Emory Law Named “Big Voice for Georgia’s Children”
Emory University School of Law received the 2011 Big Voice for Children Award from Voices for Georgia’s Children Nov. 18, for the creation and support of the Barton Child Law and Policy Center. The award recognizes the center’s decade of work for child law reform and its mission to produce attorneys well-armed to create policy and administer justice for the state’s children.
The center was established in 2000 by a partnership between the law school and Michelle Barclay 96L and her husband, Andy, with funding from the L.W. Barton Foundation.
The nationally publicized case surrounding the murder of 5-year-old Terrell Peterson in 1998 spurred the Barclays to create a legal clinic to address “systemic and preventable failures in the child welfare, court and medical systems that contributed to his death.”
“It was clear to us that there was this gaping hole in legal clinical education for child law, so we sought to fill that with the Barton Clinic,” Andy Barclay said. The center is named for Andy Barclay's maternal grandparents, Lewis and Sara Barton.
After graduating from Emory, Michelle Barclay was director of Georgia's Court Improvement Project, now known as the Supreme Court of Georgia Committee on Justice for Children.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal gave opening remarks at the ceremony and the award was accepted by Emory Law Interim Dean Robert A. Schapiro.
“That’s what Emory Law tries to provide, that human face of someone who knows and who cares, to help a child navigate a foreign, and often frightening, system,” Schapiro said in accepting the award.
“Emory has been wonderful in meeting the needs of this clinic and expanding and broadening its mission. It’s been a really, really amazing partnership,” Michelle Barclay said.
Other honorees included Renée Lewis Glover, president and CEO, Atlanta Housing Authority; Robin Ferst, founder and former president, Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy; Sally FitzGerald, volunteer education advocate; J. Tom Morgan, former DeKalb County district attorney and author; and Larry Sanders, former chair and CEO, Columbus Regional Healthcare System.
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