History & Archives


Important moments in the history of the Justice for Children Project at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law follow:

November 1995: The Ohio State University College of Law and the Center for Socio-Legal Studies (now the Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies) sponsored the conference “Justice for Children – Meeting the Basic Needs of Children: Defining Public and Private Responsibilities.” Interdisciplinary papers focused on the public role in the private family and were published in Volume 57 of the Ohio State Law Journal.

Building on the success of that conference, Ohio State law faculty unanimously approved the creation of the Justice for Children Project.

1997: Ohio State law faculty sought additional funding for the creation of a children’s rights clinic, which would provide law students with opportunities to represent children and children’s issues under the supervision of a law professors and staff attorney. The university awarded an academic enrichment grant to the law school for the clinic.

January 1998: With additional financial support from the Moritz College of Law and the Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies, the Justice for Children Project began full-time operation.

April 2003: The Ohio State University approved the creation of a new Certificate in Children Studies at the Moritz College of Law.

JFC Classroom2006: The Justice for Children Project, in coordination with the Moritz College of Law’s Pro Bono Research Group, received grants from the American Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to create “The Pro Bono Partnership,” a training and mentoring project in the Franklin County Domestic Relations Court. The Justice for Children Project and the Pro Bono Research Group created practice standards and trained pro bono attorneys to represent children in parentage and custody cases. Those attorneys were paired with third-year law students, who provided research, drafting, and on-the-ground support.

That same year, the Justice for Children Project co-hosted the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ annual Juvenile Law Seminar. Presenters discussed a wide variety of juvenile law topics, including Ohio’s Serious Youthful Offender statute, implications of Roper v. Simmons for juvenile law practice, immigration issues relating to juvenile clients, evidentiary issues in permanent custody cases, the rise of managed care agencies in Ohio, and medical evidence in child abuse cases.

February 2007: The Justice for Children Project joined the Juvenile Law Center, the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, and almost two dozen other organizations and individuals to file an amicus petition in support of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court appeal Smook v. Minehaha County, No. 06-1034. The petition challenged the Eighth Circuit’s decision upholding the constitutionality of a policy requiring strip searches of all juveniles brought to a juvenile detention center for minor delinquency and status offenses. On March 26, 2007, the Supreme Court denied review over the case.

April 2009: Ohio First Lady Frances Strickland delivered the keynote address at a two-day symposium centered on issues pertaining to juvenile law, “Reinventing Juvenile Law: A New Construct for Practice and Policy.” Strickland discussed educational reform and its far-reaching effects on entire communities.

September 2013: The Greif Fellowship in Juvenile Human Trafficking was created to identify juvenile human trafficking survivors in Ohio and provide them with free legal representation and advice.


Coming soon: Check back for past news stories, event multimedia, court filings, and more.