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Franchesca Hamilton-Acker

Managing Attorney, Child(ren) in Need of Care Unit

 

After interning with Acadiana Legal Service Corporation as an undergraduate, I fell instantly in love with the idea that my commitment to public service wouldn’t have to be just an aside but could be the focus of my legal career.

I clerked here during law school, and it showed me where my passion lies.  When I began here as an attorney, I immediately had a child dependency caseload but I also handled housing, consumer matters, education matters, elderly law and domestic violence cases

In 2010, the firm asked me to lead the development of the Child(ren) in Need of Care Unit (CINC), which provides holistic representation for children in cases involving allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment. CINC has grown from covering 19 court jurisdictions to covering 47 jurisdictions in just seven years.  The mission is to ensure that the wishes and interests of the child are not drowned in the process.

These cases tend to be very challenging.  But, if I could sum up in two words why I’m dedicated to this practice, I would say: clients and hope.

My clients need this representation.  They’re one of the most vulnerable populations you could ever imagine.

And, it’s my hope that, as time goes by, there will be more attention and resources given to this area of law.  My hope is justified by the progress that has been made over the past years.

Just to have access to the ABA’s national network of people committed to the same type of work is invaluable.  We feed off one another, benefit from resources provided by each other and advocate for systemic change nationally.

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