Austin Riddick, extern at CLCM

Uplifting children’s voices in the Child Advocacy Clinic

The Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts (CLCM) welcomed an extern this semester, Harvard Law School J.D. candidate Austin Riddick, who was profiled in Harvard Law Today along with two other students participating in the Child Advocacy Clinic. Riddick is focusing on special education law, serving as an advocate for students and parents in conversations with their school districts about how to ensure the child has an adequate education plan.

In his work, Riddick performs legal research and writing in addition to a variety of direct client services tasks, such as interviewing and negotiation. Aside from technical lawyering skills, Riddick has found relationship building to be an especially important tool for effective advocacy. “Having a positive working relationship with the school district is really important for CLCM, because it makes it easier for the negotiations to happen. It’s a collaborative process. We go to meetings with school districts and teachers regularly where they give progress reports on the various children that CLCM serves as an advocate for, and we work together to figure out what the child needs and what will put them in the best place.”

Read more in Harvard Law Today.