Appendix: Elie Hirschfeld Symposium on Racial Justice in the Child Welfare System Transcript

Introduction

MARTIN GUGGENHEIM: And, welcome everybody, I’m Marty Guggenheim. I co-direct the Family Defense Clinic and am thrilled to invite you here, to see you here, to the first ever, in what we hope will be a long line of formal, Eli Hirschfeld’s Child Welfare Panel Symposia. That we hope to hold annually.

About a year ago, I met Eli Hirschfeld, who is seated here. And we started talking, and he finally remembered his wonderful experience as a third-year law student at this law school, when he took the Criminal Defense Clinic. And it happened to be that the year in which he took that clinic was the first year that I was teaching in the clinical program here as well. And his favorite teacher was my closest colleague at the time, Chet Mirsky. And we talked about those good old days, and then I told him, well, for me, those good old days have continued, but I shifted my work from criminal and juvenile defense to family defense, and that led to a, well, what exactly is family defense? And what did you do, what do you do in the clinic? And after explaining that he said, that’s awesome, how can I help? And the answer was, well, we can use some financial support. And we worked out an arrangement.

We have for years wanted to expand our capacity to do appellate work, because everybody who does this work realizes that the best way to get a judge to obey the law is to appeal an illegal ruling. And we were, as a consequence of this support from Mr. Hirschfeld, able to create the first Eli Hirschfeld Fellow, the magnificent Amy Mozer. She’s our Fellow, and we have been working together since August, and then the last part of the gift was the idea that we should convene on an annual basis to bring together people to talk about important issues in child welfare, and if I know anything about creating something that’s useful it is, you start with the very best in the world, so the goal was to create today, the rock star panel that we have. And I’m now more than thrilled to turn over the proceedings to my close colleague, Chris Gottlieb, who will take over from here. Thank you.

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