Photo of Christine Ladner

Christine Ladner

  • Hosted by Legal Aid of Western Missouri
  • Sponsored by U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime
  • Service location Missouri
  • Law school Washburn University School of Law
  • Issue area Human Trafficking and Victim’s Rights Enforcement
  • Fellowship class year 2018
  • Program Crime Victims Justice Corps

The Project:

A former prosecutor, Christine has long had a passion for assisting the most vulnerable through challenging legal proceedings. Human trafficking survivors have many needs and come from a variety of referral sources. Christine will focus on outreach with community partners, collaborating with governmental agencies, advocacy groups and other nongovernmental organizations for client referrals. She will provide civil legal services to survivors of sex and labor trafficking. She will assist survivors with pursuing temporary or long-term legal status, family law related matters, protective orders, expungements, public benefits and advocacy throughout criminal proceedings.

Christine will provide civil legal services to survivors of all forms of human trafficking within 40 counties in western Missouri, as well as to agricultural workers identified as victims of labor trafficking in any of Missouri’s 114 counties. Christine and Merideth Hogan are both fellows hosted by Legal Aid of Western Missouri (LAWMO) in Kansas City, Missouri which has a robust Migrant Farmworker Unit.

The Kansas City metro area spans Kansas and Missouri. Christine has extensive experience in Kansas asisting survivors of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. In her new role, Christine will plan and present a metro wide conference for attorneys who are interested in providing pro bono or low bono civil legal services to survivors of all forms of human trafficking.

Prior to her fellowship, Christine was a career prosecutor in Wichita, Topeka and Salina, Kansas and in the Kansas Attorney General’s Office in the Criminal Litigation Division. Her cases focused on sex offenses, child abuse, the civil commitment of sexually violent predators and human trafficking. She has tried over 170 felony jury trials to verdict, always with the goal of helping the most vulnerable seek justice. She developed an interest in human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, when she tried the first aggravated human trafficking case in a Kansas district court in Wichita in 2008. State v. Williams, 299 Kan. 911, 329 P.3d 400 (2014). She was Chair of the Kansas Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Advisory Board from 2010 to 2013 where she worked on legislative issues related to Kansas human trafficking laws. The fellowship is a perfect segue for her to continue to serve trafficking survivors.

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