Using Multidisciplinary Experts to Improve Juvenile Court Advocacy

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Using Multidisciplinary Experts to Improve Juvenile Court Advocacy

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

In this session, Michelle Paxton and Laurel Johnson will discuss and examine:

  • How using multidisciplinary experts can enhance juvenile court advocacy
  • Ethical benefits and challenges of multidisciplinary consultation
  • Case consultation example
  • Children’s Justice Attorney Education program overview

Michelle Paxton directs the Children’s Justice Attorney Education Program and the Children’s Justice Clinic at the College of Law and the Center on Children, Families, and the Law. Michelle believes that effective advocacy in juvenile court requires both an understanding of the law and appreciation of the complex dynamics of children, families, and stakeholders comprising the child welfare and juvenile system. Michelle received her J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2002. She has served as a Deputy County Attorney in Douglas and Lancaster Counties, specializing in juvenile law, domestic violence, and general criminal prosecution. She also served as the Director of Legal Training at University of Nebraska’s Center on Children, Families, and the Law developing curriculum and training child welfare workers, probation officers, and mental health professionals on all aspects of juvenile court. process and procedure in Nebraska.

Laurel Johnson is the Children’s Justice Attorney Education Project Manager. Laurel is employed by Legal Aid of Nebraska where she has practiced as an attorney in Juvenile Court since 2013, handling child welfare and juvenile justice cases. She has served as the Lancaster County through the Eyes of the Child Initiative Coordinator, working closely with Judges and community stakeholders to identify and address issues within the Juvenile Court system. Laurel loves any opportunity to collaborate and brainstorm creative solutions whether it is for her own clients or the system as a whole. Laurel received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Nebraska Wesleyan University and her J.D. from Creighton University. She maintains that representing children and parents in juvenile court cases is the ultimate use of her Bachelor’s degree, which she is especially passionate about putting to use. She grew up in rural Nebraska and has strong connection to and appreciation for rural area.

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