Committee on Children and the Law Homepage

  • Committee on Children and the Law-2
    Welcome to the Committee on Children and the Law
  • About the Committee

    Established in 1979, the Committee on Children and the Law is charged with the responsibility of rendering information and guidance to the Executive Committee, the legal community and the public on the effect of existing laws and pending legislation impacting children, and the administration of juvenile justice and child welfare.

    In furthering its mission, the Committee:

    • examines, studies and provides comment and reports on legal issues related to the rights and interests of children, in particular those involved in court proceedings; 
    • formulates and, with the approval of the Executive Committee, publishes practice standards for attorneys representing children in New York and periodically revises these standards so as to keep them current with the development of the law; 
    • drafts and promotes original legislation which it believes is necessary or useful to the rights and interests of children; 
    • develops, coordinates and conducts continuing educational programs; and 
    • recognizes, at least annually, contributions to the areas of juvenile justice and child welfare.

  • Howard A. Levine Award

    HOWARD A. LEVINE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN JUVENILE JUSTICE AND CHILD WELFARE AWARD

    The New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Children and the Law each year presents the Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare to recognize individuals who have done outstanding work to improve New York's child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The Committee on Children and the Law created the award in 1986. It is named for retired Court of Appeals Judge Howard A. Levine (Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP), who was the first chair of what was then called the Special Committee on Juvenile Justice. He has been and continues to be a strong proponent and leader in the effort to improve New York ’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems.    

    View pictures from the 2016 Levine Award Ceremony here


    2017 Award Ceremony 

    Award Recipients:
    Hon. Karen K. Peters | Presiding Justice | Appellate Division | Third Judicial Department | Albany, NY
    Theodor S. Liebmann, Esq. | Professor | Hofstra Law School | Hempstead, NY 

    For more information about the Howard A. Levine Award and nomination information,  click here. 

  • Representing Children

    STANDARDS FOR ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING CHILDREN IN NEW YORK

    Standards for representing children were initially developed for a New York State Bar Association Law Guardian Study in 1984 (Law Guardians in New York State: A Study of the Legal Representation of Children). Subsequently, the Committee on Children and the Law (formerly known as the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Committee) concluded that Bar Association adoption and distribution of the standards would prove beneficial to the bench and bar. The preparation of standards and commentaries represent an important aspect in improving representation, and in assisting the large number of attorneys who appear before the Family Court. 

    Links to the revised and updated standards are listed below:
    Standards for Attorneys Representing Children in New York Combined File (2015) (170 pages)
    Standards for Attorneys Representing Children in Adoption Proceedings (2015) (29 pages)
    Standards for Attorneys Representing Children in Child Protective, Foster Care, Destitute Child and Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings (2015) (35 pages)
    Standards for Attorneys Representing Children in Custody, Visitation and Guardianship Proceedings  (2015) (31 pages)
    Standards for Attorneys Representing Children in Juvenile Delinquency Proceedings (2015) (44 pages)
    Standards for Attorneys Representing Children in Person in Need of Supervision Proceedings (2015) (23 pages)