The Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children's Rights is a pioneering program added to the Drake Legal Clinic in 2001. Funded by a $1 million gift, the Middleton Center pursues a broad agenda, advancing children's rights through the legal process, training, public information and public policy formulation. As active participants in the Middleton Center's four programs, Drake law students learn the multidisciplinary process essential to addressing this complex issue.
"This gift exemplifies our family's commitment to children and families - fostering the security and growth of the young people who will become tomorrow's leaders." Mary Middleton, daughter of Joan and Lyle Middleton
The Middleton Center for Children's Rights has four components: legal services, multidisciplinary training, public information and public policy formation.
Children's Rights Clinic
Under faculty supervision, students provide legal services to children and families in need as part of an multidisciplinary team that includes a social worker and a licensed teacher.
Multidisciplinary Training The Center trains attorneys, judges, teachers, social workers and other professionals working in the juvenile justice system. The program provides not only instruction in relevant law and legislation for non-lawyers, but also the latest medical and social research on child abuse for lawyers and judges.
Public Information The Center collects and disseminates information regarding children and families needing assistance. Student interns help prepare training materials.
Public Policy Formation In 2003 the Center began a new program to improve laws pertaining to children. Law School students identify issues, draft legislation and work with lobbyists to pass the legislation.
Faculty & Staff
Assistant Professor Brent Pattison is the Director for the Children's Rights Clinic at the Joan and Lyle Middleton Center for Children's Rights. Annie vonGillern, LMSW is our resident social worker and Rondolyn Hawkins is our legal assistant.
Drake University Law School is ABA accredited, a charter member of the AALS and a member of the Order of the Coif.
The information in this publication does not constitute a contract between the University or the Law School and any other person or organization. The University and the Law School reserve the right to make changes in their curricula, policies, procedures and regulations without giving prior notice.