It was with great sadness that colleagues at the Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights learned of the untimely death on 7 October 2010 of Alan Lerner, Practice Professor of Law at University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. Â Alan was an inspirational teacher, a passionate advocate for children and an inspirational colleague. He led the Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic at U Penn since 2002, teaching students in law, social work, and medicine to represent the interests of children in child maltreatment, disability, medical assistance, and special education cases. He was also co-director, with colleagues in Social Work and Medicine, of the Field Centre for Childrenâ€™s Policy Practice and Research at an innovative inter-departmental unit at U Penn designed to promote collaboration cross-disciplinary solutions to childrenâ€™s issues.
Alan was partner with CCJHR Co-director Ursula Kilkelly on a NAIRTL funded project to launch a Child Law Clinic at the Faculty of Law, University College Cork. This initiative arose out of a research trip to Philadelphia where as a direct result of Alanâ€™s generosity, support and impassioned commitment to the provision of quality representation and advocacy for children, the decision to establish a Child Law Clinic at UCC was made. Alanâ€™s input into these developments was instrumental, even throughout his illness over the last few months. We were very much looking forward to Alanâ€™s visit to UCC to launch the Clinic and to his ongoing support for the initiative. Although saddened by his unexpected death, we will continue to develop the project in his memory.
May he rest in peace.