Headshot of Alicia Levezu Moon

Alicia LeVezu Moon

  • Hosted by The University of Washington School of Law, Clinical Law Program
  • Sponsored by Intellectual Ventures, Perkins Coie LLP
  • Service location Seattle, Washington
  • Law school Yale Law School
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
  • Fellowship class year 2014
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Alicia improved access to legal representation for youth in child welfare proceedings in Washington state through impact litigation, conducting court observation studies, and multi-forum advocacy.

When a child is removed from home due to abuse or neglect, decisions about where she will live, the services she will receive, and the family relationships she can maintain are determined by judges in a courtroom. In this situation, an attorney can advocate for the desires of a child, whether those desires are to remain with her parents, to maintain sibling contact, or to receive services for her educational and mental health needs. Attorneys protect a youth’s legal interests and give youth a voice in the decisions that are being made about their lives. However, at the time of this fellowship, in Washington State, children in foster care were not universally appointed legal counsel.

Fellowship Highlights

Through the provision of 26 community education presentations, drafting and sharing template motions, filing amicus briefs on behalf of children and initiating litigation that was eventually considered by the Washington State Supreme Court, this fellowship increased awareness of the legal needs for youth in foster care. Stories from youth in foster care and their attorneys were combined with data from statewide surveys and intensive court observation through a report through this fellowship titled Defending Our Children that was shared with the Washington State Legislature, resulting in a pilot program for representation of children in two counties. In 2021, Washington’s Governor signed legislation that will expand that pilot program state-wide.

Next Steps

After spending an additional year at the University of Washington School of Law as a Clinical Law Fellow, Alicia relocated to Michigan where she spent time Legal Services of South Central Michigan and the City of Detroit Mayor’s Office. Alicia now serves as Deputy Legal Counsel for Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Meet Other Fellows Like Alicia

View All

Anne Tamar-Mattis

Host: Advocates for Informed Choice

Sponsor: Anonymous

Amy Howell

Host: Southern Juvenile Defender Center at Emory Law School

Sponsor: Equal Justice Works

Jason Langberg

Host: Advocates for Children's Services

Sponsor: Anonymous

Photo of Michael Pope

Michael Pope

Host: Youth Represent

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation