Oregon Child Advocacy Project

Pursuing Justice for Children

The Oregon Child Advocacy Project at the University of Oregon School of Law pursues legal change to protect children's interests. Faculty and students associated with OCAP work on legislative proposals and provide research assistance and consultation to attorneys in cases that advance the project’s goals. OCAP does not represent individual clients or give advice to private individuals.

OCAP Events

STATE BAR FAMILY LAW CONFERENCE Tyler Neish and Liz Lohrke received full scholarships to attend the annual October conference of the Family Law section of the Oregon State bar at Salishan on the Oregon coast. The Oregon Academy of Family Law Practitioners and the Oregon chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers provide two scholarships to allow students to attend the conference each year.  The students were chosen based on their commitment to and intention to practice family law. 

INTERESTED IN JUVENILE LAW? The Oregon Juvenile Academy sponsors a training for juvenile court lawyers in Eugene in October. Law students may attend part or all the conference free if they volunteer some time to help with registration or other tasks at the conference. You can see more information about this past fall’s conference here. The Academy is a consortium including the state Office of Public Defense Services, the Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar, Youth Rights and Justice, representatives from the DOJ, and, of course, the law school.  Lawyers from all over the state come to this training.  The materials and presenters are always good, and it's a great chance to network. If you would like to attend next year or have further questions, please email Professor Leslie Harris, lharris@uoregon.edu. 


Every summer five to six students extern with juvenile court judges and nonprofit lawyers that advocate for children through the Child Advocacy Externship Program. Judge Daniel Murphy, Linn County Circuit Court, has hosted externs each summer since 2004. Kristin Ware, '10, and Sara Kearsley, '11, externed with him in 2008 and 2009. Learn more about the externships.


Meet the 2014-2015 Fellows

Willow Hillman, Sarah Hund, Jeremy Karns, Ralitza Kostadinova, Liz Lohrke, Brandon Moore, Tyler Neish, Jason Pierson, and Jenna Royce are the 2014-2015 Child Advocacy Fellows, and the First-Year Family Law and Child Advocacy Fellows are Maggie Carlson, Megan Landi, Alina Stevenson, and Ryan Wilkerson. For more information about the OCAP Fellows, please visit the Fellows page. To learn more about the First Year Fellows, please click here.

Tyler Neish awarded Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellowship

University of Oregon School of Law third-year student Tyler Neish received a Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellowship. The Bergstrom Fellowship is committed to inspiring law students to pursue careers in child welfare law — a field Neish has already shown great dedication to throughout his legal education. He currently is a Bettie L. Harris Fellow with the Oregon Child Advocacy Project and, in 2012, was a child advocacy extern at the Multnomah County Juvenile Court.

 "Being selected for the Bergstrom Fellowship was an incredible honor," Neish noted. "Having the opportunity to represent the University of Oregon Law School while working with a group of people from across the nation was wonderful."

As a Bergstrom Fellow, Neish’s training included three days at Michigan Law in Ann Arbor, MI. He then spent about 10 weeks of the summer working at his placement.

“The Bergstrom Fellowship was an incredible chance for me to interact and learn from some of the best child welfare minds in the United States. The diverse group of speakers that were brought in allowed me to learn a great deal about the time and effort that it will take to be a successful advocate in this field. Even further, the friendships that I made with some of the best child advocates law schools have to offer will stick with me as I go into my legal career, and was an opportunity I will never forget.”

The last Oregon Law student to receive a Bergstrom Fellowship was Emily Marrer in 2010. Marrer currently serves as an attorney with the Native American Program of Oregon Legal Services, where she handles child advocacy cases. Receiving a Bergstrom Fellowship signals significant recognition of a commitment to child welfare law.

OCAP Fellows as Graphic Artists OCAP has been very fortunate to have fellows who are not only excellent lawyers but also fine artists. To see posters they have created, click here.

For more information, you can contact OCAP at: ocap@uoregon.edu