Host: Public Counsel
Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP, Spotify
Abigail’s Fellowship served to 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 or safety threats, rather than provided with the types of educational support services that would allow them to remain in the classroom. This project sought to advocate for students to receive nonpunitive interventions that prevent the escalation of risky behaviors and ensure schools are safe, supportive learning environments for all kids.
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.
After the fellowship, Abigail will continue advocating for children with emotional and behavioral disabilities to get necessary services at school and in their communities. Abigail will join Southern Legal Counsel as a full-time attorney with the Children’s Legal Services Keep Kids in School Project.
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