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Brooke Beskau Warg

  • Hosted by The Institute to Transform Child Protection
  • Sponsored by Dorsey & Whitney LLP, U.S. Bank
  • Service location St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Law school Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Issue area Children/Youth
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Brooke’s project increased access to high-quality, culturally appropriate, and individualized parent representation and improved outcomes for children and families involved in Minnesota’s child protection system.  

Every year, thousands of families enter the child protection system in Minnesota. Minnesota is one of only a handful of states that does not mandate the right to court-appointed counsel in child protection proceedings. Additionally, there is no statewide system to appoint qualified attorneys to represent parents. This structure results in some parents receiving minimal legal representation while others receive no legal representation at all. High-quality legal representation is imperative for positive outcomes for families, as parent attorneys play an important role in advocating for their client’s needs and ensuring reunification. Brooke’s project focused on improving outcomes for families by ensuring that parents in Minnesota received high-quality legal representation.

As a certified student attorney with the Mitchell Hamline Child Protection clinic, Brooke had the opportunity to represent parents, grandparents, and children. Through her experiences with the clinic, she saw firsthand the impact the child protection system can have on the families who enter it.  Brooke is passionate about improving the child protection system in Minnesota and ensuring successful outcomes for the families who come in contact with it.  

Fellowship Highlights

During the two-year Fellowship, Brooke:

  • Worked collaboratively with the Institute to Transform Child Protection to increase education and training for parent attorneys practicing in Minnesota 
  • Employed strategic appeals and policy advocacy to effectuate reforms in the child protection system
  • Developed tools and resources that incorporate best practices for current and future parent attorneys
  • Brought strategic appeals to protect parents’ rights and help develop an improved body of caselaw
  • Effectuated change through policy reform

Media

Alum’s clinic work at Mitchell Hamline paved the way for a Minnesota Supreme Court appearance

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Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

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Elizabeth Lincoln

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Sponsor: Microsoft Corporation, The Sidley Austin Foundation

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Tracie Johnson

Host: Community Legal Services of Philadelphia

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP