Abigail Adkins

  • Hosted by Southern Legal Counsel, Inc.
  • Sponsored by Darden Restaurants, Inc., McDermott Will & Emery
  • Service location Gainesville, Florida
  • Law school Florida A&M University College of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2019
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Abigail will improve school safety by advocating for the provision of comprehensive school- and community-based mental health services for at-risk students.

Children with behavioral health challenges are often identified as disciplinary problems, this project seeks to ensure that as schools collect data to assess potential safety risks, at-risk youth receive appropriate special education and community-based services.

Prior to law school, Abigail worked with children in out-of-home care who had mental health needs and developmental disabilities, seeing the difference made by behavioral health services inspired her to advocate for systemic reforms to make school a safer, more welcoming place for all students.

Fellowship Plans

Abigail and Southern Legal Counsel will represent students to obtain comprehensive mental health and behavioral services. Focusing on youth with school disciplinary or mental health concerns, such as multiple contacts with the juvenile justice system or involuntary psychiatric examinations, the project will work to remove systemic barriers blocking access to educational and health services. In addition to direct representation, Abigail will engage in a variety of community education and engagement efforts through partnerships with parents, educators, children’s attorneys, and other community stakeholders.

Media

FAMU Law Graduate Selected for Equal Justice Works 2019 Class Of Fellows

Too many children are perceived as merely “bad,” when a complex set of environmental and biological variables may impact their ability to function at the same levels as their peers.

Abigail Adkins /
Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Annie Lee

Host: National Center for Youth Law

Sponsor: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Oracle Corporation

Michelle Light

Host: Children and Family Justice Center

Sponsor: AT&T

Michael Pope

Host: Youth Represent

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Dana Dohn

Host: Center for Children's Law and Policy

Sponsor: Johnson & Johnson, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP