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Kathryn Banks

Assistant Professor of Practice; Director, Children's Rights Clinic

Committed to combining a dedication to youth advocacy and teaching young lawyers, Kathryn Pierce Banks, directs the Children’s Rights Clinic (CRC) in Washington University’s School of Law’s nationally ranked clinical legal education program. She previously was the Legal Services Director for Voices for Children and an attorney in the Youth Advocacy Unit of the Missouri State Public Defender’s Office. From 2009 to 2014, she was a Supervising Attorney for the Law School’s Juvenile Law and Justice and Children & Family Advocacy Clinics and the acting director of the Criminal Justice Clinic. While teaching in the clinical program, she received the Outstanding Achievement in Practice Award from the Black Law Students Association. Kathryn also teaches in the WashULaw MLS and LL.M. online programs. She is an appointed member of the Missouri Supreme Court’s Committee on Practice & Procedures in Municipal Division Cases and Task Force on Criminal Justice, having also been an appointed member of the Missouri Supreme Court’s Municipal Courts Working Group. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas, University of Missouri, and Loyola University – Chicago.

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  • Education
    • LL.M, Loyola University-Chicago, 2007
    • J.D., University of Missouri-Columbia, 2001
    • B.S.W., University of Kansas, 1997
  • Courses
    • Children’s Rights Clinic Seminar
    • @WULAW Legal Writing
    • @WULAW Trial Advocacy
  • Areas of Expertise
    • Child Welfare
    • Juvenile Justice
    • Guardianship and Adoption
    • The Role of Counsel for Children and Youth
    • The Role of the Guardian ad Litem
  • Publications
    • “The Trickle Up Effect: Incorporating An Understanding of Immigration Law and Policies Into Best Interest Analysis in State Child Welfare Proceedings”, Washington University Global Studies Law Review, Forthcoming
    • “Nowhere to Turn: The Battle of Girls in Care to Exercise Their Reproductive Rights”, The Michigan Child Welfare Law Journal, Fall 2008
  • Activity and Affiliations
    • Appointed by Chief Justice of Missouri Supreme Court to the Task Force on Criminal Justice July 2017- Present
    • Appointed by Chief Justice of Missouri Supreme Court to the Committee on Practice & Procedure in Municipal Division Cases June 2016- Present
    • Appointed by Chief Justice of Missouri Supreme Court to the Missouri Supreme Court Municipal Courts Working Group May 2015-March 2016
    • Member, St. Louis County Juvenile Courts Juvenile Detention Alternatives Working Group, September 2017- Present
    • Brother 2 Brother Board – Secretary 2016-Present
    • Missouri CASA Board 2011– 2014, Secretary 2013-2014
    • American Bar Association
    • National Association of Counsel for Children
    • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
    • Missouri Bar- September 2001-Present
  • Honors and Awards
    • Recipient Outstanding Achievement in Practice Award, Black Law Student Association, Washington University in St. Louis, February 2014
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