October 26, 2007
Celebrating child advocacy with laurels and lunch
The Juvenile Law Committee suspended its usual programs of professional education and practice tips at its October meeting. The program was instead devoted to a celebration of child advocacy. The speaker, Angela Upchurch, professor at Capital Law School, brought inspirational remarks on the importance of representing children involved in the legal process. While juvenile practice has its challenges, the practice also has a special sense of purpose.
The Juvenile Committee co-sponsored the standing-room-only event with the Central Ohio Association of Juvenile Lawyers. The impetus for the celebration was the recent receipt of a United States Congressional Coalition Institute on Adoption Angel in Adoption award by committee member Susan Garner Eisenman. Ms.Eisenman was honored for devoting the last 30 years of her law practice to the area of adoption law as well as providing public and professional education on adoption issues. She is a founder of Resolve Ohio and New Roots Adoptive Families Support Group, and has an extraordinary reputation throughout Ohio as both an adoption law attorney and adoption advocate.
In addition to her personal law practice, Ms. Eisenman has devoted countless hours as appointed counsel or guardian ad litem for indigent people and minors before the court. She has mentored law students, worked pro bono in legal clinic providing counsel to those in need and professional education seminars for social workers and attorneys.
At the national level, Ms. Eisenman is a charter Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and has served on numerous AAAA committees over the course of the past 17 years. She has been active in linking AAAA with the North American Council for Adoptable Children which focuses on the needs of waiting children. She is the recipient of the 2007 Silberberg Award for public service from the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.
Suggesting the theme for the October meeting to be recognition of the on-going work of the committee, she said to the members, “The work for which I received the award is shared on a daily basis by various committee members. You all deserve to be recognized for your dedication and efforts.” The Eisenman law office treated the sixty attendees to lunch in recognition of the committee members’ efforts on behalf of children.
The committee is considering similar future events to recognize and celebrate the work of child advocacy.