Took Crowell Institute for At-Risk Youth, a legal clinic and advocacy program designed to keep at-risk youth out of the "school-to-prison pipeline." The Institute began operating in the fall of 2010 with an initial six-year grant from the law firm of Crowell & Moring LLP in memory of founding Crowell chairman Eldon "Took" Crowell.
Building on the work of the School of Law's Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic, and under the leadership of long-time Clinic director and nationally renown juvenile justice advocate Professor Joseph Tulman, the Institute will provide more than 10,000 hours pro bono representation to D.C. youth each year, and aim to serve as a model for other cities seeking to break the cycle by which school disciplinary problems result in youth being moved from the educational system into the criminal justice system.
The grant provides for expanding the capacity of the Clinic by adding two full-time supervising attorneys to spearhead cases in additional practice areas all along the school-to-prison pipeline. The clinical supervisors and law students will advocate for children in school discipline matters and keep children in school; enforce the rights of children to Medicaid services to prevent and address behavioral problems; defend children in delinquency matters to keep them out of detention centers and juvenile prisons; and obtain appropriate special education services for young people who are in the delinquency system and in the criminal system in order to ensure that those young people obtain an education and integrate successfully into the community. The grant will also support work to achieve long-term, systemic change by undertaking progressive public policy development and advocacy.
The Institute was the subject of an article in The Washington Post's Metro section on November 29, 2010, which you can read by clicking here.
Based on my decades of personal experience, I applaud the law firm Crowell & Moring for its vision in selecting this law school in which to carry on the legacy of that great lawyer and great advocate for at-risk youth, founding partner Took Crowell. Throughout my campaign for Mayor, I have talked about the need for the District of Columbia to embrace a more holistic approach to education reform, reaching children as infants and toddlers, providing universal pre-K, building upon the progress already achieved in the DC public schools and supporting the University of the District of Columbia in its drive to become a world class institution. I am confident that the Took Crowell Institute for At-Risk Youth will play an important role in ending the "School to Prison Pipeline” for young people in the District of Columbia. I so wish I could be with you tonight to personally say thank you to Crowell & Moring on behalf of the District of Columbia for making this important work possible and to the UDC Law community for the decades of exemplary work that laid the foundation for this generous gift.
See below for a video of Dean Shelley Broderick introducing the School of Law during the reception and photos of some of the speakers and guests.
Above, left, UDC School of Law Dean Shelley Broderick, and right, UDC President Allen Sessoms
> Above, left, UDC School of Law Professor Joseph Tulman, and right, Crowell & Moring Chairman Kent Gardiner
Above, left, UDC School of Law Dean Shelley Broderick, Judge Pat Wald and Professor Joseph Tulman, and right, Crowell & Moring partner Susan Hoffman, Professor Joseph Tulman and Dean Broderick
Above, left, former UDC Board of Trustees Chairman James Dyke and Dean Broderick, and right, UDC President Allen Sessoms with clinical instructor Professor Kaitlin Banner
Above, Professor Tulman with student advocates in the Juvenile & Special Education Clinic